Haven't you ever wondered what motivates a white person to move into a black neighborhood?
As the weather breaks and long lost neighbors return to outdoor activities, I see my white neighbors and I start to wonder.
I start to wonder about their personal story.
I start to wonder how they found their home. Do they own or rent? What attracted them to this neighborhood? How long have they lived here? I wonder if they're afraid of black people. I wonder how they feel being a minority within a minority.
More importantly, I wonder how long my white neighbors will stay.
Touchy feely white liberals can preach all they want about diversity, inclusiveness and being color blind; more often than not those good folks don't usually live in Woodlawn.
I wonder how my white neighbors feel when they get bombarded with looks of amazement---from their liberal friends when they tell them where they live.
Yet I notice when I finally get around to asking "How do you feel living around all of these black people?" A quick subject change ensues.
No matter how many people I ask, I never get an answer.
I'm not sure if my friends have dramatically different expectations of their experience---if the reality of diversity is much different what any of us have been led to believe.
I wonder if my friends would have a different opinion if they had moved to a black neighborhood exclusively made up of middle and upper middle class professionals with neatly trimmed lawns and an active homeowner's association.
Is it a color thing or a class thing?
Being an urban pioneer regardless of color is challenging enough. Attempting to change the status quo of the past fifty to sixty years can wear you down; much less being gawked at while doing so.
So I watch.
And I wonder if I'll ever get an honest answer to my question.
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