No Room To Be A Kid In Oakland

Oct. 10, 2013 / By

JoshuaClayton-Large

 

I grew up in the west. They call it the Lower Bottoms.

Everybody in my neighborhood would always tell me, “This is where you’re from.” “12th street is your home.” And lately, that mentality started feeling like a jail. I feel trapped. Like my entire universe is just one block long.

I know I can progress and do other things in life, but it’s like a mind game I play with myself. Because whenever something starts feeling like it’s going downhill, I run straight back to 12th Street. I run straight back to what I know, because it makes the bad feel normal. Even though I don’t have a job, it doesn’t bother me as much when I’m on my block, because there, we are all struggling to be happy.

In my neighborhood, there are people hating each other from like five blocks away, two blocks away, even down the same street. I hear gun shots almost every day. I’ve seen killings, robberies, car thefts, house invasions. But whatever happens on 12th Street, stays on 12th Street.

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