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    This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Louisville Magazine. 
    To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, please click here.

    Seven teenagers create a tech company called Building Websites. A man opens a “low-cost” performing-arts school for kids in west Louisville. A personal trainer named Larr Bino “brings affordable fitness to Louisville’s urban community.”

    These are a few of the headlines from Urbanmaxx.com, created by Brad Harrison last spring after graduating from U of L in communications. “I just noticed when I was writing papers for class that most of the articles in Louisville — or I guess nationwide — involving the African-American community were mostly articles that were about violence,” he says. “And I know that’s a problem in our community right now, but I also wanted to start writing some articles highlighting the positive aspects of the community.”

    The 42-year-old knows the poverty-drug-violence story all too well. After spending two years in prison as a teenager for selling drugs, he came to Louisville from Indianapolis to get a fresh start. “I feel like I’d partly helped in corrupting or at least damaging my community,” he says. “Just changing your life isn’t enough. If you are a person that participated in the destruction of the community, you have an obligation to help rebuild it.” His mother was always preaching to him that he could do better. Now she edits his articles.

    Harrison, who lives in Fern Creek, currently works selling pharmaceuticals to nursing homes and hospitals 70 hours a week, and he tries to squeeze in an interview here and there, though he’s planning to transition to writing full time. On Oct. 15, he’ll release the first print edition of Urbanmaxx, which will circulate weekly in places like barbershops, beauty and nail salons, and tattoo parlors. In addition to entrepreneurs, Harrison will start to feature star students too. “I’m big on education,” he says. “If you’re not educated, that’s probably a life sentence to poverty.”

    While growing up, Harrison says, he never saw anyone who looked like him covering the news, so he didn’t pay attention. “I would like to definitely see more African-Americans involved in the media,” he says. “Because no one can tell the story like you.”

    Article by Mary Chellis Austin
    Photography by Chris Witzke 

    This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Louisville Magazine. 
    To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, please click here.

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