Fred Davis of Memphis, Tennessee is a successful businessman and civil rights activist who marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He’s made national headlines lately for the above billboard you see that he paid $6,000 for. It shows a young African-American getting a degree on one side while showing another African-American male on the other side wearing saggy pants.
It reads: “Show Your Mind. Not Your Behind.”
When FOX13 caught up with Mr. Davis he was more than willing to explain his motivations and to speak his mind about his billboard that has everyone talking.
Mr. Davis explained, “So that young people could see the difference. That it’s all about your mind and not your behind. I decided to make the investment to purchase that billboard space and I assure you it is not inexpensive.” He added:
“It is the nature of young people to follow the crowd, and I maintain even when I was in high school and in college, that the crowd is usually wrong. Young people, especially young African-American men need role models, need role models near where they are. Many of my friends when they achieve economic success, move into neighborhoods where they aren’t needed. I made a deliberate decision to stay in Orange Mound (a neighborhood in southeastern Memphis).”
Mr. Davis wanted to make it clear that he was not advertising his own agency:
“I was not advertising my agency. I want everybody to understand that. I only put my name up there so if somebody got mad and wanted to blame somebody, wanted to agitate somebody, I’m the one. I said it. I did it.”
Something tells me you probably don’t want to cross Mr. Davis, and that last quote makes for another good billboard so here you go, sir!