On a cool night in Center City Philadelphia, where rejoicing and chants of local residents colored the city blocks. It seemed our feet could not get us to Broad Street fast enough. Signs in hand, hope in our souls, triumph in our strides, and joy in our cries. I realized how aptly named The City of Brotherly Love was, the night Barack Obama became our 44th President of the United States of America. The diversity of our congregation forming on the streets was a reflection of the collective power that formed in those ballot boxes across our nation. The world’s eyes were on our election like never before. When I went to France earlier that year, I made foreign friends who were just as hopeful and excited about the future of our countries. Forever I am inspired by that night, because that day I knew I was going into the White House. Sure it was Barack Obama, however I was going in with him. Along with every other American. I voted for every reason you want to name. It was my first and the greatest contribution I’ve made to my nation in voting for our first Black president, and I celebrate it. For all those that died for my freedom to participate and those who will come after me, I can say I voted twice for them. With two feet freshly into adulthood, it would prove to be the most exciting period of my life so far.
There was so much momentum to 2008. I graduated my University, earning my Bachelors in Animation. I took my first trip to France. My nephew was born that summer. In 2009, moving to Atlanta, GA lit a fire in me to go beyond where I was. At 22, I worked in a department store fitting room and illustrated children’s books to save enough money to move across the country to Sunny California! It was the greatest risk of my life and the doubts and fears of others would not deter me from going for it. The motivation was love and the pursuit was my career aspirations. It would be the first time I’ve ever been completely away from my family. Never do I forget them, yet the LORD proved time and again, He would bring me to family everywhere He placed me. In those places I learned the value of work, as every job odd and all, extended to the next. For they all shaped my character going into my career in design.
In California, God has shown me so much about my conduct, influence, and how to show grace to others. My transition into manhood and the renewing of my mind. So many lessons learned through the complexities of relationships, my mistakes, my fears, and how to better care for them. The simplicity of Christ. Knowing the differences of my religion v. relationship with the Savior. Sitting at that negotiating table for my first car. Twice traveling out of the country. Witnessing the births of my brothers families. Maturation of youngsters and the passing of elders. The power of forgiveness, the joy of salvation and the hope of glory to come. All to His glory, trials and tribulations have all had their stay, yet it’s only long enough for my faith to remain. That conditioning always reveals what is genuine.
In reflection of 8 years, I look in joy with our President. I’ve been blessed by the victories and the lessons of wisdom from every defeat. Each are pearls fastened to my soul. Precious and invaluable. I’m thankful to the LORD God, Almighty for all He has carried me through in these past 8 years. For all those that have helped me and strengthened me in my weaknesses through word or deed, I’m thankful. I’m proud of our President, and inspired that we made it. Seeing his toil and ethic to work through adversity is honorable. I’m thankful to be a witness to something so many before me only dreamed of and many never saw. As before, my prayers continue with you and your family Mr. President.
New York was so bad, I thought I want to go to a nice, shady, quiet city where it’s calm, the people are decent, there isn’t any trouble…Philadelphia, what do they call it? ‘The City Of Brotherly Love’? I’ll just go there, where people are dumb and they don’t fuck with anybody.
I went there and it was even tougher than New York. They killed on the streets, they bribed the cops. My first night there is what appeased and attracted me. I walked in, half dead, just wanted a beer - it wasn’t even night time, it was one in the afternoon - I walked in & the place was packed, it was in a poor neighborhood. Sat down, had my beer, looked around and everyone was crazy and drunk. We were all drinking beer.
All of a sudden there came a bottle flying through the air. This guy next to me (I found out his name was Danny) he says “You ever do that again, man, I’ll kill you”. And I said “Boy, this is a place I wanna be! Something’s finally happening”. Another bottle flew by and crashed. The bartender just poured another drink, didn’t say a thing, and I said “This is my Nirvana! Everything is happening! Open violence; decent, open violence”. The two guys got in a fight and they start slabbing it around. They’re still fighting & I went to take a piss. I went right through them, I said “Pardon me, Gentlemen”. They both stood aside, when I came back they were still fighting and I said “Pardon me” and they stood aside again.
This is my Heaven. I’m going to drink in this bar, I’m going to fight like this and I’m going to live like this. But you know what happened? That night never repeated again. It was like they all planned it for me. All the same people were there in the bar and I waited and waited for two and a half years, I sat in that stool. There was never any night like that first afternoon. I was trapped into a dream I had wanted. It was all just bad shit.
Artist Hannah Price documented her run-ins with street harrassment.
Via Buzzfeed: “Hannah Price is an Afrian-Mexican-American who recently moved from suburban Colorado to Philadelphia. Her photo essay, "City of Brotherly Love,” is currently a work in progress, as Price collects portraits of men who catcall on the street. The photographs…are a collection of candids snapped after a stranger has hit on her. There are also a handful taken after she spoke with the subject and asked her to take his picture. Price said the series is a way for her to explore her fascination with street harassment.“