"I done lived down here my whole life. This is my comfort zone. I'm not gonna lie, I tried to live everywhere else but I'm more comfortable here. Growing up in the West was fun! Young people don't know, but right on that corner was an amusement park. You would walk down this street and it was the Dude Ranch. We had something to do. It was something to do everyday. We had the skating rink on the corner and now we have nothing to do. When we was coming up. We made fun, like four square and shooting basketball. Now, there's nothing. We need resources.
When we moved out here, it was all white. I lived down on 42nd and it was all white. They killed our dog within a week. Let's see, we started on 22nd Street but when that riot hit, we moved. We moved. I remember the day of the riot. I came home and my mother came and told me that we were packing and moving. They burned everything.
I was there when busing started. I tell young people that they don't know how good they got it. There was places downtown that we couldn't go in. I enjoy it, now, except the violence. You get so used to it, now. It don't even phase people because it's a normal thing. If you don't hear gunshots, that's a good day. That is a good day.
How to fix the violence? Not more police but economics. When we came down here, we had a Winn-Dixie, a drug store, and a bakery. We didn't have to travel. You just had to walk down an alley, turn a corner and you there. The grocery stores were on the corner. There was a hardware store right down there. You didn't have to go far for nothing. Everything was in the community. " - Darnell, Shawnee