My “hood” is Philadelphia, more specifically I grew up in North Philly. It’s not the best of neighborhoods, but it’s where I come from. There have been great times and not so great times, but isn’t that the case with any neighborhood?
In it’s hay day North Philly was a mecca, black owned businesses lined Ridge and Germantown avenues, beautiful brownstones and clean streets. Today’s North Philly is extremely different, with the breakdown of the black/brown families via the insertion of drugs into the neighborhoods, a once great place to live as become labeled “sketchy” and ghetto by the people that come from the neighborhood as well as outsiders.
I’ve always wondered what the fascination with the suburbs was, why do most people who come from the “hood” and make a little something of themselves decide that they need to move to the suburbs in order to complete their journey of success?
Why can’t we make North Philly what it used to be? A safe neighborhood with beautiful homes, where our children can grow up in a safe loving environment. Its not impossible, not if we all decide it’s worth saving.
I think it’s worth saving.
Gentrification is a motherfucker, we don’t need “outsiders” coming into our neighborhoods to increase the property value with their Starbucks and tiny dogs. It’s all about being willing to see the beauty in something others deem unworthy and lacking beauty and safety.
I see the beauty in what could be in those abandoned buildings and homes that used to house loving families. Why can’t North Philly be what it once was in its hay day?
When you become the example that you want people to learn from change can happen. If you see trash, pick it up, someone might see you and do the same. Small gestures and of course large ones are needed to rejuvenate and force change.
I have no plans on leaving the “hood” for greener pastures of the suburbs.
The suburbs have turned into a status symbol, and a false sense of security/safety some of America’s most notorious murderers and rapist grew up in the suburbs. Yes, there are some scumbags in the “hood” that contribute to giving it a bad name, but I believe you’re only as strong as your weakest link. If we can get rid of or repair those weak links we can take back our neighborhoods and be proud of living in a beautiful and safe place.
Maybe I’m a naive optimist, but I believe it’s possible do you?