Jalan Ward | Published June 1, 2023
There's no way Philly should be called "The City of Brotherly Love". I didn't feel that at all.
After 5 days of mentally digesting what I saw in Philadelphia, affected the way I've approached traveling. It was an overwhelming experience that I probably would hope to never feel ever again in my lifetime. The way I viewed Philly is a open book of torn pages. The murals on every wall were beautiful but seems like that's the only good thing that's in these Philly communities.
During memorial day weekend, I had the chance to go on a mini tour throughout the DMV area, and included a trip to Philadelphia. The trip was going so well throughout the entire weekend until our last stop in Philly. It was like a culture shock instantly, and I'm usually surprised by things, but this was different.
Imagine you drive into several areas such as west Philly where there are several houses and blocks for miles, and you see nothing but anger, trash, broken homes, drugs all at once. This was a constant observation! Driving around and visiting people in these areas was probably not the right thing to do as a Black historian/philanthropist. The Black people there are not doing well in all aspects, and I believe it's getting worst, I witnessed it for my first time. As I'm trying to gain an understanding of these sides of Philly that no one really expounds on, seems like it's where all of the Black people live; Is it systematically programmed to place us there?
The areas that look like it would be in a magazine or tourist booklet only shows the white community's, downtown, and their surrounding areas that included their MAJORITY. It seems to me they have isolated themselves from the other environments. Smiles from left to right, enjoying their stapled cheesesteak on a bright sunny day, it angered me even more to see that there's not really much support going on to the less fortunate in the areas that need it the most.
There's no way a child can grow up and become successful with living in these endangered community's. Let me say it again...There is NO WAY A CHILD CAN GROW UP IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT DOES NOT GIVE THEM THE MOTIVATION TO BE GREAT! It really bothers me that there is nothing I can do to help these community's currently but it seems that no one is even trying to help these crucial sides of town. They're truly being neglected! Who need's to step up? I first said the celebs who are from those parts of town, but is it their duty? I don't really know. I then said the government, but they don't want to see us Black people prosper, and take control of our own community's. Hate to say it but something need's to be done soon if there aren't any resources out there. Maybe gentrifying these neighborhoods just to improve these environments. Still trying to find an answer to this problematic city.
I'm really not sure if Philadelphia will change any time soon, as I was hearing news after news of the Black youth shooting, killing and desperately taking from their own people. I just can't believe that we are in these times of our lives where the youth are the most dangerous humans right now. It's heartbreaking.
Thinking about Philadelphia and seeing how my Black people are suffering makes me sad inside and I guess I'll continue to inform others on my experiences so we can create a deeper conversation to lead to something.
If you read this entire review, I want you to plan to go to Philadelphia so you can see for yourself. Give your own opinion in the comments after your own trip.