The only reason I was in LA was because Ise Lyfe who is a poet and scholar, came to my school as our guest speaker for Black History Month. I wrote a story on him for the newspaper and I talked to him about my passions and interest, being writing and film. He must have liked what I was saying or really took a interest in me because he told me about his friend who worked at Revolt TV and told me he would link me up with him. Lyfe kept true to his word and I went to meet with his friend at Revolt TV, although I really didnt go back to L.A for breaks due to my family not having a place for me to lay my head. So I rented room at a motel for a few days a few blocks up from my former school Inglewood High.
One night while in LA, I decided to go to the store by the motel around 10:00 p.m for some snacks. On the way back, me and this boy walked past each other and we both turned back around because we knew we had spotted a familiar face. I was so happy to run into someone I went to high school with, seeing as I went straight to college a few months after I graduated.
I invited Mykel back to the room so we could chat further and catch up. The things Mykel relayed to me were things that would bring one much sorrow. They were aspects that are all too familar to young Black men who are trapped in these madd cities. These things Mykel relayed to me were things including being shot 5 times and his best friend dying in his arms. The pain he suffered was so deep and it definitely made me cry to see the scars on his body and to hear him say he had a steel rod in his leg now. He lost so much weight due to his injuries which I know hurt him because he had a broad body from playing football in school.
The time I saw Mykel last year was also the time I was starting up my blog. 13 months ago I wrote about seeing Mykel and he was the 4th entry on my blog. Then I go on facebook two days ago to see he was gunned day in LA. All I could do was think about our encounter and how he must have been in constant fear of his life, having already gotten shot. He had to have a lot on his mental knowing that someone wanted to kill him. It hurt me deep down to know that was his fate laid out in the streets of South Central.
I think it is so SAD that in 2015, this sick cycle of Black on Black crime is as normal and a sure thing as the sun rising everyday. I think to myself what can we do to create a shift in society so swift, generations to come will laugh at or can’t even fathom the foolishness and ignorance that once engulfed the lives of African-American’s trapped in these madd cities. I do not want this cycle, to be the end of those who were born into this misfortune. We have become desensitized to the murders of Black men in American society. Whether it be by the police, or at the hands of another black man. Instead of formulating plans and avenues for change, we are overwhelmed at the increasing numbers. Every day it seems there is a new name. A new face, a new hashtag to remember another fallen soldier. Please believe it is a war zone going on out here. The same one our parents and grandparents had to manuver through. My question: When is this ignorant shit gone stop??
I am even more saddened because Mykel had been through a lot. The cycle is so deep because it affects generations. His moms was an absentee drug user. Mykel has a young daughter that will have to live with the pain of having no father figure. Thats three generations affected by senseless violence and deeply embedded cycles in two sentences.
Lil Boosie went on Peter Bailey’s Night Cap Live and said:
“They white man aint in the bushes with the gun telling you to shoot nobody.”
But he also said that the white man set up the formula, so they dont have to be in the bushes. All they have to do is sit back and watch us kill each other.
Carter G Woodson said that if you control a mans mind, you control his actions. The worse place for the mind of the oppressed is in the hands of the oppressor. I believe this statement to be 100% true. History is like a bad spirit that is looming over the inner city. Our lack of consciousness makes us oblivious to this aspect and the spirit represents nothing but death, destruction and violence.
I don’t know too much about the bible but I do know that in the bible it says that people will perish for their lack of knowledge. With so many people in the inner city hurting, hungry and angry, many dont have the time or thoughts to get wise beyond street smarts. So many are trying to survive and as long as they achieve their means of surviving one more day in this madd city, they can sleep easy at night.
As soon as I woke up this morning the first thoughts on my mind was envisioning 88th and Vermont. Picturing the streets and buildings of this South Central area that I traveled through many times. Who knew that these same streets would ultimately be where many Black men would see their demise, including my friend Mykel Washington. They call these streets between Manchester and Imperial on Vermont Death Alley, with so many being murdered in this area within the last year alone….
I feel like I know the reasons why we keep seeing this cycle play out I just dont have the formula for change to help end this Black on Black crime. I know elevating the consciousness of so many inner city youth who are seemingly lost would be one of the main aspects. But things are more easily typed than done….