The lesson of the day is being 'hood' or 'ghetto'.
I'm pretty sure you may have heard the term used, or should I say misused. Most perceive being 'hood' or ghetto' as simply being disrespectful or behaving in an ignorant or delinquint manner. I, for one, do not agree with such an assumption. Its foolish to lump every one who, by the accidence of their existance, were born and/or lived in an impoverished neighborhood, as being being loud obnoxious degenerates. I'm personally offended, as I am from the 'ghetto' or 'hood', because I am neither. I also hate the notion that behaving in such a manner is perceived to make you cool.
I just do not get it...
See, I grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in Milwaukee, WI. I know a lot of people ask, 'is there black people that live there?'
Well, the answer is... HELL YEAH!
I'm sorry that 'Happy Days' and 'Lavern and Shirley' gave you a depiction of a city that I did not even know, AND I LIVED THERE.
Anyway, my neighborhood was the typical poverty stricken back drop: dirty streets, abandon houses, liquor store on one corner, a church on the opposite corner, and a casscade of people sitting on porches, standing on corners or wondering aimlessly. Contrary to the song, its more than wearing you pants below your waist and having 'gol' teefasis in ya mouf'. This is why I seriously doubt that most rappers were even born and raised in 'da hood' because its nothing to be glorified.
Growing up in the ghetto has had a hand in shaping me into who I am today, good and bad. Most of the things that I've experienced from then has made me numb, numb to the ignorance and violence. See, while your misinformed about riding around in tricked out cars, getting head and smoking dope, the ultimate reality is not presented.
The reality is... PEOPLE DIE EVERYDAY IN 'DA HOOD'
People that you go to school and church with, your family and neighborhood friends. One day is permanently embedded in my mind...
That was a normal thing, at least the gun shots were, the cross fire situation was not. There were times when playing at the playground could transcend into gun violence. Occasionally, stray bullets would claim lives of children, in those situations. Its simply mind-numbing to think that some one is celebrating and glorifying the fact your life is in danger every time you go outside. Its even more disturbing that someone, who never had to live in that situation, promotes that life condition.
It is a day I'll never forget. I was 1o years old on my way home from school. I had just gotten off the school bus and the bus pulled away down the street. As I then proceeded to cross the street I crossed paths with 3 teenaged boys, nothing out of the ordinary. Not until I seen the guy dressed in all black creep from the alley directly across from me. His target was the 3 boys who, by now, were directly behind me. I seen the guy in the alley raise his pistol. Before I can even think to run shots were whizzing by my ear. The entire block was in a stampeed and there I was in a cross fire. By the grace of God I was unharmed.
Back in the summer of 2001, in my neighboorhood alone, there were 24 deaths by gun violence. All the victims were black males between the ages of 16 and 25. One particular victim I had known since kindergarden. We went to the same neighborhood elementry school, had the same teacher, and hung out together though the years. That August, he was shot in the head. After he was shot he ran about 5 blocks, then collapsed in front of the butcher's shop in a pool of blood. He was not a thug, or anything of the like. He worked and, like me, had just graduated high school that June, and was about to go off to college. I guess, he just had a knack for being 'at the wrong place at the wrong time' because he had previously gotten shot, in the back, two year prior.
I was at the wrong place at the wrong time when I got off the school bus that one day.
Maybe I'm just off in my thinking here. First off, I do not think its correct to term some one as 'ghetto' or 'hood' any way because those are places - not persons. At any rate, if a person is to be 'hood' or 'ghetto' I would think that they would share similar experiences like mines. The stigmata of living in this type of environment during you childhood is eternal. Eventhough I was fortunatley able to move, after 19 years of the violence and mishaps, things tend to encamp in your psyche.
If your a true 'hood N*gga' its not because of how you talk or dress but because of what you have experienced, while LIVING IN THE 'HOOD'.
This clip shows 'my hood' at about the 3 minute mark. I remeber half of these young dudes from when they were between the ages of 10 and 12. Now at ages 17 and 18, they are an example of what you become when you can not get out of the hood.
The young man at the beginning of this video happens to be someone I know/knew. When I knew him he was only about 11 or 12 years old, attended the homework club that I worked at and he was a good kid. This should give you a glimps at how living in the hood tends to break most people. I know it reminded me.
Here is an article about violence in Milwaukee