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Everyday News- Today in Black America.....what!!
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Everyday News- Today in Black America.....what!!
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Let's have a outlet to elaborate on everyday news and situations. It could be information we need to know, that may not get the press attention it should, concerning us, or just a medium of the exchange of newsworthy events that may need a little extra commentary, you know how we get down! Where are all the 'hood Barbara Walters-Jenkins or Bill Curtis-Washington, lol!
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Friday, 10 July 2009
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greg b , Saturday, 28 April 2012 17:44
greg b
Hello, my name is Greg B and this is a chapter from my soon to be released book. Hope you enjoy.
Chapter 1

Maria Torres got off the ‘EL’ at her regular stop, South Street Station, on the South Side of Chicago. She rode the Blue Line every night to the point where she could fall asleep and never miss her stop. However, on this night she was unable to catch her usual nap because she was excited about the previous night’s events. Along with her excitement, she was tired, her legs hurt, and with sneakers on, her feet were still killing her. Holding onto the handrail, she carefully walked down the stairs of the elevated station to South Street to start her two-block walk to her apartment. This apartment she shared with her roommate, Pearl Jenkins, who was secretly jealous of her success the night before. Pearl was a twenty-three year-old, tall, slender African American that Maria moved in with when she was all of nineteen years old.

Inching her way up the street to the apartment, she could not believe how far it felt from the ‘EL’ when it was cold or when she was in this much pain. She did not understand why the sponsors of the dance contest held it on a Sunday, causing the competitors to dance all night when having to go to work in the morning. The grand prize was two hundred thousand dollars and Maria, Minnie ‘T’ to her friends, would dance on any given night the sponsors chose.

It was a warm summer evening that allowed the residents of South Street to sit outside on their stoops. Maria waved hello to most of them when she passed by. They were mostly blue collar African Americans who kept their street neat and clean with a variety of thriving small businesses. There was Mr. Smalls dry cleaners, the deli on the corner run by Mr. Brown and his family, who had been there for twenty years, along with the fish store, hardware store, the barber shop/hair salon all housed on the bottom floors of three to five-story buildings.

They were a close-knit group who took enormous pride in their community. In the summer, they often closed the block for parties. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, they would celebrate together, just as one big happy family.

However, the one event they really got excited about was the big dance contest, where Minnie ‘T’ and her partner, Ronald Gaines, would represent the South Side. On the outside, the people of South Street showed great love for them, wishing them the best of luck and pledging whatever support they could to help them win against the other four areas of Chicago. The Stepping contest was not only big for the winners that would split the two hundred thousand dollar grand prize, but also for all of the Blacks in Chicago, who Stepped and those who did not.

Stepping in Chicago was serious business.

Ronald Gaines had won the teenage contest five years in a row, and in all of those years, twice placed third in the adult competition with his partner, Cheryl Mitchell. Therefore, when he chose to dance with Minnie ‘T’, there was a silent uproar on the South Side. The people who supported them were sure this year, their third year in the contest, was their year to win it all and bring the championship back to the South Side for the first time in ten years.

Cheryl Mitchell, who could have danced with hundreds of others, was so upset when Ronald dropped her, decided not to dance. She figured, like most people, Ronald and Maria did not have a chance to win. Nobody could figure out why Ronald dropped her, but some were taking it extremely personal because of their love for her and some for the money they planned on winning by betting on them to win the contest. Some just did not like the fact that Minnie ‘T’ was not Black. Therefore, when they did win, Minnie ‘T’ from Puerto Rico became the first non-Black to represent the South Side in the Chicago Stepping Contest. The contest, that was to be televised on BET, for the first time in its twenty-five year history.
Walking up the street, all Minnie ‘T’ could think of was the contest in two weeks, and all the hard work they would have to put in for a chance to come out on top. The first thing she did at work was request the next two weeks off to devote all of her time to practicing with Ronald and he did the same. Two hundred-thousand dollars is a lot of money, but the exposure of being on BET could lead to much more. Standing on the corner of South Street and Third Avenue with three other people waiting for the light to change from red to green, Minnie turned to say hello to a well-wisher who had called out to her from behind. Taking her eyes off the oncoming cars, she never saw the white van slowing down.

The feeling of joy that she had been feeling for the past twenty- four hours turned to horror when the small-caliber bullets entered her knees almost simultaneously. Everyone could hear Minnie’s screams, as the other people on the corner with her dove for safety. Minnie, lying face down on the ground, with the left side of her body on the sidewalk and the right side in the street, pushed her handbag with all of her identification, down the sewer with her right hand. The handbag no one would ever find. The white van turned right onto South Street never going over the speed limit then left onto Second Avenue under the ‘EL’. Half of the people on the street tried to read the license plate number and the others called 911 on their cell phones.

When the van reached the next corner, Clark Street, the driver turned left and parked the van in the nearest space. He along with the shooter removed their masks and put them into their pockets with their hats then got out. They walked very calmly to the entrance of the same train station that Minnie had just come out of, paid their fare with tokens and rode the Blue Line one stop uptown, getting off at the Pine Street station. They walked to the corner of Pine Street and Second Avenue, got into a black four door 1995 Honda Accord. The two drove in the direction of the North Side, never to be seen again by any of the residents of South Street.

The residents gathered on the corner of South Street and Third Avenue, watching Minnie, now lying on her back still screaming. The first emergency vehicle to arrive was a police car with two officers. They pulled close to the corner then jumped out. The first officer pushed through the crowd to get to Minnie. The second instructed the crowd to move back from the crime scene as the EMS vehicle pulled up. Once the first officer, a female, reached Minnie, she bent down to pull Ms. Walker away from her. Ms. Walker, a resident of South Street for thirty years, was attempting to comfort Minnie. With Ms. Walker out of the way, Officer Reed was able to see Minnie ‘T’. With her trained eye, she saw immediately what had happened to her.

“Who would want to cause you this much pain, baby? Who would want to do this to you?” she asked after brushing her short black hair out of her crying eyes.

Before Minnie could answer, EMS personnel pulled the officer away. After ten minutes of attending to her, they carried her into the ambulance on a stretcher and then sped down South Street heading for St. Jude hospital. Inside the speeding ambulance, EMT Quick inserted an IV tube into Minnie’s right arm and had comforted her enough to answer his questions.

“Miss, can you tell me your name? You have no identification.”

“My name is Marie, Marie Morales. I live at 139 Dowd Street on the North Side. Call my husband Hector at 773-550 -5555. Do you understand?” Minnie ‘T’ asked him.

“Yes. Yes. I got it Mrs. Morales,” he answered just before Minnie ‘T’ passed out from the excruciating pain.

 
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