Learn how the owner of one small-town tattoo shop made a big difference.
In January, 20-year-old Joshua Jefferson held up Red Handed Tattoo at gunpoint, took $300, and escaped through a window. When his trial began, Micah Harold, the shops owner, was quick to testifyin Jeffersons defense.
I want leniency, Harold, who had also attended Jeffersons arraignment, said at the time. Id give him a job if he wanted.
Thats the kind of humanity youll find in Harold, and in Shreveport, the city thats home to Red Handed Tattoo. Call it compassion thats relentless beyond reason. Another example: Harold closed his shop in March, more than a week before Louisiana mandated the closure of nonessential businesses. Why short himself the revenue? Because he was worried that Shreveport wasnt ready for a spike in COVID-19 cases and he thought he could help.
He started by giving away rubber gloves and rubbing alcohol to anyone who needed them. Within days, he had transformed Red Handed into a kind of general store. Shelves that once held needles and ink were now stocked with groceries and toilet paper. My tattoo shop looked like a Circle K, Harold jokes, referring to the chain of convenience stores.
More remarkable: Every item was on sale for the remarkable price of free ninety-nine. Harold, 45, wouldnt accept a dime. You see the world differently in desperate times. You start asking, Is this person loving or hateful? Draining or inspiring? Thats how Ive been able to break down the world in light of the pandemic. Everything else falls to the side, he says.
Once the pandemic struck, folks still dropped in, only now they brought donations of masks, hand sanitizer, and anything they could spare from grocery runs. Restaurants called to offer food theyd no longer be able to serve. A manager at the Family Dollar agreed to set aside a portion of the most in-demand products as soon as they came off the truck.
Nearly $10,000 of cash and supplies flowed to Harolds shopand from there to where they were needed most. A network of 20 volunteers organized to provide contactless deliveries to residents who had trouble getting around. Soon, even health-care workers at the nearby Willis-Knighton Hospital knew where to get personal protective equipment (PPE) or a thermometer when supplies dwindled.
This pandemic has exposed decades of old economic and health disparities, says Shreveport mayor Adrian Perkins. Shreveport is full of hardworking people who go above and beyond for their neighbors. Micah exemplifies that selfless spirit.
You might say that Harold was born into helping. His mother, Deborah Allen, is a longtime equal rights activist. As a social worker, she was deeply involved with the AIDS pandemic in the 80s, while Harold was growing up. Almost 40 years later, when Shreveport badly needed masks to help combat COVID-19, Harolds first call was to his mom. Shes also a former fashion designerand, he says, the best seamstress in town.
Shreveport is a sprawling city of 190,000 nestled in the northwest corner of Louisiana. No stranger to the regular storms that batter the Gulf, residents often sense when one is coming and prepare quietlyand not only for those bringing bad weather. Like so many working-class cities, Shreveport has had its share of struggles. One of the most recent came on April 6, when a 44-year-old Black man named Tommie McGlothen Jr. died in Shreveport police custody after being detained on suspicion of breaking into a car. The anger started at a slow boil.
Every Saturday was like a barometer, says Will James, 42, a community activist and performance artist. You knew a storm was coming, and you could smell the rain in the air.
After the May 25 death of George Floyd, the commitment to protesting racism and McGlothens death only grew. On June 1, Omari Ho-Sang, 30, a civil rights activist, launched a movement called 45 Days of Action. The idea was to hold an eventtalks, marches, voter registration drivesevery day for 45days, each with the goal of improving life in the city and beyond.
On June 4, hundreds of people joined a Justice for Tommie march downtown. We provided PPE and masks, making sure that people stayed socially distant, so we could get our message out without increasing COVID-19 numbers, says Ho-Sang.
The march was peaceful, but things heated up later that month, outside the Caddo Parish Courthouse. Thats the home of a 30-foot monument built in 1905 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to honor the men who gallantly, nobly, and conscientiously defended the cause. It features busts of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and other Confederate soldiers.
James, a Shreveport native who remembers the bad old days when robed Ku Klux Klan members freely marched through the streets, has long seen the problem posed by the Confederate tribute, and he has spent the past three years fighting to remove it.
I can appreciate this as a piece of art, but theres a right place for everything, James told the Shreveport Times. This monument shouldnt be in front of a place where the 14th Amendment says that we will have equal justice for all.
In the early days, James protested alone, delivering theatrical monologues highlighting the pain that discrimination can bring. But as monument protests gained currency across the country, so did those in Shreveport. Hundreds of people began regularly showing up to watch James and support his message.
On June 27, with little warning or provocation, 140 counter-protestors massed across the street from Jamess usual spot, brandishing guns and shouting hateful words. James stayed on the mic for hours that day, telling the gathered to keep the faith until his voice gave out. Others then took turns speaking, and the crowd became so engrossed in one anothers shared hopes and fears that they just tuned out the shouts from the opposition. Finally the counter-protestors leftand never came back.
It turned into a moment that brought unity when there was anger an hour before. It shows how deep at heart we all really want peace, says James. A few weeks later, on July 20, the United Daughters of the Confederacy agreed to remove the monument to an as yet undecided location.
How has Shreveport been able to effect real change with minimal arrests, violence, and property damage?
Credit goes to the citizens, says police chief Ben Raymond. They didnt want to destroy their city. They just wanted to be heard.
Not surprisingly, Micah Harold lent a helping hand to the protesters too. Stacie Archibald, a nurse friend who staffed the medical tent at the first Black Lives Matter march following George Floyds death, says that rags dunked in ice water, all donated by Red Handed Tattoo, were essential in keeping marchers cool.
In the days since the protests, Harold has kept his marketplace of caring up and running, though he has also gone back to his first love: inking designs on people who want to express themselves in their own way. The tattoo shop and the extended family he has found there, both in his staff and customers, have provided Harold with some of the most important connections in his life. One of the most surprising was with the family of Joshua Jefferson, the young man who robbed his store. Throughout the summer, Harold called the Jeffersons every week. Sometimes he even dropped by with groceries.
And then, on August 3, the district court judge, in an unexpected display of leniency, sentenced Joshua to three years of probationno jail time. As soon as he heard, Harold called Joshuas father, Melvin Jefferson. I honestly believe Joshua wont squander this opportunity, says Harold. He made a huge mistake, and hes learned from it.
Harold, who survived a nearly fatal widow-maker heart attack last year, is a big believer in second chances. That job he offered Joshua? Its his when he wants it. Fear keeps people from making the right movesthey worry about looking like a fool, he says. I dont worry anymore. We all need to make the world a nicer place.
In neighborhoods across America, people united to overcome the virus and to fight racial injustice. We received nearly 1,200 stories this year from all 50 states. Red Handed Tattoo in Shreveport was just one of them. You can read 49 more here. Wed like to thank our partner Nextdoor for helping us get the word out and for helping unite American communities.
Incredible Generosity Makes Red Handed Tattoo in Shreveport the Nicest Place in Louisiana - Reader's Digest
- Influences and Essentials: DAN LORENZO In His Own Words - OUTBURN ONLINE - Outburn - July 26th, 2021
- Fentanyl Is Wreaking Havoc in Tijuana. Is the Rest of Mexico Next? - VICE - July 26th, 2021
- Home page - American Body Art - Tattoo Supplies Online ... - July 10th, 2021
- Rat City Tat2: "On to the Next Shop" - Westside Seattle - July 10th, 2021
- A Veteran's Journey From Army to Storming the Capitol | Time - TIME - TIME - July 10th, 2021
- The MacIver Weekly Disease Brief: COVID-19 In Wisconsin - MacIverInstitute - July 10th, 2021
- Tattoo Needle Market 2021: Global Trends, Business Overview, Challenges, Opportunities Analysis and Forecast to 2027 The Manomet Current - The... - June 30th, 2021
- Camp LighterHow New, Compact Gear Makes It Easier Than Ever to Get Outdoors - The Wall Street Journal - June 30th, 2021
- Tattoo Needle Market 2021 Global Industry Size, Demand, Growth Analysis, Share, Revenue and Forecast 2026 The Manomet Current - The Manomet Current - June 30th, 2021
- I'm Sorry To Say That Bonkers Tweet About The Big Rig Driver Who Looks Like Amy Schumer Is A Joke - Jalopnik - June 13th, 2021
- Would the Real Toeflop Please Stand Up? - Texas Monthly - June 1st, 2021
- List of businesses that can operate in containment zones released - Fijivillage - May 20th, 2021
- 5 Best Tattoo Artists in Houston - Kev's Best - February 20th, 2021
- Vintage Tattoo owner strives to keep artistry and inclusivity alive - The Reflector online - February 20th, 2021
- Blood drive on March 15th in Hicksville - The Syosset Advance - February 20th, 2021
- Tattoo Ink Market Forecast in Addition to Top key players like: Intenze Tattoo Ink, Electric Ink, Tommy's Supplies, Kuro Sumi, Millennium Colors, and... - February 20th, 2021
- Market Assessment of Tattoo Ink Industry including Top Players like Intenze Tattoo Ink, Electric Ink, Tommy's Supplies, Kuro Sumi, Millennium Colors,... - February 17th, 2021
- How River Raids work in Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Gamepur - February 17th, 2021
- Residents Encouraged To Donate Blood At Drive In Hicksville - Patch.com - February 15th, 2021
- Keep it Flowing: Combating COVID-19 Blood Shortages in Cancer Treatment - Curetoday.com - February 13th, 2021
- Optimistic Growth of Colored Tattoo Inks Market 2021 to High Demand NeighborWebSJ - NeighborWebSJ - February 13th, 2021
- Halsey Doesn't Want To Go 'Overboard' On Pregnancy Cravings - OK! - February 10th, 2021
- Spray Covers Market Consumption Analysis, Business Overview and Upcoming Trends|Halcyon Solutions, WorldWide Tattoo Supply, Tommys Supplies, , , etc -... - February 8th, 2021
- Report Explained: How COVID-19 Has affected The Tattoo Market? | Survey on Future Scope by 2026 KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - KSU | The Sentinel... - February 8th, 2021
- Last Week in The Sentinel | Local News | sentinelsource.com - The Keene Sentinel - February 6th, 2021
- Global Tattoo Market 2020 Industry Insights, Drivers, Top Trends, Global Analysis And Forecast to 2027 NeighborWebSJ - NeighborWebSJ - January 31st, 2021
- Then and Now: A look at Gardner's 'Main' menu - The Gardner News - January 31st, 2021
- All About Alev Aydin, Halsey's Boyfriend and Father of Her Child - ELLE.com - January 31st, 2021
- Still Red: Luna County lagging in response to COVID-19 "Red to Green" platform - The Deming Headlight - January 31st, 2021
- Global Tattoo Needles Market by Manufacturers, Types, Regions and Application Research Report Forecast to 2026 The Courier - The Courier - January 27th, 2021
- New Mexico Department Of Health County Map Update: Los Alamos Reaches Yellow Level; Almost Every County Improving In Health Metrics And Suppressing... - January 27th, 2021
- Remington Tattoo Parlor and Gallery Claims To Be The Best Option For Those Searching Online For "Female Tattoo Artists Near Me" In San Diego... - January 20th, 2021
- Global Tattoo Aftercare Products Market Expected to Reach Highest CAGR By 2027: Tattoo Goo, Hustle Butter, Ora's Amazing Herbal etc. - KSU | The... - January 20th, 2021
- Tattoo Market 2020 | In-Depth Study On The Current State Of The Industry And Key Insights Of The Business Scenario By 2027 - FLA News - January 15th, 2021
- The Middle East and Africa dermatology treatment devices market is expected to reach US$ 317.68 million in 2027 from US$ 217.01 million in 2019 -... - January 15th, 2021
- McDonald's J Balvin merch line has been canceled due to production challenges, following the wild success of the chain's Travis Scott collab - Markets... - January 12th, 2021
- Tattoo Ink Market Business Opportunities, Survey, Growth Analysis And Industry Outlook | Intenze Tattoo Ink, Electric Ink, Tommys Supplies, Kuro Sumi... - January 3rd, 2021
- World: Positive news in the difficult year of the pandemic - PRESSENZA International News Agency - January 3rd, 2021
- 32 Counties Operating At Red Level On Department Of Health County Map Including Los Alamos County - Los Alamos Reporter - January 3rd, 2021
- Tattoo Ink Market (Europe and US) | What Recent Study Say About Top Companies - NeighborWebSJ - December 27th, 2020
- Market Size, Share and Manufacture covered Globally of Tattoo Market from 2020-2026 - The Monitor - December 27th, 2020
- Global Rotary Tattoo Machines Market 2020 Top Growing Companies Analysis and Segmentation Outlook till 2026 - The Monitor - December 19th, 2020
- Art supply drive for kids to be held Friday - KSNF/KODE - FourStatesHomepage.com - December 18th, 2020
- She was in Iraq when her son was killed. Four years later, the police have no leads. - Houston Chronicle - December 18th, 2020
- The Work Diary of Mira Mariah, Tattoo and Girl Culture Expert - The New York Times - December 10th, 2020
- Colored Tattoo Inks Market Growth Analysis by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application,Forecast (2020-2025) - The Courier - December 7th, 2020
- The girl with her own tattoos: the joy of homemade ink - The Guardian - December 7th, 2020
- Yakuza Like A Dragon: Every Playable Character You Can Have in Your Party - TheGamer - November 30th, 2020
- TATSoul - Tattoo Supplies & Furniture - November 25th, 2020
- Global Tattoo Market 2020 Trend, Segmentation and Opportunities Forecast To 2025 - re:Jerusalem - November 20th, 2020
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla: 6 things you don't want to miss - CNET - November 20th, 2020
- Ailed Duarte on the unique pressures and pleasures of tattooing in Cuba - Roads and Kingdoms - November 18th, 2020
- Addiction Matters: How a heroin user-turned-hero saved so many others, but not himself - WWLTV.com - November 18th, 2020
- Family Fun: Rocking joy into the world with vibrantly painted rocks - The Spokesman-Review - November 16th, 2020
- Despite pandemic, Bobby Natalini Jr. Blood Drive will continue to build supplies for Red Cross - The Times Herald - November 16th, 2020
- How Art Therapy Helped One Cancer Survivor Manage COVID-19 Lockdown - Curetoday.com - November 10th, 2020
- Global Tattoo Needle and Disposable Tattoo Cartridges Market 2020 with COVID-19 After Effects Growth Drivers, Top Key Players, Industry Segments and... - November 10th, 2020
- Governor adds new restrictions on gatherings - Government - vintontoday.com - November 10th, 2020
- Global Tattoo Needle Market 2026: Report Recent Trends and Growth Opportunities by Major Players Cloud Dragon (CN), Wujiang Shenli (CN), Magic Moon... - November 4th, 2020
- WHAT'S BEING PLANNED: McDonald's latest, tattoo parlour on the move and more - Swindon Advertiser - November 1st, 2020
- Global Spray Covers Industry Statistics & Forecast to 2026 | Halcyon Solutions, WorldWide Tattoo Supply - re:Jerusalem - October 28th, 2020
- Comprehensive Report on Tattoo Machine Market 2020 | Size, Growth, Demand, Opportunities & Forecast To 2026 | Mithra, Worldwide Tattoo Supply,... - October 24th, 2020
- Global Tattoo Needle Market by technology, solutions, application, price, demand analysis and growth opportunities to 2026 - TechnoWeekly - October 24th, 2020
- Impact Of Covid-19 on Tattoo Needle and Disposable Tattoo Cartridges Market 2020 Industry Challenges, Business Overview and Forecast Research Study... - October 21st, 2020
- Tattoo Supplies Market Size, Production, Consumption, Export and Import, Growth Rate and Price Analysis by Types and Applications, Forecast to 2025 -... - October 14th, 2020
- Kern County could move to next tier, how industries are preparing - KERO 23ABC News - October 14th, 2020
- Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum Partners With Kingpin Tattoo Supplies For #SupportYourArtist - BevNET.com - October 10th, 2020
- Covid-19 has resurrected the woeful tech of home printers - Wired.co.uk - October 10th, 2020
- Comprehensive Analysis on Decal Paper Market based on types and application - GroundAlerts.com - October 7th, 2020
- Cuban Tattoo Art and the Challenges Ahead - Havana Times - October 4th, 2020
- Tattoo Supplies Market 2020 |Global Industry Analysis By Trends, Size, Share, Company Overview, Growth And Forecast By 2026| Latest Research Report By... - September 30th, 2020
- Women tattoo artists make mark on industry in Boulder County - Longmont Times-Call - September 30th, 2020
- Global Tattoo Needle Market: 2020 Global Industry Size Share, Regional Analysis, End Users, Growth Insights, Top Key Players and Forecast To 2026 -... - September 30th, 2020
- COVID-19 Impact on Tattoo Ink Market Analysis by Recent Trends and Growth by Region 2020| Intenze Tattoo Ink, Alla Prima, Kuro Sumi - The Daily... - September 29th, 2020
- Latest Research Report on Tattoo Ink Market To Exhibit Impressive Growth By 2027 - The Daily Chronicle - September 23rd, 2020
- Tattoo Ink Market research gain impetus due to the growing demand over (2020 2027) - The Daily Chronicle - September 22nd, 2020
- Tattoo Ink Market Size, Type Analysis, Application Analysis, End-Use, Industry COVID-19 Impact on Analysis, Regions, Trends, Competitive Strategies... - September 22nd, 2020
- UL's Devon Pauley helping Cajuns make historic strides, while thoughts always with Lake Charles - The Advocate - September 22nd, 2020
- In Place of Police: The Oregon Experiment | by Krithika Varagur - The New York Review of Books - September 18th, 2020
- Restaurants, retail stores and office buildings will now be able to operate at 75 percent capacity - The Light and Champion - September 18th, 2020