The Ramblings Inside My Creative Mind: When Will We Reclaim Our Crowns?

         I am an African American woman. I take pride in that. I take pride in my culture, our heroes, those who sacrificed, our journey so far, my melanin, and my uniqueness. It does comes with it’s burdens, which are quite obvious and anyone can that see when tuned to any news channel, but I’m still proud. There are some things that do not make me proud. It is the epidemic of our kings and queens shedding their crowns and following in the path of darkness.
        I work in a pretty down and out part of town. I wouldn’t say it’s a horrible part of town, but it is most definitely the hood. Day in and day out I see many black men and women come in several times a day to buy numerous amounts of alcohol. Occasionally you can look into the parking lot and see drug deals go down and people getting high in their cars, and it all just leaves me dumbfounded. Although, none of this affects me personally I still take it personal. Why does no one see a problem with this? Why do neither of these addicts get that much needed wake up call, adjust their crown, and get back to that high road we should all be taking?
        Out of all of the this there is one thing that frustrates me more than anything else. Where I work is a national store. The location where I am now is not where I started. Where I started was at a location in our downtown area. At that location our alcohol only came in 6, 12, 18, etc. packs. So no matter your poison whether it be Budweiser, Miller Lite, Corona, etc you had to get it in a pack. I’ve also worked at other locations and this is also the case. At my current location that’s not how it is. The number of single cans/bottles almost, if not does, outnumber the cases. Many of these customers come in with their last few dollars and can only afford a can or two. No one seems to notice how screwed up this is. You go to a white neighborhood it’s not like that, but you go to a black neighborhood there’s all this easy access to help our people get hooked easier. Why don’t we only have cases? Is it because they know their target audience in this area can’t afford it, but they want their money by any means necessary? I’ve even been to other stores in different cities and states and for the most part customers do NOT have the ability to buy beer by the can. I’m puzzled as to how the people who buy on the regular don’t realize their weakness is being targeted or maybe they do, but their addiction won’t let them care.
        To those who have read my previous writing or know me personally probably also know the other reason why this upsets me so much. Growing up, my father was always very pro-black. I didn’t understand it as a kid, but I definitely get it now. Somewhere along the way he got hooked on heroin. I couldn’t understand how someone who was so self aware became so lost in something that is destroying the black community. I had to watch that day in and day out. Even when I moved to another state I had to hear about it day in and day out. Now that he is gone I’m stuck in a situation where I have to see this every single day. I’m so tired of seeing black men and women destroy themselves. I know it’s not my life and people will do what they please, but we deserve so much more. We are capable of so much more. To see someone waste potential or possibly has a kid, who was like me, hurting to see their parent self destruct, is frustrating. It’s suicide in slow motion. More than that I feel that’s what the system wants. They want to kill us off (or watch us do it ourselves) and we play into it. I just... don’t understand. I want our people to wake up, but we have to want that. We have to want our pride to be bigger than our demons. There’s only so much I can take. I hate seeing this every single day of my life. It makes me bitter. It makes me dread going to work. Seeing grown men pay for beer with coins just because he needs his fix. Seeing these same grown people come in three to four times a day as if something like a job, hobby, or family doesn’t exist.
        When will we wake up? Why is it that the younger generation seems to be more self aware than the older? When did they lose their way? When will we reclaim our crowns?

- Asia Aneka Anderson, 2017©

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