Community Greens

People of all colors discussing evergreen ideas.

Growing Up Morrisania

We are the soil we grew up in. Mine was Morrisania. Morrisania was the Negro neighborhood in the Bronx. Thelonius Monk lived in Morrisania for a time and the Boston Road Ballroom was as popular as Roseland. When I started Jordan L. Mott – Jr. High School 22, I remember someone asking in amazement if I lived in the “Colored Neighborhood”. Funny, I had just “moved up” literally from an unlicensed basement tenement apartment on Franklin Avenue and was then living in the Claremont/Webster Butler projects.

Most of the folks in Morrisania were Colored. We became proudly Negro when I was about 10 years. By the 70’s, I had become Black and I’ve remained that way though some folks have moved on and become African Americans. My 93 year old mother is still Negro though. She isn’t stuck in time. She is a product of the social crucible that is America and her self image and politics make her Negro just as mine make me what I am.

I remember The “Colored Store” owned by Miss Martha and her sister. It was a luncheonette but with a very special feature. It doubled as a candy store. There was a breakfront in the back filled with all manner of penny candies and kids would stand patiently in front of it until they caught Miss Martha’s eye. She would glance over to her sister who would scowl, wipe her hands on her apron, come around from the lunch counter and attend to the sugar greedy children. Each kid would wait their turn to point to the candy of their choice which would be dropped into a small brown paper bag and paid for with assorted pennies, nickels and an occasional dime.

As a child I believed the world was negro with an interesting mix of other ethnicities. That changed when I started Jr. High and was one of the 6 or 7 “coloreds” in my class. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered when I was in Jr. High School. They told my class, and several others, the news and released us before they told the rest of the school population which wasn’t originally, but was now mostly Black and Hispanic. I remember walking several of my classmates to the Grand Concourse, the opposite direction, from my house, before heading home. I remember the odd looks and nervous conversations. Many things changed over the years but I didn’t see that look again until 9/11 when the world made another monumental turn.

Advertisements

Filed under: African-American, Blacks, Morrisania, , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Bissel Gardens
MillionTreesNYC - Make NYC Even Cooler

Flicker Photostream

143-DSC_0238

142-DSC_0235

141-DSC_0234

More Photos

Find Your Community Garden

Anyone can join a garden. With more than 600 gardens across the five boroughs, potential members and volunteers should choose carefully. To aid in your search, GreenThumb has provided a Garden Finder from GardenMaps.

Vegetable Growing Guides

Kim Beazer’s Nature’s Nurses

Nature's Nurses

Black Urban Growers

Bronx River Alliance
GaiaSoil

Contact Us

Contact Form

Email

czvasser@yahoo.com

Get Community Greens.

“Even though this planet is round, there are just too many spots where you can find yourself hanging onto the edge, unless there’s some space, some place to take a breather for a while.” –Gloria Naylor

Morris High School

Farm BuildApril 28th, 2017
10:00 am – 1:00 pm also Fridays in May

Bronx River Alliance

Bronx River FlotillaJuly 15th, 2017
52 days to go.

Community Greens Photos

Chuck Vasser on Docs.com

CG @ Docs.com

Community Greens on Docs.com

BasketballNY

NYBasketball

Fried Chicken & Philosophy

Tiny

In a world full of
little people I admit
I am miniscule.

cl_butterfly_12

The Butterfly Project

Cog Blogging

Bronx Fixed is Back! - BxFxd