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Everyday Gentrification Bothers Me In Seattle’s Central Area

“One Man’s Opinion” by Gordon Curvey

central-district_chart-780x520Ladies and gentlemen I am a person who grew up on 30th and East Spring St. here in Seattle, Washington’s Central Area. I went to Madrona Elementary School and Meany Middle School. And then Roosevelt in North Seattle.

I used to be in a African American neighborhood. I went to Madrona with plenty of African American kids. Black teachers and principals and I felt relaxed. The playground at recess or lunchtime was full of black kids and faces. I got my haircut at Erma’s Barber Shop and Daye’s Barber Shop and went to Joe’s Grocery Store owned by Joe and Mea and Madrona Pharmacy to by candy and sports magazines. Went to IGA Store.

I went to the Doll House and Sammy’s for great hamburgers and fries. I also went to Jordan’s for candy and magazines and pop etc. I walked up East Union St to walk to Meany Middle School. Past KZAM Radio and see the dj’s talking on the air. There was a Chinese place to buy food on East Union and the food was great. Just like it was at Mrs. Helens and Oscars on East Madison.

During the summer Madrona Park was packed on three courts with guys and gals shooting hoops. There used to be African American plays at Black Arts West on 34th and East Union. The Black Panthers offices were on 34th too.

I used to go to the Red Apple for stuff too. They had great baked chicken at Red Apple at Promenade 23. Promenade 23 was part owned by a family friend, the late Jimmy Sumler. Used to run into him all the time. He was a member of a social club that my late dad Leon Curvey was a member too called the Westerners. Jimmy also owned Jimmy’s on East Madison. They also had great food!!

I grew up going to church and Sunday school at Mt. Zion where the late great Rev Samuel McKinney was the pastor. Of course Pastor Mckinney recently pasted away. RIP to Rev. He was a great man.

Because of gentrification “my Madrona area” is no longer the same and it hurts me deeply. I am a Adult School Crossing Guard on 34th and East Union right by the school I went to from kindergarten thur 6th grade, Madrona School. I leave my job in the morning and afternoon EVERY DAY feeling sad that I do not hardly see black faces. I see plenty of white folks driving expensive Audi’s and BMWs and Mercedes and Volvos etc.  I have been on 32rd and now 34th and East Union on my job for going on four years.

And every day I leave sad and get in my car feeling sad. Saying to myself what has happened to the Central Area I grew up in. When ever I see a black face I am VERY VERY happy. Mainly I see white folks and white folks walking their freakin dogs. Some walking three dogs at a time. Big poodles and little dogs.  Sorry to say, white folks hang with other white folks. They act like they “own the Madrona area”  NO they do not own the Madrona as far as I am concerned.

And as a school crossing guard I have sorry to say experienced racism on the job. Shocking this would happen to me a African American in a former African American area. But it is true readers. The subtle racism by white folks which is the worse.

Like for instance parents from a special Seattle Public School named TOPs whose kids catch the bus to school at 34th and East Union where I am at every morning. TOPS is a school for kids who are very very smart and they have a different form of education than regular Seattle Public Schools. I slowly began to notice something.

What I found out was most of the parents from this school and even a few of the kids acted “uppity” or “special”. Many times I speak to the parents and say good morning and they barely say anything or if I would not say good morning they would not say good morning too. Many many days right before I leave to get in my car I say “See everyone later and have a good day” and most of the parents would look at me like I am the Statue Of Liberty. They would say nothing. Basically only one or two would say something.

So I decided to not say anything to them anymore. I am not going to go out my way to speak to these “uppity” acting TOPS parents any more. It is not going to happen the rest of the school year. Sorry to say one of the parents who acts “uppity” is African American.

Gentrification is going on in a lot of major cities in the U.S. In L.A. and New York and other cities. Taxes go up, whites move in and African Americans move out. Because of gentrification the Central Area here in Seattle has turned into yuppie land. Powell Burnett Park and other parks in the area full of white folks and there kids and of course their dogs.

My good friend Wyking Garrett is doing a huge job trying to keep a little of the CA that gentrification has not hit yet. But he has a very hard job ladies and gentlemen.

It hurts me when I drive down 23rd and pass by Earls Cut and Styles and see basically nothing but white folks. It is like I am dreaming. I is amazing that this has happened and happened quickly. Just look at the chart I have here. To me it is very very devastating  as a guy who grew up on 3oth and East Spring St.. It is just unreal folks!!

There was a time when most white folks would fly past 23rd and East Union or 22rd/23rd and East Madison where Oscars and Deano’s was  in their cars like they were driving in the Indy 500!! With their windows up etc. They wanted no part of the Central Area.

Now all I see is white folks on East Union and East Madison like I said, walking their dogs or walking with another group of white folks, never do I see white folks walking with some black folks. They hang to themselves. And most of time do not speak to African Americans. They will look at black folks like they are criminals or gang members. Or like a black dude will steal their cell phone.

I will give some more of my thoughts on the gentrification of Seattle’s Central Area soon. A area where sky high rent for apartments and town homes and homes have forced African Americans out and whites in. When I see the Red Apple gone, Richlens gone, it hurts me. It hurts me each and every day!!

Comments: gcurvey@yahoo.com  www.facebook.com/gordon.curvey or facebook.com/musicinnercityentertainment or twitter.com/gcurvey

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Icon Jackie Robinson Would Not Stand For Anthem Too!

“One Man’s Opinion” by Gordon Curvey

colinandgordonpic

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I am sure that many many of you will disagree with me and what I am about to say here on my website. If so, I am sorry but it is truly how I feel about 49er QB and former guest on “Music Inner City Television” Colin Kaepernick. (pic with myself and Kaepernick)

First of all I am sure many of you have never met Colin. Well I have met him and interviewed him. He has appeared on “M.I.C-TV” two times. I interviewed him a few years ago in Los Angeles at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Party. And he also appeared on our program a few years ago at the Body@ESPYs pre show for the ESPYs also in L.A. Interviewed by Curtis “Boss” Elerson.

Kaepernick is a very intelligent young man. I am hearing and reading a bunch of crap from mostly white folks concerning Colin and his decision not to stand for the national anthem before a 49er per-season game. Ladies and gentlemen I DO NOT have a problem with Kaepernick and his protest.

And if he wants to not stand for the anthem all season, I do not have a problem with that. Colin feels America has not treated African Americans and people of color well and it is the truth. Kaepernick feels America allows racial inequality. Well it is the truth. If you think racism has got better in America because the first African American President..President Barack Obama was elected  and re-elected, you are wrong folks.

It does not matter if you have millions like Colin or if you are homeless, a black man experiences racism in one way or another EACH ANDJackie Robinson EVERY DAY! This is a fact. When Colin says his stance is bigger than football and it would be selfish on his part to look at it any other way. I agree again with Colin. He said that he was not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. He also said there are bodies in the street and people are getting paid leave and getting away with murder.

Yes, many folks think Kaepernick not standing for the anthem is disrespectful to America. People are saying he picked the wrong way of taking a stance. Well who says? In his mind he feels his way was the way to get attention. I do not have a problem with his feelings.

I have just learned that the great Jackie Robinson said in 1972 that he does not stand up and sing the anthem because of what black people experience in America. WOW!! Jackie Robinson said this folks!! A sports icon and legend! Now decades later, Kaepernick is basically saying what the great Jackie Robinson said decades ago. So now are certain people are going to bash Robinson in his grave? Ummm?

 

Guys like Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman says Colin could have picked another way of speaking up. Well I disagree with Sherman and by the way this is not the first time I have disagreed with Sherman. Real talk. A lot of times I agree with him, a lot of times I do not.

Some say he has basically made his way out of the 49ers camp by taking his stance. He was in a battle for the starting QB position. Head coach Chip Kelly already has a rep for really not getting along with African American players. Would it be a good look for Kelly to cut Colin now? I would say HELL NO!! He would catch hell from the NAACP, the Urban League, Rev Al Sharpton’s National Action League and Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. Not a good look.

You know what REALLY REALLY GETS ME PISSED? It is listening to sports radio hosts who let’s keep it real, who are mainly white, TRYING to discuss a issue THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE A CLUE ABOUT!! And that is the topic of RACE AND RACISM.

I just listened sports radio KJR and Dave Mahler on the Kaepernick situation. I listened to a point then I had to turn the radio off with a quickness and that is for sure.  Mahler TRIED to give his CLUELESS opinions on race and racism. DAVE MAHLER AND MOST WHITE SPORTS RADIO HOSTS DO NOT HAVE A CLUE ABOUT THE EXPERIENCES OF AFRICAN AMERICANS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR IN WHITE DOMINATED AMERICA!!!!!

It turned the radio off when Mahler started to take calls from KJR’s target audience….white suburb living, no African American friends or associates, no knowledge of our society or our culture listeners. Who of course would get on the radio and blast Kaepernick. Then Mahler had the nerve to have a African American former Seattle Seahawks player , Bryce Fisher on his show. I did not have to listen to know what Fisher was going to say because the brotha is a former member of the Air Force. You know he was going to disagree with Kaepernick and his protest.

It again shows something I have fought for and spoken out about for years and that is the inclusion, not the exclusion of African Americans as sports jocks on sports radio. Because readers IT IS A FACT, that whites and African Americans think differently on just about EVERYTHING, including the topics of race and racism.

Keep in mind readers that Colin has NOT broken any NFL rules. The 49ers released a statement supporting Kaepernick’s right to choose whether or not to acknowledge the national anthem.

I saw online that some brainless clowns have burned Kaepernick jerseys to protest the national anthem. Give me a break folks. Of course the folks doing this are NOT African Americans. Today thank goodness I have heard the leading scorer of all time in the NBA and now a community activist the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Seahawk player Michael Bennett and other sports stars support Colin and his protest. Including a mannwho is known for his famous protest in the Olympic’s back in the 60′s, Tommy Smith. That makes me very very happy. If you disagree me…sorry.

This young man is joining Lebron, Melo, CP3, D-Wade, WNBA players and more in speaking out in there own ways about police shooting of African Americans. Readers we know it is WRONG for police getting shot and killed. THIS IS A FACT. Also a fact is this. what Colin Kaepernick said is flat out true. And that is in just about EVERY killing of a African American by cops, they have not been charged or on PAID leave!! This hurts me, it hurts Kaepernick, hurts Melo, CP3, Lebron and D-Wade and millions of other folks.

YES, black on black crime is WRONG and it needs to stop. But also the killing of African Americans by police needs to stop. Sports radio hosts like Dave Mahler and others DO NOT spend time around African Americans in our community. They know NOTHING about us. They are guessing. They “wonder” about us. Guys like Dave Mahler on KJR here in Seattle NEED DIVERSITY TRAINING in a worst way!! It stands out like two left shoes the lack of knowledge guys like Mahler and other folks in the media when issues of race and racism like this Kaepernick protest comes up.

So again I am proud of Colin and protest. It makes me proud to see a man who in reality can take his millions and say f..k black folks! And not say anything about race or racism like Tiger Woods. Micheal Jordan in a surprise to everyone, recently donated to African American organizations and even spoke out about black folks getting shot by police as well as police getting shot. Colin can just get his millions, drive his Jag or Benz and be happy. He has decided not to do that!! He cares about the plight of black people.

The NBA and now the NFL. I am waiting on a few African American Major League Baseball players to stand up and speak out. Let’s see if this will ever happen. Until that time, shout out to Colin Kaepernick. A brotha who even with MILLIONS in the bank has not forgot where he has come from. That is a good look!!

Comments: gcurvey@yahoo.com or www.facebook.com/gordon.curvey or www.twitter.com/gucrvey

 

 

 

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President Obama Ratings Jumps Up By 11%

ARTICLE FROM boycewatkins.com (Full story click here)

We all know it was going to happen but anyway President Barack Obama’s approval ratings jumped up big time. He ratings went up 11% in one of the latest polls. Read more about what poll by clicking on the link above.

Of course with the killing of Osama Bin Laden we all knew his ratings would climb up but by 11% is a shock to most folks.

Plus I think another thing that helped the President is the way he handled the clown Donald Trump. Trump has been bashing the President constantly the last few months but the President is cool and calm and really got back at Trump at the recent National Press Dinner in D.C.

The President has a lot on his plate. Here is a question who can do a better job right now than President Obama? i don’t think any person on the right can. They can bash him all they want but none of them can do a better job than the President.

I don’t agree with everything he is doing. For instance I need to see him more in the African American community with common folks, listening to their issues and concerns. I don’t see him doing that.

With the elections coming up maybe he will do a better job in reaching into the black community where unemployment is rampent. I hope he does just that.   Gordon Curvey

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