The Road to Broadway By Misty McMillan
He was driving down a Pennsylvania highway one day when he heard the siren that would change his life forever. As he pulled over, he realized he was surrounded by cops. He was quickly arrested and landed in jail for 24 days. Extradited to three different states, witness to gangs, murders and stabbings, this husband and father of two thought he was being set up. In some ways he was — by an identity thief and by God. “When the Lord has a purpose for you He has to put you through the fire, so you can come out shiny gold,” said Brian Mayers, surplus inventory coordinator and alumnus of Fayetteville State University. “I was thrown into a cell of 60 men. Murderers, rapists, everybody. I saw a guy get stabbed in the eye with a pencil all because he was in the wrong gang,” Mayers said. “I just couldn’t believe it. I was shell shocked.” Growing up in New Jersey and traveling to New York, Mayers wasn’t unfamiliar with crime and troubled people. They were all around — even at home. His father drank for 45 years and ruled the home with an iron hand. According to Mayers, he was a good provider, but not a good communicator. “He never told me he loved me,” Mayers said. His mother brought balance to the household. She was his moral compass. At a young age she told him to “love people, respect them, and be kind.” “My mom always told me not to fight but because of bullying I got into martial arts,” Mayers said. “And that became my love for a long time.” As a black belt, Mayers made a career of martial arts. He was ranked number two in New Jersey as a kickboxer and a five-time city champion. He traveled for tournaments under contract with Madison Square Garden and fought competitors like Taimak from The Last Dragon.
Fayetteville State University Winter/Spring edition of the FS&U Magazine