Camden is the city where I was conceived, the city where I was born, the city where I was raised, and the city that I hold dear to my heart. I am NOT a product of my environment, but I AM a flower that bloomed from the cracks of Camden City streets. You will continually hear or read me say, “It’s not where you live, it’show you live” I was born in 1984, back when “It took awhole village to raise a child”. I could walk these streets without trepidation and my mother would allow me to do so because she knew she didn’t need to worry. No matter where I went, who I was with, what I did, one thing was for sure; by the time I got back home my mother knew everywhere I had been, everything I had done, and everyone I was with. She knew just about everyone and those that she knew cared about my well being as if I was one of their own. That is a value that you don’t really see anymore in this city. Yes, we are a city with a high poverty rate. Yes, we are a city with a lot of violence. We’re also a city filled with talent, intelligence, and dignity. Don’t count us out just yet. While you say C.M.D. is Camden’s Most Dangerous, I say C.M.D. is Camden Meets Diversity. I know my city will be turned around. City Council can’t do it alone. Parents can’t do it alone. Teachers can’t do it alone. Residents can’t do it alone. But together we all can help improve Camden. I have 3 daughters, 2 of which were also born here. All 3 of which I am raising in Camden. It’s a shame that I can’t give them the same luxury of going outside to rip and run. I know it’s not my city but some of the people in it. Where is the “Guns for Food” movement in my city? Where is ‘Stop The Violence” movement in my city? You can’t ask for change if you aren’t willing to work for the change and/or accept the change.
Having said all of that, I begin this blog with the hopes of spotlighting the positives in my city. I would like show artwork, poetry, music, etc on my blog from residents of Camden, NJ old and young, no one is excluded. If it’s positive and respectful I’ll post it on my blog. You can submit any works that you’d like to me to post to email@example.com and use “Camden Meets Diversity” as the subject line. If you’d like to give shout outs to someone that has inspired or inspires you, you can submit that as well. Include your name and a contact number.
Let’s stop complaining and start commending!