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                                             By Maleaja Cokes

                        An American Dream

Where I’m from its not a walk in the park, It’s about survival. During the day it’s a nice, peaceful community, although it can get a little rowdy. Some nights are terrible gun shots, screaming, ambulances and police men everywhere. Terror surrounds my community, days I wish I wasn’t in this predicament. Watching my every move in the day and at night, not knowing what colors to wear without being questioned.” What side of town your from. Homelessness, restless and egos is all John Adams is about. This is life when you arrive at John Adams Manor. Everyone calls it the ghetto side of town or “Little Africa” ,but to me it’s not the ghetto, it’s home. You’re probably thinking “How could people live like this on a daily basis? Do they wonder about their last breath”? The answer to this is yes all the time. You may never know what could happen living here.
Sometimes I Lay in my room wondering how I could help this community be a non violent, positive and respectful, atmosphere. Maybe picking up trash, starting a rally. Nope that won’t work. I thought to myself has anyone besides me thought of helping this community?” I’ve realized it can’t only take one person to make a change ,but you can’t make a change until you change within yourself. It was a dark and shivering Sunday Morning, January 3rd 2010. Of course I was warm tucked in not knowing that terror was on it’s way to John Adams Manor. Seconds when the clock hit 12:01a voice from down the street comes AYE BLUD” without a trace gunshots” BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM”. Emotions running high, My brother Diovon, my mother and I frightened not knowing what to do besides stop, drop and lay low on our smooth carpet. “Weeeoooo weeeoooo” Sounds like the police are here again ready to take another gang related death case report. Mothers, aunts, cousins, grandbabies, and grandparents gather around the police, arguing some, with tears in their eyes and revenge painted on their faces. Inside, I repeat prayers over and over, hoping everything will be all right. I build up the courage to get up off the floor and look outside, Is that my best friend Abraham lying in the street. My heart skipped 5 beats I fell to the ground and break down. Why? I say quietly. ‘Why him, he hasn’t done anything to anyone. Why couldn’t it be me instead of him?”. I say repeatedly in my head, confused. Emotions running high, hoping and praying that this wasn’t the end, because his life has barely began. Thinking to myself how I don’t let my community affect my studies in school. Not letting the society put me down or think of me as another failure. All I have is faith. I know that god will handle things for the better. As you see life is not a joke. Life is what you make it, either you make it or you don’t. The perception of John Adams was just a dream, but that’s the thing you can only step into John Adams and wish the perception was an American dream.

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