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Looking Through the Lens of Nadia Strid


Titus Blade Steel
Aid to Depandent Children
Orange Mound School
Orange Mound and Physical Education
Passing Time
Going Visiting

Nadia Price with Titus Steel, late 1960s

I am Titus Blade Steel. . .

"I am a citizen of Memphis, Tenn., and since birth January 26, 1947. I am one of nine children, each of a different 'John Hancock', except two, the babies, which are twins.

I am from a poor honest hard-working family who has no basic needs, as they say for the arts and finer things in life. I'm the so-called nut and I'm heavily burdened by my family because I'm so different from anyone in our household.

I am an illegitimate child and I have only seen my father about eight times in my whole life. As a matter of fact, my entire boat of brother and sisters are our of wedlock. Such a shame. Oh, well. Anyway, I had a very deep devotion for my Granddad on my Mom’s side, for he was a gentle, soft-spoken polished person of wise character with only a 4th grade education, but he knew so much, he would talk to me about things he did not much know of, such as my art. He would say always try to be the best in life at whatever you do. And I owe my whole being of me as a person so I can love and respond to the emotions and desires to others, to my Grandmother, also on my mothers side of the family.

My Grandmother was one of the greatest women I have ever known and she had she not been so sweet and gentle and a loving woman, she would have had all, but she gave all and never received. She gave all until October 3, 1964.

She was a singer, and I have yet to hear a voice as compelling as hers. She started out with Memphis Slim in blues, then she switched over to gospel. She molded me into the type of person I am today.

Out of all the people I know, My grand-mother was the only one, Black or White, who saw nothing wrong with my going to Tech High School to integrate it to take Commercial Art, which no other school had in September 64-65. I went from there still very active in drawing and painting to the Memphis Art Academy, part time. I ‘ve had commissions with several major hospitals in Memphis and many paintings circulated all around the vicinity. I feel I am not smart or wise, but practical and adaptable for change. And I know I haven't tasted very much of life. Yet, I love people...not black, white, yellow or red, but all.

I'm a very pro-art and cultural person and I once started violin lessons which I soon discovered..."I'm no musician". I like music of all sorts. Blues to Jazz, but I simply love and adore the classical. Would you believe I signed up for Dance at the Memphis Civic Ballet. I love books. I collect them, records, poetry, concert posters, coins, you name it, I collect it. I even collect junk, and I like to decorate. I'm working now on my free-lancing. All I can say about myself is I'm versatile, and I love life, plus I'm a very happy person---because I'm me."

Titus Blade Steele
October 3, 1968