This morning, immediately after I posted a live Max Roach video about black liberation and said it was one of 3 options I’d give my students to watch and write from today, I rushed to get out of the house to catch the early bus to work. But because I’d gotten caught up watching videos at home, so I’d have some good videos for us to talk about our communities and violence, I missed the bus I wanted and ended up waiting a long time for the next one.
So, I was on the street a block away from my house where I catch the bus, and which is kinda like a black Main Street through my side of town. I got a cup of coffee and was waiting at the corner nearby.
Very short story even shorter, while I was standing there, a drive-by happened no more than about 30 feet from where I was standing. There were about a dozen of us standing nearby for different reasons; there’s a cornerstore that I was in front of where a lot of older dudes hang out, and another spot across the street where people hang out.
It was scary because there was nowhere for me to go, standing pretty much out in the open, and it was so close to me. But mostly it was scary and depressing because it was the middle of the day, a little before noon, in an area that’s full of people. No one was hit, not even the targets, but there were still a lot of us standing around not knowing what to do besides shake our heads and say, “Damn, man.”
I got to school, we watched a video (“My Block" by Scarface), talked about what our neighborhoods are like (pretty diverse but a lot of them are rough), and I told them about the shooting which had happened about an hour before by that point. They thought it was funny I stayed at the same bus stop still waiting for the bus, but I was like, "Well what was I supposed to do? I still gotta come in here and work with you guys!" Also really ironic that I was standing there thinking about how to facilitate our discussion about our neighborhoods and violence, and then that went down in my neighborhood, and none of us who saw it were surprised.
Anyway, just…..depressing. Not shocking, just depressing.