I remember growing up in a small, rural town in coastal Carolina. The population still hasn’t reached 6,000. My stomping ground is the epitome of “smalltown USA”. Everyone is in each other’s business because every one knows everyone. There are very little secrets that are unknown. Even though these things may sound like “turn-off’s” or “pet peeves”, which they can be, these traits are what brought us together at the end of the day. For instance, if one of the elderly was having health issues, the community would provide and feed. The community would see to it,that that person didn’t have to worry about things like: yard work or keeping up the house. The community was once a SOLID unit that operated out of love. It was the ultimate support system. If your community is strong, no one would really need government assistance or police to handle domestic disturbances. My hometown fits the very definition of the word: community.
- a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
- a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
— via Google
Any revolutionary act cannot happen without the community. There is simply no way around that. When the Civil Rights Movement happened, it was the backs of our communities that kept that movement alive and growing. For instance: Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia. This 2 mile street housed a close-knit community that aided The Civil Rights Movement tremendously. This community housed Werd radio station (the first ever black radio station in North America that helped bridge a few communication gaps during the movement). The station was founded by Jesse B. Blayton Sr, however, the airwaves was for anyone that had anything that they needed to say. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used Werd’s airwaves religiously in the movement. John Wesley Dobbs, even constructed an apartment building strictly for the elderly who couldn’t work and would risk living the rest of their lives homeless as a result. Everyone had a “family” mentality. This community did more than exist and house a few black families and businesses, this community helped the movement thrived and breathed life into the souls of black folk…
I just can’t help but look around and wonder…. What on earth happened to our communities? Better yet, what is going on with the black community as a whole in 2014. It wasn’t always like this. It seems like since I have grown older, the world isn’t as childproof as it once was. It’s almost like children are targets and sending them to public school is becoming more and more risky for several reasons. Then, history is slowly but surely being rewritten for the youth as we speak. The apartments that John Wesley Dobbs built for the elderly was brought by Georgia State University. The University had the apartments bulldozed around 2007- 2008 in preparation for a new dorm. The sad part is… You can’t find this information online anywhere. It’s almost like they never existed. Atlanta natives such as “Pork chop” and “Undertaker” (yes, these are real people) know the truth. My question is… As our old communities become re-gentrified and bulldozed, who is going to be the one to tell the truth? We are in trouble…
I appreciate my country small hometown because we truly stick by the saying, “It takes a villiage to raise a child”. However, this is a small town and all of America. Even to this day as a grown woman, there is no way that I can go home and be in trouble. There is no way, I could ever travel back to my home town and have to worry about a place to lay my head or feed my stomach (even if I am not with immediate family). People would say, “That’s so and so daughter, come on home with me”. As a grown woman, knocking on 30, that sense of “community” that I felt so strongly as a little girl is still in tack at home…. The community still watches out for their own and often times, handle disputes in a peaceful manner still . The community disciplinedand taught everyone. I didn’t really grasp the concept of “community” until now. until I examined the situation away from home…
Community is EVERYTHING.