"In 1983, they opened up this area and the first thing they put here was a McDonalds. This Kroger's only been here since 1983. The other Kroger was on 30th & Broadway, that was the first Kroger they had. At that time, Winn-Dixie was a store. I've been in the West End all my life. Down here, we done went from riches to rags. When the courts, downtown, started to take over responsibility of raising a family. When they said that there's time out. You can't correct your child and that's when stuff started going down hill. That's when the killing started. If you gotta glock on your side, it don't take nothing for you to pull it out and shoot somebody. Those kind of things is what sent our neighborhood down the hill. The West End is the neighborhood in this city. Anything past 1st St. is in the West End. Oh, yeah, 1st St. separates the West from the East. Let me tell you something, 6th & Muhammad Ali, blacks had the theaters and everything there. They had to eliminate all of that. It was Old Walnut Street. It was the urban renewal. They renewed, alright. The only thing they built back in that area is right there on 12th & Chestnut, Porter Funeral Home. They didn't put anything else there. I built my house in the West End. This guy come down and helped mess it up. I built a $250,000 house and he came down and messed it up. It's near Shawnee Park. I had a CPA come to my house and asked me why I chose to stay in the West End. He was like, 'Man, folks with guns are in the West End!, they'll kill you!'. That stuff happens everywhere! The TV stations only announce the bad things about the West End because that's what sells. They don't announce anything that won't sell. When stuff happens, they get the message wrong. The news said that there was a shooting at Chickasaw Park. There was no shooting at Chickasaw Park, it was in the Parkland area. They don't care.
In 1960, I sold papers, right there on 26th & Broadway, on Sundays. Monday through Saturday, I sold papers where the riot started. The riot didn't start until 1968. Matter of fact, I was there when the riot started. I can tell you who started it. It was May 28th of 1968. The point is this, I was out there selling papers and doing the twist and they used to call me the paper boy. Everybody had a job, down here. People need jobs, now!
We need to come together, as a group of people. Every time a brotha man makes it to the top, we want to pull him down. We want to pull him down and drag him beside us. Let them reach back and pull everyone up." - Lucious & Benny, Parkland