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In All Ways Human, Participant–Community Advisor
Kevin Harvey, Jr. is a 31 year old Baltimore native, aspiring entrepreneur and music producer. Through social media (@dtr_beatmode) he shares his motivational beats with the world, including one inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. His music will be featured on the forthcoming In All Ways Human short documentary. Kevin is passionate about racial justice and economic advancement for Black Americans.
A foundational storyteller in Dr. Smith Lee’s research, he currently serves as a participant-advisor for the Centering Black Voices x UNC Greensboro Disrupting Dehumanizing Narratives of Black Men in Poverty Grand Challenge Award. He is a hard worker who perseveres, earning his GED with support from YO! Baltimore at the age of 23. Most of all, he is the proud father of a beloved two year old daughter, Amada.
When asked about what gets in the way of economic mobility for young Black men in Baltimore he hones in on racism and trauma—how much of a role it plays in his daily life and how scary it is to know one race sees itself as superior to his. Kevin is a deep thinker and is constantly working to peel back and disentangle all the ways this nation’s racial past shapes his life in the present. Kevin notes how much fear he carries of being a target of racial violence and how ironic it is that he is the one who is often feared as a Black man.
Kevin’s deep faith in God is one of his greatest possessions. As a young person, Kevin struggled with identity issues. As a lighter-skinned person and as a teenager, he was unsure of where he belonged after learning he was adopted. This sent him searching for belonging with friends. That vulnerability led to him being the target of a gang initiation, beaten badly, and nearly dying at age 16. Kevin credits God for preserving his life and redeeming that pain for a higher purpose. “God used me,” he often says. Music, in particular Christian rap, has become a healing balm as he continues to cope with the posttraumatic stress of that event. Sometimes it requires him to largely “push it down” so he can engage in formal work to support his daughter.
Having personally navigated housing insecurity and injustice, Kevin believes ownership of land is key to Black liberation. His group DTR, which stands for Dreams Turned Reality/BrokenLand Ent., is inspired by Nipsey Hussle’s example, and Kevin has a dream of buying a building to support Black entrepreneurs like himself.