The Mecca, the home to New York City's African American culture, the renaissance, development, growth, and mental enrichment. Always has been a place with and for swag, blocks upon blocks of fast-talking, quick-moving hustlers. The stomping grounds of old school gangster, Bumpy Johnson, Nicky Barnes, and Frank Lucas, new school comes up Rich Porter, Cam'ron, and Juelz. Even for me it can heralded, my mom NYC roots are Harlem based, in high school it was the hang out, basketball playing spot on half days.
But today’s walk through of Harlem has brought me to the eerie conclusion that I could never work here. That work here in Harlem would make me depressed everyday. This conclusion is based on the pain I see on young kids faces, the immaturity and lack of ambition I see in young black males and the stagnant pace at which we chose to grow. I began to wonder what could be the cause of all this. I don't know whether its a realization of the times and that things are so bad we rather just focus on the now and continue in flatline attempts of getting by or are we completely ignorant to the fact and the reality around us.
Harlem is no longer the place for the growth and enlightenment of the African American people. A place like the Schomburg Center is now just another ordinary building lining a street block. It’s not a place where white folks come for the ooh's and aah's of dance, music and great entertainment in place’s like the Cotton Club but for the wow's and damn's of a modern day American ghetto. It’s now the home of black on black violence, teenage pregnancy, and stagnant growth. Harlem and the people of Harlem have a vast potential for excellence but are currently plagued by a festering and vile disease I will call complacency.
I would love to say I could work in Harlem, but my spirit wouldn't allow me too.