By Tonoah J.

My Block

Here’s what’s up and what’s down in my neck of the woods. I grew up middle class – not too poor, not too rich. We lived in a five bedroom house with two bathrooms. We lived in a place called the Goose. We had block parties, second lines. Everybody knew everybody. We were a big family until drugs came along. They took over. Everybody turned against each other. They were killing, stealing from each other all for drugs and money. Some called it the survivor mode. I just can’t understand why some people choose the wrong road.

My Tears

November 2002. It was a regular day – sun shining, getting ready for school. Before we left my mama told me she loved me and I replied, “I love you too, Mama,” not knowing that would be the last time I could ever tell her that.

I went to school late that day. I looked in the sky and it seemed so pretty to me. I have never looked in the sky and seen it so beautiful. I made it to school. I was in third period when they called me to the office. It was like I felt they were going to call my name before they called. My two brothers-in-law came to pick me up from school. I asked my brother-in-law, “What wrong? Something wrong with my mama?” He said nothing because my dad told him not to tell me, so I made it to the hospital and my big sister told me Mama about to die. I dropped to my knees and said, “No, not my Mama, my role model, my everything gone. I used to think that things like this happen only on TV, but I lived it first hand. I had to deal with the fact that my Mama wasn’t coming back, but with the help of God I made it through.


(FTS) The Four Thick Sisters. They were Shantell, Tiffany, Erica, and me. We were best friends, but we had different relationships from others. We used to ribbin each other but we always had each other’s back no matter what. We used to set goals and we all accomplished them, but some of us went astray. We used to always tell each others we’re not going to be like the other girls. We’re better than them. Sounds arrogant, but so what? But in the end some turned just like the other girls. Erica got pregnant for a man who is 25 years old and her daddy put her out, told her to go stay with her baby’s daddy. When she told me that, I was so upset with her. I could not believe it, but that’s still my friend. I love them all. That’s what a friendship is about, someone who will not deny you no matter what.

The Storm

The Bible says, “What profit it a man to gain the world and lose his soul?” August twenty-ninth I lost it all but not my family. I thank God for that but I was the type of person who knew it was all about me. I knew that God was the reason. He blessed me with a great daddy and wonderful sisters. So they can bless me. When I look over my life, I still can say, “Thank you, God.” He made a way out of no way. He paid the price. That’s why we are here today.


Rain may fall and winds may blow.

How can you comfort someone who has nowhere to go?

When God says yes and Man says no,

Listen to God and watch how far you’ll go.

Some may cry and some may frown.

Call on God. He’ll never let you down.

He’s a constant friend. He’ll never let you down.