» Vessel. Voice. Visionary.

Because, its my time.

It Was Never Physical....

Growing up, I never classified my neighborhood as the "hood". Up until high school, I believed I lived in a respectable middle class community, with respectable middle class adults and respectable middle class children. I thought it was a far cry from what I knew to be the "projects--a tell-tale sign of the "hood", with its tall buildings with the scent of urine and poverty. I thought I was a bit better than that. But, as I got older, I realized the hood was never really about buildings; it was a mental state of being. Someone could grow up never living with my "tell-tale signs" and still consider themselves as growing up in the hood--and suddenly, I was watching it happen. Respectable middle class children were suddenly gang bangers, drug dealers and muderers. How could this happen in my respectable middle class community? How could I suddenly start barely missing bullets on my front porch? How could I begin to hear stories of those I laughed with be the ones who were hunting for blood? How could I begin to get mail with return addresses of prisons? How? Because, the "hood" became a mindset. All of a sudden, it was okay to turn homes into drug businesses, and streets into territories. While I was busy thinking war only happened in the projects, I was faced with the reality that armed forces lived doors down from me. But all of this angered me, and it still does to this day, almost ten years later. It angers me that the same ones that watched me grow up, from a little baby girl, to old enough to get "hollered at", were killing one another. It angered me that life no longer was viewed as sacred, but rather a trophy or pat on the back once it was taken. It angered me that the possibility of hearing that my brothers were either in jail or dead increased greatly. Most of all, it angered me that a mental "hood" was created where no physical "hood" lied--we did it to ourselves. We created the space where cops had to patrol and where body bags began to line up. We created the fear. We started the war. And now, the war continues. The sad part? It won't end. Not until every one is missing, in jail or dead and even then, the seeds of the "soldiers" will probably continue the disgrace of a legacy. Hopefully, a day will come where peace is a reality. Until then, RIP to the fallen soldiers of the mental war....