Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Surviving the Nickel

The play "Surviving The Nickel" debuted last night at the Regency Theatre.
The play was written by Melvin Ishmael Johnson(second from top).

The other pictures are from the top:
Two actresses,playing a scene in the play.
The Band
OG, of 3 on 3 Skid Row Street Basketball League
Russell Brown, Dlanc Executive Director.

The play was a fitting end to Dr Martin Luther King day. People of all colors were in the audience enjoying the play together.
It was a community collaboration with Tom Gilmore, donating the Regency Theatre so the play could be held. Tom Gilmore is the supposedly mean developer that does not like to contribute to the community. Here is just one piece of evidence that that image is undeserved.

The play was excellent. I could relate to it. It was about people from different backgrounds who landed on Skid Row. It showed how people on Skid Row look out for each other and that the message to those that really want to improve their lives is to not get "caught up" in the various forms of "quicksand" that can cause you to sink. If you survive the nickel you will be stronger for it and have achieved significant growth.


Today at 12PM, the Los Angeles Police Department will have "Meet the Captain" day at the Los Angeles Mission. It is an open question asking session for the community to be heard by the Los Angeles Police Department. The Captain is in charge of all patrols at the Central Division station. Enter the Mission at the Chapel entrance.


LAstraphanger said...

Can I ask a sensitive question? I really am just curious as a cat about this, and mean no offense. Why is it that African Americans seem to be the most common race seen in and around Skid Row?

skidrowscribe said...

lastraphanger, it is not a sensitive question. IT is a perfectedly reasonable question. IT is one of the reasons why I have this blog, to answer questions like this one.

I will expand on this question later, after I do my research. I do not want to give you the wrong answer.

As you know, up until the seventies, Skid Row was mainly populated by white males who were alcoholics.

In the eighties, crack hit the black community like the bubonic plague. Thousands of people began a career in an expensive habit that they could not finance. Many people resorted to crime to finance the habit and ended up in jails and prison. When they were released from prison they landed here where they could get services and shelter. Mostly shelter. The problem was that they began using drugs when they got out. Their colleagues followed behind them, being released from prison and the crack community grew. It was a place where crack users as well as other drug users could gather and feel relatively immune from being arrested and procsecuted for violating the law.

Now that is my brief off the top of my head answer. I will do some research and get back to you on that question but I am very glad that you asked that question.

I hope others ask questions like that. In fact I want everyone to know that if they have any questions that they would feel awkward asking anyone that is black because they fear that a reaction would follow, please do not hesitate to ask me. That is the only way to learn about people and events. thank you lastraphanger. I promise to expand on that answer soon. And, thank y ou for reading my blog. That picture was in 1972. I was finishing my first semester as a freshman in college in december 1972.

Dallas Cowboys said...

As someone who is around "Skid Row" almost daily it's apparent that a majority of the people in and around the area are black. However, there has been a visible increase in Hispanics especially around the 4th Street corridor. This is an area for day labors to wait for jobs and if not picked up to drink and pass out along the sidewalk.

I don't think Skid Row should be look at as a black/white issue. The issue is solving the problem and housing the people of all races.

skidrowscribe said...

I agree. I do not think LAstraphanger was making it an issue of color but was curious about the forces that brought things to their current status.
thanks for that sightful observation.

LAstraphanger said...

thank you for your answer.

i want to tell you something that happened to me several months back.

i was waiting for a bus in the heart of skid row. i was very conscious of the fact that i was the only white person around--that i could see.

a black man standing in a crowd near me suddenly said out loud, for everyone within earshot to hear: "I just love to see white folks down here with the rest of us, it makes me feel so much better."

It was obvious that he wanted me to hear this. I am paraphrasing what he said, but it sounded threatening the way he said it. I was glad to get on the bus and get away from that.

but that was an isolated thing. I get treated very well for the most part by the black people i see in the Historic Core--especially walking along fifth street.

the other day i saw a beautiful older black lady sitting inside Weeneez hot dogs. she had the telltale luggage on wheels with her, but she was so artistically dressed, i knew she had quite a history.

i went up to her and complimented her on her outfit and her choice of fabric colors. she really looked great.

she was very friendly back to me and appreciative of the compliment. i love to have interactions like that with people.