Black Men on the Corner

The word “neighborhood” is referred to as a collection of houses/homes/apartments/condos identified by one name. The “hood” is a variation of the word neighborhood and is often used to describe bad neighborhoods. Some characteristics of the hood are:

    dirty streets
    Furniture on curbs
    Barbershop on the corner
    Corner store
    Carry outs (if in DC)
    PEOPLE STANDING OUTSIDE

I believe dirty streets and furniture on the curb come from people not taking pride in their neighborhood. If its a housing project the residents don’t own the property therefore they don’t care about it. The streets being dirty doesn’t affect the inside of their homes so why care about it. The furniture will be picked up by the trash man so people probably don’t care if it makes the neighborhood look bad.

Barbershops and corner stores are indicative of what people in the hood are characterized as caring about most….appearance and convenient access to food. The one thing I can’t understand about people in the hood is why they stand outside??? Southeast, DC is known as the hood. On any given day you can drive over to DC and see bunches of black men standing outside in huddles talking. Why? Do they not have homes? Its cold outside! What are they talking about? Is it safe to assume that most of them are drug dealers? I just don’t get it. You could ride over to the hood at 9am and find black men standing around talking. What do they have to talk about all day?! Why don’t they just call each other.

So I wanted to go up to some of these dudes and ask “excuse me, why are you standing outside?” Then blog about their responses. The thing is that’s probably not safe, lol. If you are a person that stands on random corners of the hood or knows someone who does please respond and tell me why the hell this happens!

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3 thoughts on “Black Men on the Corner

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  1. It has become a sub-culture, think of it as their 9 to 5 or 9 to 9.. You said it best, a “corner store” without the actual building. It is their market, the selling of products and where their customers flock to purchase the goods.. Most likely there are 2 to 3 different products being sold from which they each specialize in. That corner could be private property, if it’s owned by particular drug dealers where everyone else needs permission, to operate on that corner. Without proper permission that individual could be in major trouble if caught selling or worse burning someone (fake drugs). The conversation can vary from what they did last night, who they hit and what’s the latest shoes and clothes that’s out. That’s on a positive day on a negative day, it could be about who got locked up, killed, a altercation or beef with someone on another corner down the street in the same “HOOD.” the corner is nothing but a gateway to a life of misery, for the user as well as the seller.. It’s a trap for our young men and women these days. It’s sad to see our youth throw their lives away, who probably had great talent and protential.

    1. Wow! I never thought of the corner as property. Thank you for sharing this. This is absolutely true. Most times the conversations look exciting and interesting from my car window. Most times the same section of the street is occupied by the same group of people. It’s as if they have a mental area marker of exactly where to stand which as you stated could be some territorial design of who owns what corner in the neighborhood. After reading your comment I also realized that no one appears to own the property we stand on. We know in reality that someone owns the property we live on or operate businesses on, but we don’t consider the corner to be owned by anyone. If you don’t own your home nor your own car you can own a corner. The only thing it takes is for you to stand in that spot and protect it. This builds an abstract sense of respect for what different groups own which in reality it is nothing but open space.This space is actually owned by no one person until someone claims it visually. Hmmm, interesting.

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