I’m a girl in the hood tryna make it out. Hoping and Praying to go from my hood to Hollywood. In my hood, we hear gun shots so much that we try to name what gun type was shot. Sick and tired of the murder rate rising everyday. Now days, the victims are mostly women and children. Shits messed up around here. Nothing like when I was a child growing up. In the hood, we have parents who’d rather buy their children true religion clothes rather than a bed to sleep in. Or pay for all the latest sneakers, instead of a tutor when their child is failing in school. Truth be told, a lot of parents and children need therapy to heal from tragic events. The kids can’t even walk to school without a chance of getting snatched and raped. Or their throat slit and body found in an abandoned building. Shits crazy in the hood. Where I’m from, you can’t even go to church without smelling weed on the way there. It’s so many different drugs out now, I can only name a few. Can’t go to work every morning without spotting somebody nod off from being high off dems, lean and perks. Apparently being high is supposedly the new trend around the hood. Shits straight sad man. Big momma’s don’t exists anymore. Hell, the new aged grandmother’s run the streets more than the drug dealers and club hop with their homegirls. Sad to admit, but I’ve seen and heard it all. From kids raising their younger siblings, to the dad next door raping his own daughters, to the young woman sleeping with the married man for money, to the mother who was always getting arrested in the crack house, to the men letting the women be the bread winners in relationships, to kids going to school smelling like pee, to the homeless mother stealing canned goods out the corner store. I’ve seen women take care of their men and neglect their children. I’ve seen mothers work their asses off making minimum wage just to Keep a roof her childrens head. There’s no morals and values in this day and age. In the hood, Men would rather sit at home and play the play station or Xbox and smoke weed all day instead of getting a job to take care of home. I’ve seen the police hop down on black boys for simply being black. I’ve also seen foolish civilians belittle cops and try testing them with their cell phones recording. Knowing damn well these laws ain’t meant to protect us. I’ve seen kids get hit by speeding cars who didn’t stop at the stop sign. I’ve seen so many cars run red lights in the hood it’s ridiculous. The corner gas station had so many shoot outs, folks call it “The Killer Mobile”. I knew it was time for me to get away when that 7 year old got shot there. That did it for me. It happens everywhere but, It’s happening too often in the hood. Where I’m from, all the stores lock up items like Tide, Gain and Dove products due to high theft. The beauty supplies even have alarms on hair. They steal any and everything. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a single mother of 3, so when they come through with the deals, I’m on it. Times are hard out here and the struggle is real for most of us. I don’t knock most hustles. As long as they’re not hurting anybody. Too often, we can’t even get gas or go to Walgreens to fill a prescription without somebody standing outside asking for change. It’s getting so bad that the sports teams coaches have our children outside on main intersections asking for money to support their team. Back when I was a kid, we did fundraisers to support anything we needed. Nowadays in the hood, they’re teaching the youth early to beg, instead of how to put in the work to earn a dollar. It’s sickening. I understand homelessness is real. But there’s plenty of help out here. Some become so comfortable with being dependant on others. Instead of using the gifts God blessed them with. I’ll drop a few dollars in the bucket of the man whose playing the drum, or the man whose singing. What are we teaching our children in the hood? Adults in their 30’s and 40’s walk around sagging yelling out “crips and bloods”. Knowing damn well they need to be calling on the name Jesus. Bodies are constantly being found of victims who’ve been reported missing for months. In the hood, we protest police brutality against our own people, But we fail to protest and stand up against ourselves when we kill each other. How we gonna expect them to stop killing us when we’re constantly killing one another. They’ll never respect us and take us serious if we don’t. If you ask me, I say they went wrong saying we can’t discipline our children. It’s a difference between spanking and beating. That, the drugs, and absent father homes played roles in destroying our community. In the hood there’s a church on every corner. But there’s also a liquor store on the opposite corner. Only in the hood, will you find the line for the new Jordans wrapped around the corner. But you can walk right up to the building to get in line for the voting polls. Our priorities are so twisted. In the hood, you’ll find a young mother nurturing and catering her son but, neglects and gives her daughter tough love. And because of it, the men are growing up dependant on their women to care for them like mama did. And the women growing up independent, Working full time, being full time mothers, and changing her own tires on her car. Where exactly did we go wrong in the hood. Our mentalities needs to change. I plan on becoming so stable that I can move out the hood. Then come back to create programs for our youth to teach them a different way of life. One that’ll allow them to travel and meet new people. One that’ll motivate them to dream big and make better choices in life. A program that’ll give them access to job trainings in High school, so that it won’t be so hard to find employment when they’re an adult. A program that offers scholarships, independent living programs to teach the youth about adulthood and so much more. But until then, I’m just a girl in the hood tryna make it out.