Guest Blog – James and the Urban Experience

Scott’s note:  James and I have been friends for almost two decades.  We were friends before it was “cool” to have an interracial friendship.  We’ve grown because of it, in many ways.  James grew up in Wilkinsburg, a distressed area of Pittsburgh, and worked his way out and is now the father of two awesome little boys.

James and I have had many conversations about God, and also on racism, what it’s like to be black, and so on.  Helped open up the eyes of a suburban white boy to the urban world of minorities.  I value his friendship! 

  I wanted to share some of his stuff here.  Check out his blog, too!

I drove into Wilkinsburg Memorial Day. I noticed the same garbage in the same place along the main street. Two women of the night plyed their trade in broad daylight.

Their pimp monitored them a block away. He moves swiftly for senior with a pronounced limp. I wonder if  they get holiday pay? The union steward in me I guess.

In my heart I judge the young men on bicycles, circling cars like carrion, expert eyes pick out the suburban white Guys looking for drugs. 

Why dont these brothas clean up their town? 

I consider making a statement by picking up the trash myself. But no, I really dont have the time. Truthfully I’m not comfortable with parking my car. What if it gets vandalized?

 I stop judging the people around me. I consider myself; Am I a coward? Am I a hypocrite? Am I just lazy?


poem about religion in pittsburgh 

A knock on my door from an earnest Jehovah Witness 

a bean pie from an angry black Muslim 

a postcard from a zealous protestant conservative 

a bumper sticker praising libreral catholics 

Its great to be American!


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