|Born||in Chicago, USA|
|Height||5' 6" (1.68 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Humanitarian, father, grandfather, son, brother, friend, author, actor, producer, peacemaker, street legend, gang leader, poet, musician, director, organizer, consultant, advisor, visionary, trainer, diplomat and the list goes of adjectives that one could use to describe the person that we know as T. Rodgers. However, the journey to become this person was neither easy, nor did it happen overnight.
T. Rodgers was born and raised in the slums of Southside Chicago, specifically in the area of 47 th Street. When T. was 12 years old, his mother moved them to Westside of Los Angeles, to the area known as Baldwin Hills. Also known as "The Jungles" (originally called this because of its lush vegetation), Baldwin Hills was once a Middle Class haven for African-Americans but has since become synonymous with gangs, drugs, violence and murder (hence earning it the lifelong name of "The Jungles" because of the inherent danger associated with living there).
Like so many young, black men in the turbulent 1960's, there weren't many opportunities available to T., and he quickly became embroiled in many gang-related conflicts. With the permission of the "Main 21" (a term used to describe the original twenty-one leaders of Chicago gangs who agreed to merge with the Blackstone Rangers), T. formed a chapter of the "Almighty Black P Stone Nation", who at the time, and contrary to popular belief, were in fact a community-based and backed organization and not a lawless gang; somewhere along the way, unfortunately, this would change.
Under T.'s leadership, the Black P Stones became affiliated with and founding members of the Bloods (who identify with the color red), mortal enemies of the predominant Crips (who identify with the color blue). The Black P Stones would thrive in "The Jungles" and become over five-hundred members strong, eventually controlling the largest territory of any other black gang in Los Angeles. At their peak (or some say their lowest, depending on who you ask), the Black P Stones became one of the most feared and infamous gangs in Los Angeles if not the entire United States. This dubious distinction would earn T. a position on the Ten Most Wanted Gang Leaders list by law enforcement in South Central Los Angeles.
T.'s gang activities and overall reckless lifestyle would cause him to be shot four times, stabbed twice and as T puts it, "have more fights than Mike Tyson and not get paid for none of 'em". T. was arrested dozens of times during the course of his "career" but managed to avoid lengthy prison sentences. T. graduated from reform school and later, due to the birth of T.'s first child, T. began to look hard at how such self-destructive and high-risk behavior only had two endings; a life of incarceration or ultimately, death. The result of this "moral evolution" would become T.'s life work and passion as he founded Sidewalk University in 1975 to work at stopping the violence and ease the tension in the streets that he helped to create.
Through his work first as a notorious gang leader and then as a respected community leader, T. was approached to work in the film industry getting his first breakthrough role as Dr. Feelgood in 1987 with Dennis Hopper's now classic, the seminal gang movie, Colors. Since then, T. has appeared in many films and television programs as well as provided technical advising to the 2001 hit Training Day starring Denzel Washington and most recently B.E.T.'s reality show Baldwin Hills.
T. Rodgers had the distinction of being one of the first ex-gang leaders break into main street America via his numerous appearances in major films, television and print.
T. Rodgers has gone, and continues to go where no other gang member has gone before.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: T. Rodgers and B-12