Hadiya’s brilliant pumpkin smile, warmly greets and breaks our hearts as we read the grim and terrible headline. The City of Chicago, home to Blackhawks, Cubs, Bulls, Bears and other brilliant children attempt to gather the broken pieces of their hearts.
I know that Mayor Rahm Emmanuel like the Mayor Daley’s before him and Mayor Harold Washington will not rest until he finds a real solution to the violence in Chicago.
I grew up blocks from Hadiya’s neighborhood. I walked those streets while dancing to keep from being caught running from nasty nefarious punks that would roll along and offer rides to good little brown girls on their way to school or the park. Smiling the entire time, I practiced Ali’s two-step. Bobbing and weaving, in my mind the future was worth learning to leap from curb to curb.
I am here to tell you, I am mad like an epic whale jumping like Jordan toward God to say, THIS IS MY CITY–This here entire area was good land; the water and everybody in it from DuSable to the very last.
Mayor Rahm, I challenge you to make it safe for the kids.
We want to sneak out at midnight, under the watchful eye of the moon, and camp on the lakefront with only the quiet noise of a hungry owl disturbing our fun.
We want to run down our blocks with one raggedy sneaker on, and an open change purse with quarters flying toward the Good Humor truck, hoping & wishing he did not forget to hide one Creamsicle or a Bombpop underneath something, way, way in the back of the freezer.
CTA drivers that laugh at folks who don’t have the sense to know the bus schedule and not have to run at the last minute when the light is about to turn green, want up-and-coming jerks in the city to just sit down, and conduct themselves accordingly.
I believe Cleo Cowley wants the parks, and the city where Hadiya called home all her life to be safe for children again and forever.