Sunday, September 20, 2020

I Appreciated Living Among My People.

September 13, 2019 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( The media send messages to black America that it’s not safe to live among each other. It’s too dangerous, there is the “black on black crime” issue, the property value isn’t high enough, the schools aren’t good enough, you know black folks can’t live in peace, and it’s a sign that we are moving up in the world when we move into that “affluent” neighborhood in town. Honestly, who doesn’t want to live in a safe environment where there is a good sense of community? We have a right to feel safe in the neighborhood where we are raising our children. It would be great to live in a house that is structurally sound, and that look nice. There is nothing wrong with being in a place whereby you can be outgoing with neighbors or stay to yourself. It’s only fair to want to live in a place whereby you are accepted as a part of the community. The problem is many of us were fed the lie that getting away from black people was the only way to achieve this peaceful state. Having lives in the environment that was supposed to be so much better…I greatly appreciate living among my people.

Living in a predominately white community for a season opened my eyes to the lies that had been told about the grandeur of that environment verses one that is predominately black. Granted, there are neighborhoods that I wouldn’t dare live in because the crime is through the roof, but I learned that same concern applies when living among white people. The thing is I know there is a chance that I am among the targeted because I am the part that “doesn’t fit” into the esthetic of the community. In that white community there were drug users, addicts, people that busted the windows out of cars (mine being one of them), and horrific crimes committed against members of the community and no they weren’t all POC. We didn’t have much interaction with our neighbors…this wasn’t a community we just existed in what felt like a very isolated space. If that strong sense of community existed, we were definitely excluded, and initially it wasn’t by choice. I would never choose to raise my children in that isolated environment.

Today I live in a nice neighborhood where people come outside and speak to you. There is a sense of knowing your neighbors, and folks ask after your well-being. The children of the neighborhood play outside, and many adults are looking out for them. We don’t see the police often, and when we do its not for murder, robbery or assault; often times an accident has happened or unfortunately someone has passed away. The people in my neighborhood work, so you see the cars pour in at the end of the day. I won’t say we don’t have them… but there are no addicts walking the streets or dealers on the corner. At night its usually quiet. This is a black neighborhood.  No place on this earth is 100% safe so let’s kill the rumor that black neighborhoods are the most dangerous places to live.

At least I know there isn’t anyone here that will pull a gun on my son for collecting money for the school fundraiser, asking for directions if he were lost, or simply breathing. I appreciate living among my people primarily because I’m in an environment that does not hate me and my family. For those that believe our communities, as a whole, don’t offer enough…this wouldn’t be the case if we were living there with our families working to make it a great place. This is just something to consider the next time you think about living somewhere you know you are not welcomed.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

May connect with this sister over at Facebook and also Twitter

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