Photo Credit: Akaki Graff
We met with Clint Walker, model, computer tech, and youth mentor, and talked over tea about natural hair, fashion, and empowerment. With a perfect twist out, tall and powerfully imposing figure, and a solid sense of edgy style, the gent is delightfully conspicuous, charming, and inspiring. Check out our interview with Clint below.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m originally from Antigua, from the Caribbean. I left there, I got a scholarship to come here and play sports, go to school. Got an academic scholarship, so that’s how I ended up here. I’m just a free-spirited person. I get up every morning and I try to live life as easy as possible because there’s so much happening in the world today. We shouldn’t be stressing about life. I just go about life free-spirited. It’s the one life you have to live. Enjoy it. Find people who are going to make you happy within yourself and that’s it.
Tell us about your natural hair journey. A lot of men are not brave enough to wear their hair that long. Tell us about that.
I’ve always had my hair long. I actually had twists to my shoulders at one point my senior year in college, but then last year I decided I needed a change. One of my kids – I have a mentoring program – one of my kids had this hairstyle, so i just ended up going to the barber shop and got it cut. I don’t have a regular barber. I go to, probably, three different barbers in Harlem. I wash my hair every other day because of the dust and everything that’s in the air. I twist it myself. I use shea butter. I just twist it and then I let it out. I love it. Everybody loves it, too. I’m holding onto it for a little bit. I love when somebody has natural hair. I love when it’s done natural. I love natural hair.
Tell us about your personal sense of style. The way you dress, the way you style yourself.
I try to have my own personality. I want what to look good you know what I mean? The way I carry my hair, my clothes, stuff that I choose, I just put together whatI think would look good on me and would look appealing to other people, too. I dress to my own personality.
We noticed you have several careers. Tell us about that.
I’m a tech worker for a computer firm. That’s one of my majors at school. Personal trainer is a job I have, but it’s also a hobby because I use it as a mentoring program. I have a program for young kids, high school and first year college kids. I use it as a stepping stone where they can come in to the gym and work out. Within that I make sure they’re on the right path: school, work, and stuff like that. ? It’s something I call mentoring through sickness.
Tell us a little bit about the mentoring program.
Basically, growing up, I lost my mom at a young age. At nine. I never had a father, even though he was around. He never came around. I never met him. I had a tough childhood, as a youngster. I was placed in a home for a little bit. Going to school, being in a fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, the way things were, where we interacted with the community and did stuff in the community. I kept that with me after school. Uptown, I have kids that are mostly young athletes, but when they come home they don’t have access to a gym to continue their process; progress through to the next season. I try to create an environment, a safe haven, and I use the gym as that.
Some find me in my community. If I have two, when I post a picture, their friends will come and find me. That’s how it’s built. Right now I have thirty-five kids that I mentor, especially during the summer when they all come home. We work out. I make sure they get home. Their parents come and pick them up; because, some come from even as far as Jersey to work out and just hang out. Stuff like that.
We range from fifteen to twenty year olds in college. They’re not on that level yet where they’re working, they can’t afford a gym and or anything like that. I kind of know where they’re at because I was there. I just help them out the best I can.
What do you like to do in your spare time for fun?
I love to party to a certain extent. I love to cook. I love to travel. I love interaction with different people because it makes me a better person, individually. I find that very entertaining. I love to see different places, different cultures. I just keep an open mind, I think. I love Harlem. I love Brooklyn for its culture. I haven’t explored the Bronx as much, just Brooklyn and Harlem. I’ve shared in their culture and everything.