By Doni Glover, Publisher
I Am Black Wall Street
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
Thursdays at Midnight on WEAA 88.9 FM
(BALTIMORE – December 24, 2021) – As a child, I couldn’t wait to open my new G. I. Joe, especially the one with the Kung Fu grip. I can even remember that Big Wheel and the screeching slides after speeding downhill on Lanvale towards Patterson Park Avenue. And after I opened my gifts, I recall going to my dad as he lay there resting and asking him what he wanted for Christmas.
Invariably, he’d respond, “Nothing! What I want, they don’t sell in stores.”
It took me years to fully appreciate his sentiments.
Today, as a grown man, I see how the holidays are more about the time spent with my children and grandchildren than it is about receiving a gift. It is about that 5-minute prayer with two of my closest friends bright and early this morning. It is about that kind word from newfound friends whom it seems I’ve known a lifetime.
Got a phone call yesterday evening from Steve McAdams, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. He’s been a true partner for the past 7 or 8 years and has helped our Pennsylvania Avenue crew serve hundreds of families, particularly around back-to-school time and the holidays.
He said thanks for the connections we’ve made. I should note that it is not uncommon for him to call and say that.
I also heard from John Davis of the Salvation Army this week. He said he saw the story about the new, Black-owned tea house on Howard Street and offered to meet me there for tea. For the uninitiated, it is my hope that the Salvation Army will win the bid to take over the former William Pinderhughes Elementary School at 1200 N. Fremont in Sandtown and bring some much-needed resources to our community.
Sadly, this has been a year riddled with relentless violence and retribution, including right there at Fremont and Laurens. There have been multiple shootings there. Residents are tired of it. People cannot even get to the subway without being approached by addicts touting the latest dope.
And let’s not even start on the new influx of white addicts in the Black community who bring with them a sense of privilege as they often break into vacant houses. It is amazingly ironic and stinging all at the same time as young, Black dealers now demand respect for their non-Black customers. This level of domestic terrorism is unprecedented. And it’s mind-boggling: Protecting the very people who are adding gasoline to an already burning house? Go figure!
This year has also seen a further-stymied Baltimore City Public School System that might better serve our students if it was altogether torn down and rebuilt anew.
As for the Baltimore Police Department, deep in pain over the killing of Officer Keona Holley: Our prayers go out to all of our public servants, especially those law enforcement officers who risk their lives on a daily basis to keep us safe.
I only hope we can arrest other murder suspects with a similar level of tenacity.
And we cannot forget our other emergency personnel who show up unconditionally to save lives, too. With Fentanyl abuse on the rise, theirs is a constant task with seemingly no end in sight. Big ups, too, to our DPW workers who also face risks, including when they are boarding up houses. Additionally, our sanitation workers are also facing constant risks when they’re picking up trash.
Truth be told, it has been hard on everyone, including our essential workers in supermarkets and our medical personnel. Moms and dads across America are facing these challenges as well: How to keep a baby safe amidst COVID is extremely taxing on the mind and spirit. A shot-out, too, to our educators.
Lastly, many kudos to my fellow entrepreneurs who risk it all to grow their business empires. One man, Casey Jenkins, even had the audacity to open his new Darker Than Blue Grille on N. Charles Street. That same week, Hoodfellas Bistro & Catering also opened on S. Calvert Street in the Munsey Building. Despite it all, our entrepreneurs and business owners deserve a lot of respect for simply not giving up. The economy is shakey. Markets are volatile. So, to put it all on the line and go for it takes a lot of courage. Big ups!
As 2021 winds down, I pray we focus on our blessings. I pray we can heal from all of the people we’ve lost, and, somehow, find the courage and sinew to have an audacious 2022 … no matter what!
I love you, Baltimore! Happy Holidays! #GoRavens