Memphian uses children's book to inspire kids

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A recent Forbes Magazine article ranks Memphis as America's 4th most dangerous city.

Those statistics didn't sit well with author Charlie Crenshaw.

He grew up in the Orange Mound community and asked himself this question.

"What can I do to add value to the city, to the future generations of Memphis where we could get off that list to do better as a city," he said.

Crenshaw graduated from Melrose High school as valedictorian. After traveling the world while in the military, he decided to use his background in graphic design to write a children's book.

"I went for Black animation. I'm a huge fan of all kinds of sci-fi and comics and things like that," Crenshaw said. "In the story, Charlie the Time Traveler visits present day Memphis and he meets a young man named Terrion who is pretty much hopeless about the city with a lot of the negativity and crime and things of that nature."

The young character first takes a trip back in time to learn about the rich history and culture of Memphis.

He meets trailblazers like Maxine Smith and others.

"Robert Church, who's the first millionaire, then we got people like B.B. King and Al Green," Crenshaw said.

Traveling to present day Memphis and into the future, Crenshaw said he wanted the character to inspire youth to dream bigger.

"You are not the situation that you're in. Everybody has the ability to create positive change but it starts in your mind," he said.

Crenshaw plans to use proceeds from his book to host graphics and writing workshops for children.

He said he believes the next generation will be the change Memphis needs most.

"I think that you can stay here and thrive. It's all about your mindset, the willingness that you put in as far as hard work and then having faith in God," Crenshaw said.

You can check out the book at charliethetimetraveler.com.

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