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“When you go out on a regular night and you’re assumed to have a great time, you’re spending a lot of time saying, ‘Actually, no, that’s not cool. And I know that while you’re smoking your cigarette and having your chai latte, you think it’s really cool to say that, but it’s bullshit.’ And I’m not gonna look like the bitter black girl, the girl that’s always barking, but I’ll kinda feel like a sellout if I don’t say anything. And I’m gonna say it, and you’re not gonna trip, and we’re gonna pass the salt and have some food. But I still need to say it.”
And that’s exhausting.
She throws both her hands in the air. “I went from being exhausted in Silver Lake to being liberated in South-Central. It’s just that simple. I didn’t realize that weight until I got over it.
“The neighborhood that I’m in now,” she says, “people really appreciate the day. They appreciate every dollar. They just appreciate things, because they know how hard it is to get shit. But it’s more than that, too. This cat who lives across the street from me, who looks out for me all the time, he stays with his mama and sees me — single woman, working hard, a homeowner. He came up to me last week and said, ‘You’ve inspired me to try to get a condo.’ I mean, that’s what community is supposed to be about.”
So, the transition from Silver Lake to Souf-Cent . . .
“It was like coming home,” she answers instantly.