Chocolate Cities

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Being raised on the eastside of Atlanta, simply meant to me that I lived in one of the most highly black-populated cities in Georgia. I never knew that a city with so much heritage, history, and culture would be considered to a Chocolate City. Chocolate Cities was more than simply a place where many African-American lived. Rather, it symbolized an area of blackness that consisted of culture, companionship, spirituality, soul, and refinement (Hunter, Lecture 2). Stone Mountain, in particular, would become the Chocolate City that cultivated and crafted my individuality and black identity. Stone Mountain taught me what it really meant to be black and powerful simultaneously, but moving to other locations of the country taught me what it truly…show more content…
These include the Village, the Mind, and the Power (Hunter, Lecture 7). Each of these three aspects has allowed me to efficiently progress within every Chocolate City I have lived in throughout my lifetime. The Village, defined as the fundamental unit or nucleus for Chocolate Cities and Black geographies, serves as the foundation of my success and trajectory (Hunter, 59). The term it takes a “village” to raise a child was extremely relevant in my life, as I was raised intensively by my mother and two older brothers while possessing an enormous support system from neighbors and friends (Hunter, Lecture 5). My mother and two older brothers ensured that received a quality education and placed me into several extracurricular activities that would keep me away from trouble and off the streets. As I got older, Stone Mountain would become riddled with crime and gang violence. In hopes to escape this, my mother made the decision to migrate to the West South, attempting to foster a better life and future for my brothers and I. Although I was leaving The Village of my old neighborhood behind, this area developed my cultural identity equipped me with the tools necessary to thrive in any and every Chocolate City I would move to. Moving from city to city and home to home, the efforts made by the Village would seemingly shape and influence The Soul…show more content…
With the help of my Village, I was able to gain acceptance into one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world, known as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Coming from Stone Mountain, black and brown students struggled with obtaining a high school diploma, let alone an undergraduate degree. By remaining diligent and persistent throughout my academic career, I was able to regain the power and matriculate in a system that was not meant for African-Americans to thrive. Attending UCLA is substantial for me because now, I have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty within my family that would have been prevalent if I had remained in Stone Mountain. Many of my friends back in Georgia are either dead or in jail. To come from an environment that was filed poverty, crime, and hopelessness to attending a world-renowned university is surreal. This is also extremely important in the fight of reclaiming the freedom for African-Americans because I possess the resources that allow me to impact the lives of several young black and brown children. By gaining an education and matriculating through life, I possess the Power that will not only improve my Village but will allow me to break the bondage of systematic racism that has hindered the livelihood of African-Americans for
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