Earlier in the week I had the pleasure of speaking with a fellow classmate, David Norwood of Prichard, Alabama about the harsh conditions of the community. Norwood stated that the community gas truly changed for the worse since the times when we all grew up and played in the streets. As a former child who knew than area all to familiar I to remembered playing along the streets of a community called Snug Harbor and areas such as "The Village" and these communities since then have went down. Norwood added that it is because of these harsh conditions that the youth in the community have no where to play and nothing to do but get in trouble. He shares his story below about coming up in Prichard, Alabama and how the community has changed.
"I was born in Prichard, Alabama, May 26, 1984, and I've stayed in Prichard for 31 years. I attended Martha Thomas Elementary, E.S.Chestang Middle Scool, C.F.Vigor High School, and later Bishop State Community College. Growing up in Prichard, AL was great for me and alot of other people that I've grew up with. We had tons of things to do like riding our bikes to other neighborhoods, going to shoot basketball at the basketball courts or play football in the football fields, and plenty of family functions. I remember how we had night time events also like teen jams, the dollar movies, and the skating ring, to go enjoy outside of school.
The generation of today doesn't have the same opportunities and activities to participate in that we've had in the past years. The city officials have taken down basketball goals, closed historical schools with long histories and great attendance and have taken all the extracurricular activities away from the public. What they fail to see is that they are actually hurting our youth in so many ways.
Now the youth do not have anything to do but go find some trouble to get into. I have my own saying, "A stilled mind will always find trouble", but if you give that child an opportunity and I mean the same opportunities we had then maybe there would be less robbing, killing, and all kind of negative things. Kids and teenagers need something to do. You can't game away everything and then just expect them to remain positive about images around them. They visually see negative images and therefore will retaliate based off what they see.
I strongly feel the City of Prichard needs more attention on the youth, because no matter what, they are our future. Seeing it go down hill and walking the same streets I walked in my youth hurts. We can't even let our kids play outside or ride their bikes in peace.
It starts with us, the parents and elderly people. We have to take a stand for our city which we grew up in.
Stopping the violence is another topic. We all know that violence was always here and still will, but we can reduce it!
I'm only one man, but if we all get together and have a stop the violence march. I think it would have a big enough effect to make a statement. The real reason we need to think about violence is of all the deaths we've had in the last year or two. Just thinking about violence makes me think of my little cousin Hiawayi Robinson, she was only 8 years old. I only met her one time at my moms birthday party April 19,2014. An she introduced herself to me. It just breaks my heart everytime I think about it, the fact that I didn't even get a chance to get to know her that well. People just killing people right to left and nobody knows nothing. Then a great percentage of the murders are black on black, we're killing ourselves. If you've had a family member killed do to violence this is the time to step up.
Lets start taking pride in the community the citizens of Prichard, Alabama stay in. The Mayor, Council Members, and the Citizens of Prichard must all come together to help rebuild this knce flourishing area. Prichard has so many fallen trees, over grown bushes, abandoned trash piles, abandoned houses and buildings everywhere which creates more space for criminal activity.
The city needs to be fixed and if not...it will perish and everything memorable about it will fade."
David Norwood is just one man reaching out on behalf of the city of Prichard, Alabama. I stand along beside him rooting for some change to happen in my fellow home town. I desire along with others to see the city back beautiful. I believe that there should be a Keep Prichard beautiful day where all the citizens volunteer in the community to clean it up. I should hope that the mayor of Prichard takes notice to this article and joins in to help restore Prichard, Alabama.