I believe that the 80's and 90's were the best time to grow up.
Parents still had power when it came to their children. I had to be either in the house or on my stoop when the street lights came on. And if I wasn't..all my Moms had to do was stick her head out of the Window and call my name and I came running.
Video games were still innocent. Who remembers Galaga, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger or Dig Dug?
I would catch the bus to the Mall every Saturday and stay all day in the Arcade;only coming out to go to Chic Fila and hawk at some girls in the food court.
I remember house parties in the basements of my friends houses where we would slow dance with the neighborhood girls off of Prince, Ready for the World, Sade, Guy and Jodeci.
But if I was asked about it later..of course "I hit that."
I remember having dance battles on the sidewalks with a bunch of cardboard we took from the back of Kmart.
I remember sitting out on the stoop during the summer and talking about how Mike Tyson was a better fighter than Muhammad Ali.
I remember after school fights in the parking lot across from the school. No one got shot. Just a little bit of walking in circles talking shit, goofy and wild swings, some tussling and the teachers would come running across the street to break it up.
I remember $1 dance parties at the Rec Center.
I remember going to the corner store with $10 of my Moms food stamps just to get some candy so I would get enough change back to get in the dance, the bus ride to the Center and enough for a perch plate after the dance and the bus back home.
I remember going to the $1 show at the neighborhood Theatre on Friday nights.
I remember trying to drink a whole 40 ounce in between classes.
I remember throwing up in class right after trying to drink a whole 40 ounce in between classes.
I remember Friday night football games and Thursday night basketball games.
I remember Martin, Def Comedy Jam and In Living Color.
I remember cutting the symbols off of old IZOD shirts and having my Grams sew them on new shirts she got me from Family Dollar.
I remember Member's Only Jackets and Cross Colors.
I remember the epic battles between Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller. I remember hating Karl Malone for no other reason than he played for Utah, of all places.
I remember Yo!MTV Raps and Rap City.
But most of all I remember how simple life was then.
Bullies got dealt with. There was no "Black suicide". There was no disrespecting your elders. Going to jail was not a right of passage, it was a black mark on the family. Gangs were around sure..but it was mostly dance crews.. (At least growing up on the East coast it was anyway.)Child Molesters were in the closet and if they did venture out, they were never heard from again. Drugs were just starting to take hold of our streets, but it was "manageable" to a certain extent. And most of all...there was a certain PRIDE in our communities that does not exist now.
We were proud to be Black.
We were proud. TO. BE. BLACK. And of everything that being Black in America represented.