West of Ninth
“I’ve been here my whole life, for fifty years. In a nutshell, this is my home. With that being said, it’s a beautiful place, down here. It gets a bad reputation due to some of the acts that go on down here. We’re all friendly and we all get along, outside of the small percentage of the negative. We love on each other and stick together. It’s a great place and I’m happy with it. I love the hood. I love it down here.
We need to pass down the positive things to the people. We’re experts at passing down the bullshit. We’d rather pass the game to the young cats and lace them like shoes but lace them bullshit. We need to lace them with good shit. When I talk to these kids out here, I don’t talk to them about the streets. I talk to them about their future. I’m a high school dropout. By the time I hit ninth grade, drugs was so fluent in our community and I wanted to sell dope. I caught up in the madness and went to the penitentiary to learn my lesson. I’m not a penitentiary type of cat, I can’t be caged up. That’s where I’m at with it. If I didn’t have a job, I can make one.
My advice to the world is to recognize that we’re all the same. Regardless of the color of your skin, it’s all about the content of your heart. If we breed that into our youth, we would be able to love one another and create some unity. If we keep with the examples that we’ve been given, it’ll be rough out here with the mindset of the people because there ain’t no love out here. We have a couple of generations that missed the boat and were the start of the downfall. That’s speaking about my generation. My parents had good jobs but they fought for that. What’s sad is that our people is giving back, in less than a lifetime, everything that was fought for.
King was killed in 1968 and I was born in 1968. The generation before me fought for everything and within a lifetime, look what we digressed back to? We had problems with police killing people in our communities back then and we had people who fought that and minimized that and restored order within our communities. Here we are, today, less than a lifetime later, we’re giving it all back.” - Jason, owner of Flo’s in Shawnee