" Niggas from the hood is the best actors. We the ones that got to wear our face backwards. "
I'm Anthony R., 21 year old African American male living in Philadelphia, PA. Being at a young age I haven't seen a lot but i've opened my mind to a lot. Originally born in Fayetteville, NC and moved to Philadelphia as a toddler still. After spending almost 11 years of my childhood in Philly, my Mom decided to move us back to Fayetteville for me and my Sister's teenage years after my Grandfather passed away. Needless to say I still appreciate my Mom for letting us make our transition in Fayetteville instead of North Philadelphia... Sheesh.
Me spending time in the south and the city led me to see realities that aren't fathomable to a lot of black kids who live in the same place all of their life. I've spent time living in the black community and spent a lot of time around the white community since moving back to Philadelphia last year. Now for some of the things I've noticed growing up and I'm beyond blessed to come to realizations and rationalizing these things ( because Lord knows I would've went crazy without rationalizing this stuff ).
1. Race is a bigger deal than what a lot of young black people think
From what I've seen a lot of young black people my age think of racism as " White people don't like us well fuck em! I'll beat a cracker! ' But it is MUCH deeper than that. Always remember the things that COUNT to you in life white people control. Your career opportunity, getting a loan, starting a business, the price of which you buy a home, how much time you spend in prison, almost everything that matters to you that is tangible a white person controls, with that being said image is very important.
Without giving great first impressions or character traits your chances of getting that break you dreamed of will not happen if they think for the slightest that you are capable of being unprofessional or " ghetto ". Don't confuse yourself either but there is also a thing called being " Too " professional. You can leave a profound impression and the white person will shoot your dream down just because you may come off as a great individual and that you have ability. It's weird for some white people to see blacks with ability outside of the usual and cliche stereotype that someone with success that is black is usually an entertainer or an athlete. Overall, if you feel like you are being racially profiled just ignore it. From what I seen almost all racist/stereotypical white people thoughts on African Americans are subjective. One of their family members could've been robbed by a black person or had a bad experience with a black and at that point in their minds all black people turn into that one experience. Please ignore it.
2. Leave some of your friends alone!
Growing up I had friends I liked a lot but you simply can't hang around them because they are simply too much trouble. Not stealing from the candy store trouble either. More like if you hang around them too frequently you could end up killed or risking your freedom just by association. I love black people with all my heart, the culture is extraordinary but we also have to keep things in perspective and quite honestly be real about some of our people. We find trouble instead of legit opportunities, I've seen people shot just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time and had nothing to do with the issue that was at hand.
A friend of mine that I played basketball with when I first moved back to Philly was telling me about a
story when he was selling drugs and he got into an altercation with someone he knew around the area he lived at. He didn't sell drugs where he lived at, he sold them around where I live. The guy he got into an altercation with found out where he sold drugs at, went around there and shot 2-3 people... My friend was down the street at his mother's house while the shooting happened and the people who were shot was not involved with his act... You can like someone a lot but if you can't see anything positive happening within your friendship because of what individuals do outside of it, it isn't worth it.
3. South is Integrated, North is segregated
I don't know how other places are set up but cities with large black communities tend to have segregation with other ethical communities. When I lived in NC, my school had a blend of races so I wasn't demanded by society to just be associated with black people which felt normal and how things should be. When I moved back to Philly I got on the subway and would go to one stop and all Black students would get on. Go a couple of stops down and all White students would get on the sub. Go a couple of more stops down and all Asian students would get on, I remember thinking to myself " WOW! This is blatant segregation! ". This goes back to my last topic as well. Try to interact with others from different backgrounds, you learn plenty of different things and can have different types of fun. Growing up black I seen that fun to black people was playing basketball, slap boxing, having a freestyle cypher, etc. Which isn't bad, I enjoyed these activities growing up as well ( could've went without the slap boxing though ). Hanged around white people since I been in Philly and I seen they are passionate about gaming, trading stocks, and looking at real estate is fun to them. All in all don't limit yourself to the group you are in, I learned about networking which means taking something from someone else's book and applying it to yours.
4. Sometimes you have to play both sides of the fence
Let me further explain this. You are going to have different conversations with different people which means you really shouldn't talk about the same things everyday with the same people. You can talk to the same people about different things but usually when you go outside the topics that everyone is used to talking about in your circle they are uninterested or not focused on it. This is where you play both sides of the fence and find people who have the same thought-provoking ideas as you and can help you stay focused on your next step. You should be able to be versatile and talk to different kinds of people no matter the race. I've talked to black people the same way I would've talked to white people so this isn't a race issue, it's about finding those people who are relatable to you in IMPORTANT ways, emphasis on important because people can be relatable to you in non-important ways.
If you smoke weed and the only thing the person next to you have in common is that y'all both smoke weed and share music interests but you have bigger things on your mind and won't express them to that person because all the conversation is gonna end with is a " Damn, that's real " or " That's how im tryna be " FIND THOSE PEOPLE WHO WILL DISCUSS IT AND PUT IT INTO FRUITION. It's counter-intuitive to have some important things on your mind but can't express it to the ones around you because they aren't interested or just not willing to learn about it. Now, it isn't a bad thing if they aren't interested, maybe the ones around you just have things going on with their lives and truly don't mind learning but have other things they want to focus on individually. Find those who want to share those life changing ideas and make something happen.
Reach out to me for recommendations or feedback. Thank you for reading.