Growing up my family moved to Canada for a month or so, and one night while we were out grabbing lunch I saw these guys riding bikes together. There must have been twenty to thirty guys all riding in formation through the street with a “yeah, we’re badass” attitude. Leather Jack, white tee-shirt, it was like someone finally cloned carbon copies of James Dean - overweight copies, but copies none the less.
      I’m looking at these guys while walking down the road with my family and it’s the coolest thing I’d ever seen. My sister asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I respond, “I want to be in a gang.”
     It’s been years and I still haven’t figured out why she slapped me. There is no way anyone was/is letting this kid into a gang. Not just because I don’t work well with other people, although I imagine that’s a trait every thug needs. I can’t be in a gang because I don’t have “it.” I don’t know what “it” is, but I don’t have it.
     First off, growing up I wore high sock, sweat pants - with the matching shirt - and the kiddie collar. Fuck that kiddie collar. I don’t even think my mom bought the collar for kids, knowing her it was probably cheaper to buy a leash. And this is why I didn’t need a deterrent. The kid with the matching sweat suit and the kiddie collar doesn’t grow up to be a thug; he grows up and murders his parents.
     Second, we were in Canada. Enough said.
     Finally, being in a gang is like AOL; it’s way too much commitment. I want the benefits of being in a gang like cool bikes, and the James Dean style, but I don’t want that monthly service charge: getting shot, stabbed, going to jail… getting raped in jail. I’m high-yellow; jail isn’t the place for me. Plus, gangs aren’t cool anymore. Why use AOL when we have Yahoo, Gmail - literally anything else?
     So why slap the kid in the dog leash? Just in case, I guess; especially if your little brother’s a pre-tween who wants to fit in. So thanks for the slap in the face sis. Whatever you did worked, it’s been fourteen years and I haven’t pursued a life of crime…yet.

I was reading the new Ultimate Spiderman by Marvel, and wonder who did Miles Morales look up to growing up? You know who I had to look up when I was growing up? Misty Night. Who’s that? Exactly, no one knows who Misty night is. Actually, I don’t know any mainstream black superheroes. I know what you’re thinking, what about Obamaman? Obama is not a real superhero, he’s the president! No one was putting Roosevelt in a cape. Say what you want, but honestly the white superheroes have it easy. You can dress like a bat, and stand in people's house in the middle of the night, and everybody wants to be you for Halloween. Hell, we have a holiday where a fat man goes down people's chimney leaving kids presents, and nobody says a thing. But a black superhero?  Shoot, Shaft got ticketed for jaywalking during 9/11. In short, we need a cooler superhero. I know "nerd" is in now, but how many carbon copies of Arthur Ashe can we go through before we get a cool superhero?   

Your New Black Friend