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Emanuel Tillman: Proud new dad
Emanuel Tillman, 40, is the proud father of Monique Allaih. Born on March 8, 2012, Monique is a healthy, beautiful baby girl.
Tillman has been a vendor for StreetWise since last October. His sister and brother-in-law both worked for the magazine and introduced him to the organization. Tillman will use the money he makes at StreetWise to help get his new daughter a fresh start in life.
Holding a picture of Monique, Tillman is obviously proud. “She’s pretty,” he said. “They took this at the hospital. This is my first child. She made me stop doing the things I’ve been doing. This has changed me.”
Luwanda is Tillman’s girlfriend and mother of their child. “We met six years ago,” Tillman said. “We met just walking down the street. Ever since then we’ve been cool. We can sit down and talk. We have fun.”
Tillman was born and raised on the South Side. He grew up in his grandfather’s house on 117th Street and Vincennes Avenue with his mother, two sisters, three brothers and uncles. His grandfather died in 1988, when Tillman was 16.
“After he died, they tore the house down and we moved to Harvey,” Tillman said. “And then we moved from there. It was hard. We moved too much. The whole family lived at my grandfather’s. We all grew up there and they tore it down after he passed. No one could pay the mortgage. So they tore it down. That was real tough.”
Tillman and his grandfather were close. He not only lost a family member, but a friend. “He was my role model,” Tillman said. “He used to take me places – to the ball games, to restaurants. The first restaurant he took me to, it was a nice experience for me. As soon as he took me to the restaurant, Muhammad Ali walked through the door. I shook his hand and everything. That was nice, man. And we would go to the Cubs games too. A couple Sox games, but mostly the Cubs. I’m a Cubs fan.”
Besides his grandfather, Tillman’s mother has also served as a role model for him. “I gotta say two people give me support,” Tillman said. “My mama and my girl. When I was growing up, I had a lot of stuff that my mama used to buy for me. She was always there for me growing up. Everything my mama gave me, I want to give to my daughter. I got her a doll when she was in the hospital. She was too small to play with it. My mama was a good role model. That’s what I want to show my daughter – I can be a good role model for her.”
In the past, Tillman has worked as a maintenance man. He is certified for maintenance and janitorial work. He is looking for employment in this field while he vends for StreetWise.
“I’d like to get a steady job, something where I can get a steady paycheck,” Tillman said. “But for now I’m gonna keep on selling StreetWise until I find something.”
Until then little Monique will keep him plenty busy. “I like playing with her and holding her,” Tillman said. “I want to show her that she’s got a daddy, or a father. She’s going to be alright.”
Written by Andrew Marciniak,
StreetWise Editorial Intern