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This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 1 - December 2 - 8, 2019


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the musical Hamilton Tuesday night at the Orpheum Theater here in San Francisco.  The set designs and music were phenomenal! The choreography grand!  Each player’s step were timed perfectly with a rotating platform to simulate motion on a static stage.

The next morning, around seven, I witnessed a comparable choreographed play as I walked the four short blocks to catch an uptown train, and there they were, at the corner, timed perfectly with my steps as if enveloped into my dance.  I've witnessed this dancer's steps many times before, the hysterical hipster with hound of the #GentrifyingGeorge type!  They moved in concert with my black/white dance to the corner, in tandem with my move to the identical spot. 

Were they reminding me that I was breaking the rules of the black/white dance in the "hood?"  Were they transporting me back in time to a historical place in the social construct of race?  Transporting me to the path of my ancestor, Harriet Tubman, chased by hounds on the Underground Railroad?


Thursday, December 5, 2019

I rode home on my bike and was greeted around three in the afternoon with a parade of neighbors, lining the street.  Were they there to welcome me home or check my dance moves in the black/white play?  Still on my bike and Just a few feet from my front door, a SUV backed out, rapidly in reverse, in front of me, nearly running over me.  Again had I missed a step in the dance?  Did I commit a party foul in this Jim Crow dance?


Friday, December 6, 2019
Mob Hysteria danced with me today at my front door.  We locked steps as my taxi drove up.  One actor in the routine feigned snapping images of the stunning Bay Bridge.  I yielded to this performer and they exited stage left, their dance number complete.  Then, as if scripted, a second dancer in the black/white play rode up on a bike costumed as a delivery person, calling for others to join the black/white dance in my building's lobby.  At that point, I exited stage left as the previous actor, down the stairs. 


But most strange was the out of character actor dancing pass me on the stairs.  This performer did not blend well into the theme of the dance.  This actor seemed Improperly cast for the black/white production.   Had the play’s director erred in placing this actor with skin like mine in the role of oppressor?   Was this actor injuring another black person in the absence of the oppressor?


Sunday, December 8, 2019

On Saturday, I rode down to a local haven for those of us seeking the “warmth of other suns,” those of us seeking a respite from the daily drudge of Jim Crow acidity.  This haven holds those of us of African descent in high esteem.  It has a way of neutralizing the singe of Jim Crow mainly with sacred gatherings.  However, my bike ride to the rays of the other suns was marred by unexpected dancers of the black/white play.  All lining the three-mile route to the sacred space.  Each one I passed singed my psyche, their optics reeking of oppression.  The symbols they held with an eight-foot line tortured my great-grandparents in the antebellum and in the fight for integration.  What possessed these actors in the dance?  Had the stage been expanded outside of South Beach?

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 2 - December 9-15, 2019


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Has the performance between black and white dancers extended outside of South Beach?  Is the theater universal? 

This chronicle’s premise is that the author experiences daily, racially based harassment similar to the author’s parents.  ProPublica supports this premise in “Get Out”:  Black Families Harassed in Their Own HomesOur Documenting Hate database shows that the terrorizing of people where they live is alive and well decades after the civil rights movement.


Friday, December 13, 2019
It's logical that the stage is universal in the Jim Crow black/white play.  Dancers from other districts in the black/white dance follow the same script; fixation on the black body much like the white women who danced with Marc Peeples in Detroit.  Marc’s dance partners attempted to vanquish him completely from the stage through complex choreography.   But a very discerning judge observed the white women’s moves and awarded Marc points in the dance.  Conversely, Judge Bryant deducted points from the white women’s routine, labeled them stalkers and harassers since these white women initiated all contact with Marc.  During a criminal trial, Judge Bryant stated: 


"This is disgusting and a waste of the court's time and resources… [the three white women]…engaged in a very targeted and constant harassment of the young man" that appeared to be racially motivated.  "I found their testimony to be offensive.” 


Do my black/white dance partners in South Beach use the same complex choreography as the three white women cited above?   Do they instigate all routines without my permission?   Don't I have a say  if I really don’t care to dance the black/white dance with anyone?

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 3 - December 16 -23, 2019


Friday, December 19, 2019
Days when the black white dance is suspended are refreshing.  Friday, was that type of a day.   As I boarded the train, a young woman yielded her seat to me.  This kind act made me feel so well respected, no longer feeling less than human.   It’s so inspiring to be graced with the kindness of the younger generation.  Later, in a crowded dining hall, this same young woman welcomed me to her table as we both got breakfast.  It made my morning!

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 4 - December 23-29, 2019


Monday, December 23, 2019
This week began with a brown, glass bottle smashing a few feet from me onto the Brannan platform just as I exited from the train.  It was around ten in the morning.  The bottle was thrown so hard it shattered into shards as it hit the platform. 


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Most memorable during this last week of the year in the black and white dance is the kindness of others.  It’s the hope of this writer that random acts of kindness become infectious in the new year.

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 5 - December 30 - January 5, 2019-2020


Saturday, January 4, 2020

Yesterday, on Friday, I got a tender reception from staff while visiting a center devoted to serving others.  The warmth, comforting and affirming atmosphere drenched me in love!  It was great compared to the many times I visited this area of the city and felt chased out and harassed.


This entry is the first in the new year.

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 6 - January 6-12, 2020


Sunday, January 12, 2020

This week was like all the weeks in the black and white dance here in South Beach, San Francisco, filled with intense scrutiny of the black body.  Makes one wonder which black bodies can walk, shop or bike without eyes on them?  Which black bodies are welcomed as peacemakers?

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 7 - January 13-19, 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020
One knows they’re in a beautiful town not only because of how expensive it is to live in the city but also because of the stunning sunrises that frame the town’s bay waters!  Viewing light on the water contrasted with the early morning sky electrically charges the senses, reinvigorating the joy of being alive!  These dynamics graced my bike ride over the Mission Creek channel early Monday morning.


Conversely, what distracts from living in an enviable locale is the Jim Crow, black and white dance, ever present and ever denied by those who fixate on the treks of black bodies in this luxurious town.


Midday I sat with a racially mixed crowd as we learned about our hidden bias, the bias white players in the Jim Crow dance can’t bring themselves to face and as stated above, ever deny.   It’s the White Fragility Dr. Robin Di Angelo lives to overcome.  Dr. Di Angelo is a white woman.  According to her, white people fear a personal introspection of their race relations to the detriment of People of Color.  So much so, that they fail to identify areas of possible growth.  She suggest that:


"An antidote to white fragility is to build up our (white people) stamina to bear witness to the pain of racism that we cause, not to impose conditions that require people of color to continually VALIDATE our denial.page 128, White Fragility:  Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.

  

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
What constitutes and unlawful assembly?  Do neighbors have the right to antagonize and picket another neighbor because of that neighbor’s expressed belief or immutable characteristics?  Such an assembly showed up around 5:30 p.m., Wednesday along a neighborhood block near home.  Bizarre, reactionary crowd.

 

Do they believe they’re seeking justice or just punishing a person?  Do they term their presence, peaceful, non-violence protest?  What are they protesting?  Are they misguided to believe justice stems from imposing one’s will on another?  How can their hearts be filled with such disdain for a neighbor to pester them so?   Are these actions in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. who rallied around loving individual people as opposed to hating, harming individual folk?   As he stated, we defeat evil systems, not other human beings!

“Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. 
It is the refusal to defeat any individual. 
When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power,
 you seek only to defeat evil SYSTEMS.

Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love,

but you seek to defeat the SYSTEM."  MLK Jr.

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 8 - January 20-26, 2020


Friday, January 24, 2020
Weird Friday, left the house for an appointment.   Got bad vibes this would be a mob hysteria day.  Sure enough, hysterics were in the South Beach air.   The HHWH was back, teasing folks.  Mob hysteria was most evident on Drumm Street with the absence of cabs, none to be found as if they were boycotting some entity, person or thing.  The city’s sweep team was there, checking the street and gutter for I don’t know what.   Even the convenient store choir sang in harmony in Friday’s black and white play.  The chorus called on all in the neighborhood to rush into this particular franchised store as if to prevent a hazard.  Did I miss the script?  Was there a part for me in this presentation on Friday?  Were certain people privy to the blocking and choreography and I not as lucky?


Later on Friday
There’s always a saint in the performance of these black and white dances and one appeared at the grocery store on Friday.  This woman went out her way to welcome everyone, even love everyone the way we all crave to be loved.  She took the time to load my groceries, would have even walked me to my car if I had one.  God Bless this Saint!


Saturday, January 25, 2020
Tried to take out my recycle and compost as I’ve done for twenty-one years since living in my building.  Got the queerest reaction!  After dropping off the items, I left the garage and tried to call for the elevator but then a woman jumped out of the elevator and audibly gasped at my presence.  Then she ran into the garage in a panic, turned on her car alarm.  Scared me a little.  Within minutes she was back at the elevator.  I was still shaken a little a bit by the woman’s erratic behavior, I took the stairs.


Was there some threat lurking in the garage I missed? 

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 9 - January 27- February 2, 2020


Monday, January 27, 2020

After lunch I made it to my biweekly meeting where we study and discuss hidden bias, racial profiling and how they impact the community. Our group is racially diverse with Black, Latina, Asian and White people courageously listening and validating the lived experience of each member. 


Later in the evening I felt super charged by sitting in a room of like-minded women.  I felt so uplifted hearing women in the room share identical observations of the need to prioritize the movement for Black Lives in this current political environment.


Saturday, February 1
Once again, I’m reminded of how good it is to live in my hood as I walked the three short blocks to the World Class Transbay Center.  The weather agreed with my trek since it was a very cool, crisp sunny morning.  It was an exhilarating morning not only because I was in motion but also because of the unexpected rally along the route to the Transbay Center.  The sight of this clan of folks made my heart race! 


Makes one wonder are their actions meant to intimidate other community members?  Are the members of this clan hyper focused on the movements of certain people in the neighborhood?  Are they in some type of campaign, reactive to others?   Undeterred by this clan of people, knowing no one has the legal right to intimidate another person based on that person’s God given characteristics, I soldiered onto my destination.  When I arrived, I had the luxury of being immersed into a cloud of saints, loving people!

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 10 - February 3-9, 2020


Monday, February 3, 2020

South Beach San Francisco’s proximity to transportation hubs is ideal.  I sat across from Caltrain Depot waiting on Muni.  A clear, blue sky with a lazy sun put me into a peaceful trance.  The day was great!


Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Caught a Muni train and as I stepped off the train onto the platform, I got a great, affirming comment.  A pleasant young woman noticed my t-shirt which simply states the word BELONG.  The t-shirt is a creation of the Othering and Belonging conferences.  These seminars stem from john a. powell’s Berkeley Institute of the same name.  This young woman gleamed with excitement eagerly ready to discuss the principles of these conferences, what the theme means.  Her friendly face and enthusiasm make me smile.

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 11 - February 10-16, 2020


Monday, February 10, 2020
As I do every other week, I sat today in the company of people resolved to address bias which leads to biased actions against Black people.  Everyone really seemed to be working hard, reading and compiling resources to fully understand the problem and thus resolve it with effective strategies.


Tuesday, February 11, 2020
I am watching the San Francisco Board of Supervisor's live broadcast from the chambers.  SFGovTv is the media company that produces endless hours of public meetings in the city so that anyone can watch civic meetings and programs live or view later.  San Francisco District 10 Supervisor, Shamann Walton opened with a special program for Black History Month in which he introduced new legislation calling for reparations to the city’s African Americans. 


The entire board is in the midst of recognizing February as Black History month.  African American women from each of the city’s 11 districts were recognized for their tireless struggles for civil rights in this city by the bay.   “Unapologetically Black” is how one woman described Supervisor Walton, the lone Black board member.  One community woman sang a soul stirring version of “Lift Every Voice” this song is also called the Black National Anthem. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Great view of the Embarcadero this evening while attending the book launch of a very popular leader.  He directs a very renown bay area nonprofit.  The mood among the assembly of folks is laid back but engaged. 

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 12 - February 17-23, 2020


More to come!

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 13 - February 24 - March 1, 2020


More to come!

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 14 - March 2-8, 2020


More to come!

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

Week 15 - March 9-15, 2020


More to come!

This Week in Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach, San Francisco, a weekly chronicle.

April 15, 2020


‘Are We Pershing Together as Fools’ Amidst a Global Pandemic?


We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools.
Because of our involvement in humanity we must be concerned about every human being.  - MLK Jr.


As we measure each moment, each hour and each day by the uninhibited, free breath we take, not knowing which breath will be our last, how is it we still may perish as fools?  Will hate, disinhibition and indifference be as lethal as the disease we all now fear?  How is it that the tribal rivalries* the late Senator John McCain warned about will hasten our demise as a civil society rather than a demise from an unprecedented, invisible foe, like the coronovirus? 


I pen this essay in response to last evening’s crude encounter with human kind.  My condo mates recklessly broached the barriers set in place by both local, state and national health orders as I tried to receive essential groceries in the building’s lobby.  These health orders require everyone, especially the younger folks, unknowingly transmitting COVID-19, to stay at least 6-10 feet from other people as well as avoid crowding into small spaces.  This is because the novel coronavirus’ spread is so undetermined that all precautions must be exercised diligently to prevent mass infections that then lead to mass causalities.

  

This is especially true for those who lack the immunity to survive this disease or have medical complications that inhibits their ability to withstand such a virus.


Out a love of life that I so enjoy and as ordered by local authorities, I have committed to wait out this current shelter-in-place directive until people most likely to die, if infected by COVID-19, are vaccinated against it, gain some immunity against getting sick. 


At least locally, breaking these orders are punishable as a misdemeanor and folks have been cited.  Yet, why are my neighbors still infusing themselves into close contact with others, appearing to weigh their actions as justified?  Are their actions intentional?  Is this a new form of harassment, inciting fear into targeted individuals?



*"We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe."

Living My Parents' Jim Crow in South Beach San Francisco
 May 5, 2020 (amended on August 2, 2020)

Gus:  Family Member or Family Pet?

Gus, pictured to the left, is the rottweiler/bloodhound mix I co-parented from a puppy, barely able to walk up stairs, to a daunting canine that would clear sidewalks.  I've been a pet parent several times over.  I raised many a pet from cats to dogs but my nest is empty now by my own choice.  Isn't it just proper etiquette then that I and only I make the decision as to if or when I commune with pets, no one else?

 

With the prevalence of so many hounds, do pet parents conscript non-pet parents to babysit their non-human animals throughout all aspects of civil society?  Is it my imagination or do they line the streets in a pet parent histrionics parade demanding anyone nearby see their cuddly, fury pet as family?


See What others are saying:

An Open Letter From Black America to White Peoples’ Pets

https://www.theroot.com/an-open-letter-from-black-america-to-white-peoples-pets-1818993839