Ntchwaidumela Williams from South Central L.A. (2)

April 16, 2015

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I am self employed, so to speak.   I repair electronic gadgets and computers.  I have been out of work since 2008.  I worked in the vacation and tourism as an independent contractor.  When we lost our positions, we weren’t eligible for unemployment benefits, and had to make our own way.  The reason I bring this up, is because a customer told me about a gentleman being shot in the back 8 times and it was on video.  It took me over a week to watch this video cause I knew I wouldn’t be unaffected by what I saw.  After seeing this man gunned down, it just brought up memories of when I was younger, seeing, police beat up the teenagers a little older than me, and how nothing was done about these officers doing what I saw as gang activity.  So, to see this man, one of many I add, be gunned down so casually, and how this police officer drops something next to this mans body.  I am dark skinned, and I sense everyday that I am being treated different cause of my skin color.  I have moved around a lot cause I don’t know where dark skinned people are accepted in america.  The only place I can say for sure we are accepted is in any ghetto in the USA.  But when a dark skinned person wants to explore what is out side of the ghetto, there are certain dangers that are prone to only dark skinned people once you leave that “one mile radius world” called the hood.  So, I wore my “Just say no to drugs” t-shirt with pride and honor cause I saw first hand what drugs, gangbanging, and following the crowd led.  My mom had a boyfriend in a prison called Chino.  I vividly remember me and my little sister going with her to visit him.  I saw what prison looked like and knew it wasn’t a place I ever wanted to experience.  My best friend in 6th grade came up with the idea of what song to sing at our 6th grade graduation.  His name was Khye Johnson.  While walking home from school, Khye was shot in the head after school when we were in the 7th grade by gangbangers.  It could have been an initiation, but no one was ever arrested.  The song that he suggest we sing at our graduation was ‘Tomorrow‘ by Tevin Campbell.  I remember the rehearsals, and after singing that song so many times in preparation of singing before our parents and leaving a place where being in 6th grade meant being almost an adult in the eyes of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, perfection was the aim, that song became part of us, and Khye was responsible for that.  So, with the past, the present, and the foreseeable future, is it true that my skin is my sin?  I don’t mean to ramble here, but I feel you actually care about people, the human race, the oppressed, the misjudged, and I am and forever will be thankful, and grateful.  I saw a movie called the secret right before I lost my job in 2007.  In this movie, it actually led me to read about metaphysics, the Universe, manifestation.  Something I believe is that we should always be in a state of gratitude.  I am very grateful for what I do have, which is health, the ambition to be a better person, the desire to positively contribute to society and the community in which I live.  I am grateful to know that wisdom is infinitely more valuable than money, and I am thankful that I want to do something with my life.