Born the son of sharecroppers in rural Virginia, Percy White III grew up in poverty.
During the early 1960s, White lived on a tobacco farm in Dinwiddie County with his grandparents, parents and his two sisters, in a house without electricity and running water.
There, White's family experienced the impacts of sharecropping, a system that was stacked against black people like them. Robert Marek, who people called Mr. Marks, owned the farm, and White's family worked the fields.
Percy White III, as he's formally known, was named after his father, Percy White Junior.