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The Hood

 

The Hood, a poem by Maganda Speaks

 

I spoke to the Hood the other day
And The Hood said
You never asked it nothing
You never asked its permission
Our culture thrown on your boardroom table
Altered
Then custom fitted
To make the space
You’ve been buying us out of
Suitable for your livingI spoke to the Hood the other day

And the Hoods been telling me that
You’ve been telling otha’ folks that
This “New” community
Is to adhere
To the safety
Of us all
You meant to say for the safety of you
Because fear NEVER took residency in our backyards.

As City Council
You failed to mention
You defined change as uprooting history
Dictating Garfield High School’s enrollment of our Prodomently Hood raised students
You neglected to tell us
That meant
You would clean slate the homes of our Grandparents
As if the imprints of their struggles never existed

Convince me council…

What would the condition of your hands tell me?
If I look at your creases
Would your blood sweat and tears
Profoundly speak for the well being of my people
Or will they tell me…
No real hands on experience?

As a community we walk around
With fist bump dreams
Promising our children
That no matter their color
Their little lives matter
When in all honestly
Their lives to you corporate ass people don’t mean shit

Do you know what it feels like for us
To watch our childhood memories wiped away?
Do you know what it feels like for us
To drive down streets that were once familiar?
Only to do u-turns on corners
Where our landmarks no longer exist
Why does our shadow startle you?
Why do you act as if our ethnicity is another ceramic project in your pottery class?
When will we earn the right to be viewed as more than just

Brown clay
Constantly
Being remolded into who and what
You believe our culture should be
I just want
To be FREE
TO BE ME!
I swear
It was just a little conversation with the Hood the other day…Although we as a community
Forfeit our land by lack of knowledge
You technically pushed us out
Leaving nothing left of our existence to salvage
Besides a basket case of dying dreamsCongratulations Council…

In defeat I stand here today
And acknowledge that my concern
For the development and my community
Posses no 6 figure threat
To this boardroom or
Your City Council team

SO WITH PRIDE I SAY!
Rest in Memory
Jackson’s Red Apple and
Western Beauty Supply Store
Madison’s Dinos & Oscars
The Original Phillies on 23rd and Union

At this rate…
We’ll never get the Central District back