Author LaVerne Johnson from the Hyde Park Writers Group 

    November 7, 2109

Brothers and sisters, boys & girls!!  Look around you, there’s an epidemic in our neighborhoods. It’s running rampant and no one is coming to rescue us but us.  Wake up. Recognize what’s happening!! Our neighborhoods are the only neighborhoods where this poison can be found. We’re allowing ourselves to destroy our race and creating your own genocide. 

How dare you sell that poison to your own Mothers and Fathers, sisters & brothers?!! What can you possibly be thinking? Take responsibility. Come on now, be for real. Our ancestors died so that we could be free, and addiction is the worst form of slavery. How dare you allow yourselves to be part of such a cruel joke?

This time they’re sitting back laughing while dropping off that garbage for us to sale in addition to making it possible for us to possess these high-priced weapons with little or no money to use and shoot up our neighborhoods. Our children are being killed inside their own home. Why be a part of that drama?! Hold your head up! Be what you were given life to be. Joyful & proud!! 

Any other scenario has nothing to do with love or happiness. Some nights a single person can spend enough money on drugs to take a trip out of town, to a place where they could go and come back with dignity. Without the shame of hiding from your landlord, knowing that you’ve put all his rent in a pipe.  The shame of having no food to give your children. 

What will you say to them when they tell you that they’re hungry? Anything with so much shame connected to it can’t be any good. Chasing a feeling that lasts a matter of minutes. Spending more and more even after that feeling is gone and you’re too ashamed to leave because you don’t have any money left and you don’t want to face your family. Ashamed to look at yourself in the mirror because you know better. Being sad, lonely or bored is no excuse to violate your body with poison and ruin your life. It’s sheer utter madness. Women will trade their bodies for a little piece of nothing.

Jails are overflowing with our Fathers, brothers & sons. We’ve got enough to deal with when the incidence of HIV and AIDS is higher among our women than women of any other color or in any other neighborhood. Our babies are being born HIV positive and with very little or no chance at life. Wake UP people and Listen UP!! What are we teaching our children? Will there be a next generation? A quick buck, an easy dollar, a quick fix, just what is the price that you’re willing to pay? Give it up while there’s still hope and it’s all in your hands while you have the choice… Listen Up!!!


I have functioned as a Business and Media Consultant over the past sixteen years and spent many years developing my capacity to function in our ever evolving use of technology, communication, education and training.