Pride of the Pine Belt: Taxi driver lives American dream - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Pride of the Pine Belt: Taxi driver lives American dream


Hattiesburg resident, Henry Taylor, is proving no matter who you are, or where you come from you can have the American dream.

He says the key is not being lazy, and following his motto: forward ever, backward never. He owns a taxi service. He says his taxi is his office.

"I try to take it to washing place three times a week," said Taylor.

Once you step into his office he makes sure you get the red carpet treatment, literally.

"Customers are surprised to see a taxi in Hattiesburg with red carpet,"said Taylor.

For nearly four years, Taylor has successfully managed his taxi service, driving through the streets of Hattiesburg day and night.

"I don't sleep. As soon as the phone rings I'm gone," said Taylor.

Growing up in West Africa, Ghana, Taylor learned early on that hard work pays off.

"At the age of 20, when I  completed high school, I  joined the military in my country. I worked for the president for over 22 years," said Taylor.  

While in the military, Taylor established a strong friendship with a man from McComb, who encouraged him to come to America.

"I came here in 1996. I stayed in New York for 3 months, and I went back to Ghana.  I came again in 1998," said Taylor.

The U.S.  proved to be the place for him. Taylor moved from state to state working several jobs eventually ending up in Hattiesburg, through the help of his friend. 

"This place is bigger than McComb and it's nicer than McComb, and I saw the university," said Taylor.  

Taylor didn't have a car when he first made Hattiesburg his home, but his lack of wheels, and his first experience with Hattiesburg's taxi service led to his business.

"To be frank I was disappointed with the timing of picking me," said Taylor.

He also notice there were very few taxis in the city, so he tried the business out for himself.

"I had a little money, and I bought a very junk one for the first time," said Taylor.

Through the help of his pastor, Father Tommy, Taylor got a better car, and now he has two he is proud of.

"I'm very happy to be in this country, to be in Hattiesburg, and to be in this business," said Taylor.

Taylor believes he is proving the American dream is possible for anyone.

"This country is a country of everything. If you are lucky to come into this country you are not to mess up. If you obey the rules you are fine. If you are not lazy,  and sit down, and depend on food stamps, government pay checks it will destroy you," said Taylor.

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