Written by M. Green

Under the summer moon the whole city is lit, and every hood turns into the club. I can remember emerging from an abandoned house from a basement with bricks falling out of the wall. The DJ played nothing but fire and the only light came from a small window and the glow of Nextel phones. Dancing on each other so hard it had to be a ritual. Hopping in my tinted out hatchback about 7 goons deep, front seat removed because, why not? Hit the chicken store parking lot doing donuts with way too much green lit. An enormous feast funded by the fat stack in my pocket from transactions earlier in the day. Jokes on top of jokes because those benches became our living room and that chicken was fried just right. The perfect mix of Henny and THC in the system, I know how we got here, but no clue how I got home. A perfect night in the land where the news cameras never come.

Hood love. It’s our culture. It is who we are as black people. The majority of us come from the hood in some fashion. In some ways the hood is all we know. Block by block, packed into undersized buildings, projects, and multi-family houses. Proximity advances our social skills and the ability to come together to seemingly make the best out of any dire situation. Fix your hair, buy some gear, and a five dollar bill still gets you a solid meal. The emotional ties run deep, especially for those who have managed their way out. Some of us still have family there. Some of us got fam there. From the porches and parking lots to the pimps and pushers, cookouts, joyriding, plotting, smoking, laughing and freakin’, cough up a lung where I’m from! Yet still, to all of that, with a bit of sadness, and a touch of contrition I say confidently, burn them all to the ground.

The last thing anyone needs is another history lesson. Let’s just keep it simple and say everyone understands why the majority of black people come from hoods. They did this to us. The most efficient part of their plan was to make us blind to our self-destructive poverty stricken cages, and actually enjoy the bottom culture of living conditions. American hoods are breeding grounds for ignorance. It multiplies faster than we can hope to contain. Of course we all know people who have made it and become a monstrous success story. That very thought is foolish. We cannot ignore the masses to point out a few outliers. We also cannot keep accepting this dangerously low standard that things are fine because a few make it. Our communities should be a pipeline of success stories that reflect our greatness and contribute to a cycle of success and prosperity. Time to lay down some soil to eliminate every successful black person having to be another rose that grew from concrete.

Hood life is designed for stagnation. We manage to take things a step farther and find painful ways to assure we are deteriorating from the inside out. Babies born with frozen souls. Stone faced kindergartners. It is the children who suffer most. When children suffer, the cycle is cemented. The cycle has created pride. We are very proud to be nested in poverty and violence. The social construct that holds us back the most, is our proudest badge of honor. So much in fact, if we know of black folks born and raised in the suburbs, we question how “black” they can actually be. We can represent our projects, our block, city and even state without a drop of ownership or real life investment in any of it. Just time spent. Those projects are government owned, soaked in white sponsored media influence. Every piece of rent paid, food purchased, hair bought or Dutch Master copped goes into the pockets of other communities. Arabs, Asians and Latinos invest in our neighborhoods like we are the Dow Jones. They know what we value. We value things. Not each other.

The formation of the current pro-black movements started a very dangerous trend recently. If you want to fight battles against city hall on their door step, great. Our communities at home suffer more, because of people piling up the excuses in extreme fashion. Overlooking self inflicted, home grown evils just for arguments sake. Too much ego leads to too much pride. One would have you believe our hoods are full of progressive thinking, knowledgeable history buffs with an insurmountable amount of relevant skills applicable to all channels of society with vast wealth within a fingertips reach if not for the cold heavy chains from the white man slumped firmly across our oppressed wrists and necks. This would be a lie. The comfort in being government funded, media controlled, cellar dwelling zombies is rampant and spiraling out of control. If this does not sound like you, and it sounds crazy because you don’t know anyone like that, turn on the news from any hood and see if you can keep from regurgitating your dinner.

Chain them all up, and burn them. The mental slavery runs so deep. I believe too many are a lost cause. So far gone they can never be brought back from the abyss. Rest in peace to them. Others would simply take so much work to revive from the darkness that it would exhaust precious time and resources. We will make t-shirts in your memory. To the ones with enough awareness to know something is wrong, but enjoy wallowing in the laziness, make a choice. If this seems harsh, then you are not thinking ahead. A civil war is brewing. If we don’t do it, it will be done to us. Once moves are made, there will be very little options, and people will understand what real oppression is. This is what we are trying to avoid.

I don’t speak for the little guy. I don’t campaign for the weak to have the loudest voice. I ride hard for the ones who have earned it. The progressive, overly efficient, mission obsessed, all godly balanced psychopaths in a focused rage of red lined hard work to drag our people out of the swamps of the bottom layer of lower class life back into the thrones we currently pretend to sit in. Talk to me. I recently read an article about a hood mother letting her underage daughter get raped by a guy she knew. They then stomped on her stomach once she was pregnant. They threw the fetus in the BBQ pit and roasted it like a rack of lamb. Just another day, livin’ in the hood, just another day around the way!

That hood love I spoke of, its actually very real. It’s just the faux version of black love and so very, very shallow. Disguised under materialistic views, cheap life, and welcoming toxins in every form its fed to us. It’s all about looking good on the surface, keeping up the appearance. And for who? Somewhere along the way we started to care more about being hood than being black. Now that we care about being black again, we assume hood is just all love too. It’s not. Hood love is the cancer within our people that has the ability to stretch beyond city limits and social class. Hood mentality can negatively affect black people from any walk of life. Black love is the glue that bonds us to real life substance, genuine relationships, and each other. Black people make cookouts fun, colleges, clubs etc. Hood mentality is what ruins them. The commitment to ignorance and self oppression is paralyzing and depressing.

We spread out, we upgrade, then congregate. Oh it’s not in the budget? You’re black right? Then handle it. Represent black folks everywhere in a great way, put a plan in place, and execute. No shame in setting your goals five to ten years away. We all face our own challenges and doing things efficiently is the key. Either way, let’s get it. Adults that make excuses are a disease. It’s not about moving away from black people. It’s a movement to a better life, what we deserve, together. We all have to want it. Where I’m from, I want to be beautiful, black neighbors and black owned everything. Our side of town should represent efficient functionality and fortune. Trade in those hood passes for a level of focus that eliminates anyone from your circle who has nothing positive to offer.

The thing is, not everything has to change. Everything I described in the first paragraph can still be lit, just upgraded. Self made men and women. Meet y’all at the top. First round will be on me, because still, cough up a lung where I’m from.