A Teen’s Letter To Oakland #2

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City of OaklandBy: Albert R.

Dear Oakland,

Many people may think that you’re a horrible place, however you have both positive and negative aspects about you. A positive aspect about you is that you provide programs that benefit teenagers in many ways. A wonderful program that you have is Youth Radio. It has helped me learn new things about the radio and music production. Although there are certain schools who don’t have the best reputations, I have noticed that there are a fair amount of them that are good. For instance, my school is a very good school that is in a safe area, where we don’t have to worry about anything. Although, my house is far from my school, I believe it’s worth taking the bus and the BART train to get there. Some people may only see the bad in you, but I see both the good and the bad. Their point of view is all going to change when I give them a tour to the safe areas of you.

Ever since I was born, I have lived in Oakland even through the bad struggles. There is a lot of violence and I’m sick and tired of being frightened every single day. Oakland, every time I walk home after school, you smell a lot like marijuana and when I turn my head around, I see people smoking it. The marijuana smells as terrible, as the garbage. I turn around, and in another corner I see gangsters with their saggy pants talking in slang. I mostly hear them saying, “Ey blood, I just got a call saying that Carlos got locked up.” And the other one responds by saying, “Man, I bet he didn’t do nothing. Free him, he’s not guilty.” I try to ignore everything that they say, but it’s too difficult. I try not to give eye contact with teenagers in the street because I never know what they are capable of. Ever since I witnessed someone get their phone robbed on my own birthday I realized never to trust people that I don’t know and to not have my electronics out when I’m walking home. Oakland, are you ever going to get your life together?

Sincerely, Albert R.

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