Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's Good in the Hood? (July 10, 2008)

It's 88 degrees in the Chi today so I take advantage of my flexible work schedule and decide to do some field work. Well today's field work took me to 79th & Cottage. The heart of the hood known as Grand Crossing. Before I head back to the office, I decide to stop and get some hood food and while I'm waiting for my Harold's 4 piece, extra mild sauce, I make a number of observations.

Observastion #1: Hood nigga. Fresh braids. Facial hair lined up. Rockin his hood uniform - fresh white tee with the "ghetto line" (a crease down the front of his tee), baggy saggin shorts (with creases) that touch the top of his socks, and clean white ones. I mean this dude is hood...or so I thought. Because he came at sat at a table across from where I was sitting, put one thumb in his mouth and use the other hand to play with his ear lobe. Is THIS what's good in the hood?

Observation #2: Black Males, of all ages, on the street just standing. There were absolutely too many Black men standing around doing nothing. And I begin to wonder how many of them are uneducated? How many of them are ex-cons and sex offenders? How many of them are unemployable? How many of them are disable? How many of them have warrents out for their arrest? How many have multiple BMs and owe years and years of child support? The only question that I could possibly answer, which, I must admit, I was afraid to answer is, How many of them are there, here on the street, at 1:00 on a hot Thursday afternoon in the Chi? Standing on the street. Is THIS what's good in the hood?

Observation #3: There was ONE man on the street whose appearance was eye-catching. Not that he was neccessarily attractive, but because he looked as out of place as Hillary Clinton addressing Father Pfleger's congregation. He wore slacks, a collared shirt, and a tie. And not only did his appearance stand out, but so did his actions. He was very well-mannered, and had a genuine desire to make his sales for the day (He was selling educational books and games for children). But none of this made his appearance eye-catching. His appearance was eye catching because he was a WHITE man taking BLACK folks money, in a BLACK hood. A hood that he probably wouldn't dare live in. Do a job that would be looked down upon if the roles were switched (Have you ever known a Black independent salesman to be successful in a white hood?). I will admit, I didn't give him the time of day, and I can't say for sure that it wasn't because he was white. Is THIS what's good in the hood?

What's REALLY good in the hood?


  1. LOL! I lived over there all my life up until April, so I know exactly what you're talking about. That's all you see on 79th Street.

    Was the white guy by himself? There always 2 white guys in white shirts and black slacks either walking or riding bikes in that neighborhood. I never knew what they did, but I always saw them.

  2. Aint not one thing good in the hood... I often ask these questions too...

    welcome to the blog world!

  3. Yeah kd, he was by himself, but I've seen then in twos as well.