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The Ghetto: Being a Single White Mom Living in a Predominately Black Community

Updated on April 27, 2012

The Ghetto: Being a Single White Mom Living in a Predominately Black Community

I have lived around the world and in graduate school one of my best friends was black. My family is from Brooklyn, New York. So I did not give it a second thought moving into a predominately black community. As many people will a test I have many friends which also happen to be black. And while I don’t consider where I live to be the ghetto, I hear this complaint often from my Father. He can’t stand that my son and I live in what he considers the ghetto.

To me people are people and you have good ones and bad ones in all hues but there seems to be cliche's in this particular ghetto which I would like to share with you.

Most notable is that I am not trusted within this community but no one really dare touch me as I am a single white Mom of a disabled child. Everyone seems to acknowledge that I have a very serious life and I will go to no end to protect my son and myself. Of recent I have reported I was assaulted. My assaulter was the only other white male living in this area. He had an undergraduate from Stanford and a graduate degree from Yale and was or is a member of MENSA. So I would imagine only white on white fighting in this area.

In this particular ghetto there seems to be a cultural divide amongst the religious senior citizens who also happen to be black, the young Christians black people and the disenfranchised young black people. What is for certain is I am out as a white person which is alright with me. There are a few exceptions. I have a friend who was married to a military officer and stationed in England who lives here. She is very nice but she is very family focused as am I and therefore we don’t have a lot left over at the end of the day to share. We basically hit the bed to get our few hours sleep and then get up the next day and do it all over again.

Now this is just an observation of my community and I live in low income housing. In this economy there is no sense in living in expensive housing. I have other black friends who are educated and more affluent and they live entirely different lives. This is just an analysis of cliché’s in this low income housing area.

The Elderly Black Community

The elderly black community are exceptionally wise and want absolutely nothing to do with the disenfranchised black community. They are religious and worship Jesus and don’t have a racists bone in their body. They are exceptionally anti-crime and anti-drug. They look out for their families and keep a mindful eye on the community but will not intercede when a crime is being commissioned as they do not wish to get hurt. I love the elderly black community who seem to have more common sense then most elderly people.

The Young Christian Black Community

The young Christian Black Community is a conduit to everything within the black community. They have a social tolerance for crime and those who are disenfranchised as they have poor relations with the police. They also believe that their brothers and sisters just haven’t been saved by Jesus yet. And that no one finds Jesus in jail. This group is exceptionally hard working, smart, ambitious and enfranchised. They also are networked through the entire community with both the Christians and the criminals.

The Young Disenfranchised Community

The final element is the disenfranchised young people who happen to be black. The first thing I noticed is they all drive luxury cars while on welfare? They have beautiful gold jewelry and can afford $800 coach purses. There is an element of prostitution within my community. At the end of the month when the rent is due I have one neighbor who has men lined up for a little loving. So I would have to add that this particular group of people have low self esteem and are promiscuous. They also believe it is there predetermined fate to be anti-social criminals within their own community. They are absolutely shameless about their source of income as if they have bought every police officer and politician and they are completely unemployed. Everyone claims they are kin to everyone else and when you see their mating habits you get the feeling it maybe possible.

What is it like?

Really it is no different for us then living anywhere else. As stated before I have lived in other countries and my best friend in graduate school was from the Cayman Islands and my other best friend was from Taiwan. I like diversity and I feel it makes us stronger as a country. The only thing I have noticed is that it is a little bit louder but that just maybe the elderly speaking loud because they are losing their hearing.

The only concern I have is that the young disenfranchised people who happen to be black are not nice to my son because he is disabled. I worry this will make him a racist. My son has never been brought up a racist but the disenfranchised young blacks are teaching him hatred and I loath that. But what can I expect from people who are not educated and drive luxury cars without jobs while collecting welfare?

And while I have enjoyed my time here it will not be forever. My son will only have this experience for a year and then we will move on. I just don’t want this to leave a permanent impression on him. And the other people who are black who are our friends who are educated and more socially mobile are good to my son so hopefully it all balances out in the end.


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    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Rodric29,

      I actually like the majority of my community who happens to be black. There are just a few young bad apples and hopefully they will find Jesus. I have many black friends who are Christian who will not live in this community because of crime but crime is everywhere and if we limit our hearts and minds to believe it is only in low income housing in black communities we are delluding ourselves.

      It is very nice to meet you Rodric29 and it is an experience for my son. I actually lived in another black community before he was born. I have range.

      Thank you for your kind words about my article. It gives me inspiration to continue to write.

      All My Best,


    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Johnson 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      This is a very interesting article and you a great observer. I am not familiar with this type of diversity anymore but I remember living around it. I think your division of the community is exceptionally perceptive. I also like your "common" man approach to your article.

      I also am happy that you explicitly reveal your love for yourself and your heritage in such a matter of fact manner. I just like the article!

      Every thing you have described I experienced living in a predominantly Black Community. It has been years since I have lived in such a community though.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

      HI Elena X,

      It is good to meet you and I look forward to reading your comments. Thank you my son and I appreciate it. But we are blessed with some wonderful people of color in our neighborhood we wouldn't give up for the world.

      I look forward to your comments.


    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 5 years ago from London, UK

      Very touching to read. I admire you.

      Best wishes to you and your son. I might come back to comment some more .... just saw it posted on facebook.

      Elena x

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Dex,

      People are good and bad in every hue. This place is a bit unusual as I am not use to arbitary shootings but I am getting use to it. But shootings can happen anywhere anytime. It is not specific to any race or socio-econimic status.

      I am so glad I have lived outside this country so I have a bit of perspective on that and I am glad I have friends that have as well.

      Thanks Dex!!


    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi D,

      I am waiting for those changes or I am planning to over throw the government next Friday. It is all but a toss of the coin for me:)!!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi WD,

      MENSA is sitting in jail so no need to fret about him. I would also like to say there are many wonderful people of color in my community who are working to eliminate the crime and make this a safe generous community. But I fear there is too much money to be made for this community to ever be safe.

      It is an interesting dynamic in this community that is why I shared this article with you.

      All My Best,


    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      Hi JT! Wow, you have provided another interesting perspective, this time on the black community. I think you said it all. People are people, wherever you live. There are cultural differences for sure. Like you, I have lived all over. I have seen good and bad, poor and rich, in all races. Great observation of your community.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Great account from your own perspective. All communities can make a difference, if they work into togetherness. Martink Luter King had a dream, and so far we are living a dream of our own. Team work is hard to achieve when you do not even believe in yourself. Times are hard and we will see if society makes changes on its own.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      You are working it out, but you might need that spray, again.

      "the elderly black community who seem to have more common sense"

      This is true in my community as well. These folks have been tempered by diversity. They have seen things come a long way, and it has reinforced their faith. They have incredible wisdom, and usually are gifted in exhortation.

      "They are absolutely shameless about their source of income"

      I know my way around a little (Sister Irene . . . hint). During a project I worked on, the police came down to show a presence to ensure our safety. It was business as usual a block away. I asked the cop why he was so unresponsive. He explained that he was assigned to stay with us. Why not call it in? He responded, "They have look outs (kids on bikes with cell phones) who warn them. By the time an officer gets here, they will be gone."

      Why not stake them out? They do it all the time. The thugs either return in a few days, or are replaced. Business never stops.

      Sister Irene told me that the thugs make enough money to get the best shady lawyers. She suspects some of the cops are in on it, and the big money behind the whole deal comes from the pocket of very powerful and influential people outside of the community.

      I also learned that gangs like the Crips and the Bloods (LA, Atlanta, Miami) "own" corners where they station dealers, and prostitutes. The locals are afraid of the sociopaths who are heavily armed, and maybe the cops are too.

      It is a crazy world.

      One more thing . . . MENSA is a joke. I would rather be a genius of common sense.