BLACK AMERICAN SUMMER 

As the weather continues to improve, I’ve had a lot of friends participating in outdoor activities that gave me an extreme case of nostalgia. 

 

Now while attempting to relive the golden days of our childhood (and enhancing them via drugs and alcohol) is awesome, it’s just not the same. 

 

I want to take you all way back with this post. I want every black youth turned adult to feel this one in your SOULS.

 

You know what I miss? 

 

I miss running the block with my compadres. I miss coming inside and having my mom screaming at me that I “smell like outside”, whatever the fuck that meant. Or trying to cover up grass stains with dirt so my mother wouldn’t be pissed because I didn’t change into my play clothes. 

 

I miss running to the corner store for my granny and keeping the change. I remember using her lottery money for candy and her number dropping. She beat my ass. I know y’all remember how far $5 used to stretch! Especially when chips were 4 for a dollar.  

 

Remember coming home for lunch in the summer? Making a fried bologna sandwich on white bread and having it sticking to the roof of your mouth. Of course you had to wash it all down with a plastic cup full of the FINEST processed sugar and coloring the hood had to offer. Or a Squeeze it! Remember those? 

 

Freeze tag at the playground!? Now that’s when shit got real. I love how no matter what park you played at “home base was always at the top of the slide. Walking on top of the monkey bars to evade whoever was “it”. 

 

I miss sprinting out the house like I was running an NFL 40-yard dash after the ice cream truck, clutching quarters from the couch in my sweaty palms, wheezing while asking for a Choco Taco once I finally caught up.

 

I miss cutting through the backyards of adjacent houses to get to the other side faster. I miss foot racing in the middle Of the street with no socks on. I miss playing pretend and being fully engulfed, lost in the character. Playing Power Rangers in the front yard and older kids acting like villains.

 

I miss the local mechanic popping the top off the fire hydrant and us having epic water fights in the middle of the block. Me running inside the house to fill my Super Soaker (the joint with the reserve water tank you could wear like a backpack) so I could let the chopper ride on my enemies.


I’ll never forget the epic shows we would put on at the local swimming poolAt any given moment you could see eight or nine kids flipping, cannonballing, and performing 360’s into the pool one after another as if we were a black ass synchronized swim team. 

 

I remember when bikes were our primary means of transportation. My nigga Manny was the first kid in the hood with pegs on his Mongoose. Scott Mescudi and Dennis Cummings built a ramp for us, and of course I was first to test it out.

 

I peddled down the block furiously, gaining as much speed as my little ass could muster. I hit the ramp and pulled my front tire up as I reached the top. At this point niggas couldn’t tell me I wasn’t Kanye in the “Touch the Sky” video.

 

But much like that classic video, shit didn’t end well. I cleared the entire ramp on my jump, just to have my front tire burst and handlebar to go in my stomach as I landed

 

 I miss the race to be home before the street lights began to flicker. Running home to a cool, moist house after a days worth of play. I miss playing Sonic 2 on Sega after being forced to shower. Laying down in my room carefree, only worried about the next game of Tag or “Throw em up, Bust EM up.” Quietly fading off into sleep as “SNICK” played in the background. The only thought dancing in my mind? 


Being with my friends the next summer day. 


– King Malcolm

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