If there’s anyone who deserves their flowers for their contributions to society, it’s Steven Anderson. Born and raised in Houston, TX, specifically in the Fifth Ward, Steven was known for many things. He was an activist, poet, rapper, brother, and friend to so many people. His presence made you gravitate towards him. He demanded your attention without having to say a word. He used his voice, actions, and platform to empower and protect the Black community by any means necessary. The Fifth Ward prophet was a humanitarian like no other. However, more than a year ago, Steven had passed away due to cancer. It was a devastating loss to everyone who knew and loved him. Although he is not here with us, his legacy continues to grow in more ways than one. In this three-part story, you will read about Steven’s life and legacy through his friends and loved ones. These people have been impacted by Steven and they want to let everyone know what a kind, caring, loving, and honorable man he was. He may be gone, but he is forever in our hearts. This is for you Steven. We hope this made you proud.
Steven had such a strong presence. He was in a class below me. Class of 2020 was a very strong, solid, and inspirational class as a collective, but he just shined bright. He was very outspoken, an activist, and strong in everything he said and believed in. He was that person, and it was such a great thing to see because we all knew his potential. However, things happened to make him slow down a little bit. Nonetheless, he was an inspirational person. He had a genuineness about him. I wasn’t super close to him, but every interaction we had was powerful and it stuck. He can give you a wave and a smile and you feel him. His legacy will always inspire people to always stand in what they believe in and stay ten toes. If you see something that isn’t right, don’t just speak up about it. Do what you can if you have the means. Be about it.
I met Steven when he was a freshman and it was my junior year at Texas A&M. Someone asked me to be a mentor to him because of the mindset he was in. He was always a little brother to me. We always talked very clearly and candidly. We never argued. His focus was always on other things and other people. His motive was to always put the Black community first. He was going to be an aspiring rapper. His rap name was Ahjani Shakur and he got that from Afeni and Tupac Shakur and just being a revolutionary. He was free of those toxic self qualities that a lot of people might have where people are self-indulgent or have ulterior motives. He was a people person. Steven and I loved Pokemon and anime so we would talk about that all the time. He liked spreading joy and doing joyous things. When you see a person like that I think it just rubs off on people. Everything felt genuine with him. Steven is a Houston legend for real. He’s from Fifth Ward so people from there and people who grew up with him know him. He touched a lot of people and he will always be recognized as someone who made a change. We’re always going to remember him, the principles he had, and the type of person he is.
Steven Anderson was a classmate, but more importantly, he was one of my first friends in college at Texas A&M. It was a big deal to me because I moved to Texas in high school I didn’t know anyone. I went to Texas A&M and was nervous because I hadn’t been friends with Black people in a minute due to my being in a white high school. Then, there was this guy who kind of reminded me of my older brother. He was the most accepting and he was one of the first ones to call me a friend. He’s a comedian, poet, revolutionary, but a friend always. Whenever he had an opinion, you would know about it. He’ll say the first thing on his mind and you couldn’t stop him whether he was right or wrong. Some people have all the words, ideas, and they’re not afraid to act upon them. They don’t care about the consequences and that’s what sets Steven apart. As an activist in the community, he didn’t care what happened to him. He didn’t care about the dangers of protesting. He is someone who worked for the community and put everybody first.
My favorite memory of Steven was freshman year. It was the first time we all hung out and we were at a friend’s house watching Baby Boy. I don’t know why, but we were just cracking jokes about the movie. That’s how we became friends, so anytime I see a clip or Tyrese on Twitter, I think of him. My last conversation with Steven was about taking care of each other. Now that I think about it, that’s a pretty sad last conversation because I thought he would be here. I thought that we would all be taking care of each other together.
Steven Anderson was somebody I did not think would be one of my best friends in college. Our views were so different at the time. He doesn’t even know how much he influenced some of my political views to this day when it comes to socialism and capitalism. At the time, I was riding on the hills of what I learned in high school about how capitalism is golden and communism and socialism are these horrible things. That’s typically how it was presented to us in American government. They’re never real about it, but Steven was always keeping it real. I wouldn’t say I disagreed with it, but I was just against socialism as a whole. However, I did my research and Steven had major points. Although I was challenging what he was saying, I’m glad that I took the time to listen. He was just someone I met through the Black community and he was something to behold.
He was genuine throughout everything and his friendship meant the world to me. I’ve never lost someone close to me before so it was different to feel that way. My brothers have gone through losses with friends, but I haven’t until Steven passed. I don’t think I can say much else because he was bigger than what words could put out. I remember the last year of his life that I told Steven that I would bring him some food during Thanksgiving. So I brought him a plate and we spoke for a couple of hours. He texted me later that night and said, “Erica, your mama did a madness with this food.” I was happy he was able to get a good meal on Thanksgiving for one and that my mama and I could do that for him. I considered him my brother. He always treated me like a little sister even though I’m older than him. You meet dope people like that once in a lifetime. I’ve never heard a bad memory about Steven. That’s rare sometimes to meet someone you haven’t had an issue with. Even the people who didn’t click with Steven don’t have bad things to say about him. He always dropped gems when talking about music or Black empowerment. That was a beautiful thing to hear especially for me who was trying to build friendships around Black people because I was around white people for the longest due to the schools I went to. He didn’t hold anything back and I appreciate that.
My last conversation with Steven was heartbreaking. We shared locations so I always knew when he was in the hospital. The last full conversation I had with him was through text. I told him I was coming back to College Station to pick him up so we could go out to eat. I kept putting it off and I regret it to this day. He told me that he was in the hospital. They weren’t giving him treatment because he couldn’t get up and move and he was in pain. They weren’t giving him the morphine to help with the pain because he couldn’t move on his own. It didn’t make sense to me because the treatment was supposed to help with the pain. I wish could’ve helped him, but I didn’t know what to tell him to do. It just seemed counterproductive to not give him the treatment he needs. I told him to call me if he needed someone to talk to. This is carrying off from our last conversation, but he would stop replying to people. I would check on him through text and just tell him that I loved him. Although he would stop replying, I would check his location and he was still in the hospital. I just thought that he wasn’t in the mood, but then we found out the news on April 3rd. I was talking to my friend Emonie about how he stopped replying to everyone. It just got to the point where he didn’t want to speak anymore because he knew. Steven’s legacy will be having faith even when things aren’t turning out the way you want them to. That man’s faith was out of this world and I wished I even had a portion of that. I can be so lost some days, but Steven stood strong in his faith, inspired everyone on campus, and touched lives individually throughout all of it. He provided great advice and laughs. This man would joke about his predicament. You can’t feel sad for him because he doesn’t feel sad for himself. He had faith even when they realized that this fight might not be won earthly but heavenly. I don’t believe he lost to cancer. I believe he won in the end because he had a tremendous amount of faith that he would be carried in any situation.
Steven was a man of purpose and a creator. He was a rapper, poet, drawer, etc. He was a beast at video games and could play chess. He was a versatile human being who was able to express himself in ways not too many people can. The only thing he couldn’t do was dance. I looked at him as a brother. We grew closer freshman year of college and that’s how he ended up being my roommate. We went from roasting each other, seeing each other on campus or at organization events, and our friendship continued to develop over time. I remember I used to take him back to Houston sometimes and I used to get sleepy while driving. I told him if he sees me dozing off, then wake me up. Steven proceeds to make a big deal out of it which is rare because he never goes into panic mode. It was pretty funny to me. I also remember one time we ended up freestyling in the summer on one random night. We were going back and forth and that’s a moment I feel like all brothers want to do.
You could see Steven’s passion in his eyes, the way he moves, and his spirit. He knew he wanted to do something in this world regardless of the circumstances he was put in. He was so involved in the movement and was never afraid to go out there and put in the work as well. He was able to find the light in what others would perceive as a very negative situation. His legacy is going to live on long after we’re here. He’s not going to be easily forgotten. He impacted so many people to the point that he motivates me to go out, achieve my goals, and move with the same passion he had for his own dreams. His impact has spread across everybody from his fraternity, family, friends, myself, and my roommates.