As a native Washingtonian, I’ve seen the city go through a complete transformation. The housing market has not only bounced back but is booming and so are the prices. We’ve grown from the rat patrol and thriving outside drug markets to buildings new and under construction everywhere. The schools have taken major shifts starting with the buildings themselves. Entertainment can be found everywhere along with outdoor seating; some in places I could have never imagined. And, the population has gone through a drastic shift. What was once considered the Chocolate City with its Vanilla suburbs is now described more like Neapolitan.
And yet, some things have unfortunately stayed the same. There are many pockets of city that look untouched with too much despair and way too much crime. Drugs are still a staple that keep neighborhoods run down and its citizenry in fear. Anywhere you walk or drive you soon run into the unpleasant whiff of marijuana permeating through the air. Unemployment is rampant and the school system is failing way too many of our children. Education is the key to a better future but what do you do when the key is out of your reach? Too many families are still living under the poverty level in the same pockets and way too many Black households who made the city Chocolate have moved to suburbs or further as they were bought out and forced out.
I offer my knowledge, experience and wisdom to churches, community centers and hopefully soon to schools. I may not be able to change the whole city but perhaps, I can influence one who can.
Thomas G. Wright