I had to drop off a check at the bursar today for tuition and return some books to the library, so I bundled myself up and began the few block hike to campus, when a (Black) man, maybe a few years older than me, stopped me.

He was walking along the sidewalk, away from Livernois (on the portion that was passable -- many urban sidewalks here are not, with the concrete either broken to the point of being deadly or littered with so much [un]identifiable garbage that a person, viscerally, senses that staying away would be best), while I was walking along the side of the street toward Livernois (campus).

"What you doin' here, boy?"

"Excuse me?" [taking my my glove, so I could pull an ear bud out so I could hear him better]

"I said, what you doing here? You White, man. You on the wrong side of Puritan." [glaring, chest pumped out]

"I live here."

"You live here? Where you live?"

"Over there [gesturing toward Santa Rosa Dr]. I study at University of Detroit Mercy. [gesturing toward campus, two blocks away] I'm learning how to be a therapist."

"You at University Detroit? [demeanor changing]"


"All right, all right [smiling, extending hand] You get an education!" [I take his hand; shake hands]

"OK. ...I will."

And then we each continued on our separate ways.
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