The bullying began when Wilson was still very young. Neighborhood children taunted him, mocking his darker skin color. Adults treated him as if he simply didn’t exist. The shy little boy retreated further into himself, afraid to say or do anything that might bring him unwanted attention.
Wilson’s feelings of isolation worsened when his father abandoned the family. His mother, Melba, would rise at 4 a.m. every day and work long hours just to feed them, still only managing to make about $125 a month to feed the family of eight.