Back in the Day

When I am unable to fall asleep at night, I twist and turn. During these sleepless hours, I focus on my days, as a student in the Philadelphia School District. My fond memories at Martha Washington Elementary School, Mayer Sulzberger Junior High School and West Philadelphia High School are p…

Last Saturday, I attended my fraternity’s Valentine Day celebration where I ran into a friend from my old, “down the bottom” neighborhood. I talked with him about the old days and the gentrification that is occurring in the area where we grew up.

Going back in time, there were a variety of ways in which families earned money to survive. Some will recall playing the numbers. There were no legal state lottery games, back then; we had “street numbers.”

For the past several months, a commercial has appeared on television featuring the Apple iPhone 11. The ad highlights this device’s ability to capture the intensity of a snowball fight among young people. A written Apple Internet commercial describing this iPhone states, “Alliances are forge…

Over the next several days, many will come together to participate in banquets and luncheons to observe the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I will not be one of them. Rather I shall pause and recognize his greatness and his contributions to the advancement of people of color.…

Sahdayah has dreams for her future similar to those of many 17-year-old girls: She wants to have a good job, buy a car and own her own home where she can entertain friends. But for now, she hopes to be adopted by a family with parents and maybe younger sisters.

So, what did you do to bring in 2020? Were you like many of my friends who stayed home just cooling out? Was watching television, for the dropping of the ball in Times Square, the most exciting thing that you did as the new year arrived?

One evening last week, I twisted and turned as I laid in my bed. It was about 3 a.m. and as hard as I tried, I could not go back to sleep. I tried counting sheep. I considered getting a glass of milk. Finally, I went downstairs, turned on the television and started channel surfacing.

Every time I go into one of my bathrooms at home, my eyes focus on the iconic 1941 photo that hangs on the wall, “Negro Boys on Easter Morning” taken by Douglas Lee in Chicago, Illinois, as part of the United States Government’s Photo Project. Undoubtedly, this photo, featured in today’s col…