Who decided the “Hood” isn’t worth saving?

Who decided the “Hood” isn’t worth saving?

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.

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The U.S. Department of Arts & Culture – #PSOTU2016

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“The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) is the nation’s newest people-powered department, founded on the truth that art and culture are our most powerful and under-tapped resources for social change. Radically inclusive, useful and sustainable, and vibrantly playful, the USDAC aims to spark a grassroots, creative change movement, engaging millions in performing and creating a world rooted in empathy, equity, and social imagination.

What we do:

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is an action network of artists and cultural workers mobilizing creativity in the service of social justice. Locally, we support creative individuals in leading arts-infused civic dialogues and change making initiatives by connecting them to a broader network of people, training, and resources. Nationally, we amplify impact through large-scale actions and calls for creative response, building momentum for positive social change and democratic cultural policy. We harness artists’ skills to address the issues of our day, while also nourishing the artist in all of us.

Why:

In this era of broken systems—from healthcare to energy to education to the way our entire economy is structured—citizens must be empowered to imagine and enact positive alternatives. To cultivate effective co-creators of new systems based in equality, non-discrimination, and sustainability, we must provide universal access to empowering creative experiences that build empathy and social imagination.

Active creative participation is a gateway to ongoing civic engagement and the capacity to collaborate is a key element of any resilient community. But for too long, we’ve believed that everything that counts can be counted, ignoring the vital role that arts and culture play in advancing equity, innovation, and democracy. Everything that is created must first be imagined, yet we’ve failed to fully invite and support people in every community to step up as artists and agents of change.” – USCAC 

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Mummers ain’t shit

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If you live in or near Philadelphia you should be aware of the fuckery that is the Mummers Parade. It takes place January 1st annually and as the years have progressed it has progressively gotten more racist as time goes by.

Grown ass drunk as white men get dressed up in sparkly, ethnically offensive costumes and strut their stuff down Market Street (in the past Broad Street) I personally don’t know many POC that frequent this parade, I mean if you’re asking to get mad and offended then by all means enjoy yo’self.

Mummers parade of past, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing said grown ass drunk ass white men dress up like “Native Americans”, and “Mexicans” I place the quotation marks because their idea of an Native Americans and a Mexican is every racial stereotype you can think of. I’m not sure who is the head fuckboy in charge of this fuckery, but he needs to have his ass kicked for allowing shit like this.

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Finding Purpose in Giving

With all of my flaws, I like to think that I’m a giver. I’m usually the go to person when family or friends are in need. But I’ve come to the realization that helping family just isn’t as rewarding as helping strangers.

Family and friends more times than not don’t really appreciate the things you do until you tell them no. Not that I’m looking for anyone to jump through any hoops when I do something for them, but I don’t want attitude and/or to be talked about like a dog when I say no.

I just feel like giving to someone you don’t know means more because the person didn’t ask or isn’t expecting to get help from you.

I’ve found purpose in giving to those who really need my time, and/or my money. I’ve always felt kind of used when helping out family and friends especially in the case of family. It’s so easy for family in my experiences to forget when you were that clutch person in their time of need. Like I said I’m not looking for an award for helping my family or friends I just don’t want to feel like an asshole for doing what’s right.

In saying all of that I’ve decided to actively pursue opportunities to help in my community, my first two prospects are The Covenant House PA (helping the homeless youth in Philadelphia) and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. I want to do more and feel good about what I’m doing. I don’t have much in the finance department to give, but I can give a lot of my time, especially for a great cause.

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