A block party is a great way to get to know your neighbors in a congenial environment, full of fun, food and frivolity.
It’s a chance for your kids to meet new neighborhood kids, throw the football or baseball around and talk about the latest gossip in the community with friends and family.
For Black people, block parties offer a chance for something much different: extreme violence. The typical block party in the one of US News and World Report and CNNMoney.com’s best places to live in America would include fun, food and frivolity and white people.
Block parties in the black community normally include basketball, beer and extreme violence, such as this one in Miami:
“Bright pink, blue and green balloons hung from a party sign welcoming hundreds of young adults to the birthday celebration in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood Sunday night. They sipped drinks and danced as the DJ spun rap music. The party spilled onto Northwest Fifth Avenue, where it looked more like a parade than a party.Bullets fired from high-powered weapons sprayed the crowd. Witnesses and police said the shooting, which began about 12:45 a.m. Monday, lasted several minutes and stretched over several blocks as the shooters fled.
In Concord, North Carolina but a few days later, Black people were celebrating together in another block party gala and the party ended much the same as the one in Miami, with violence:
“…Officers said a fight at a block party led to multiple people firing guns around 4 a.m. Saturday. Keyarre Miller, 20, was killed. Three others were shot on Ervin Avenue.
As of Sunday afternoon police said they still had dozens of people to interview and still had no leads as to who is responsible and involved in the shooting.Miller’s aunt was one of nearly 100 people at the party. “I ran to take cover,” Stephanie Graham said. “And then I heard somebody say my nephew had got shot. And when I ran outside, I saw him and his girlfriend on the ground.”
Not be outdone, but a block party in Columbia, South Carolina ended in even more violence, as Black people continued a streak of three states, three bellicose endings to block parties:
“A Saturday evening shooting left seven people injured and police searching for a suspect. The Columbia Police Department says around 10 pm Saturday, they received a call of shots being fired on the 2200 block of Waverly Street. Police say it was the scene of a street party. Officials say seven people were shot with a handgun. All of the victims have non-life-threatening injuries. Police say the majority of the victims are under the age of 25.”
All of these three stories are but a glimpse into the block party lifestyles of Black people and all occurred between the days of July 1 and July 14, 2009. All occurred in different states, with different Black people and yet produced the same outcome: violence.
Worse, the violent endings to Black people’s block parties is not geographically isolated to the south, as in New Jersey – at the end of June 2009 – Black people engaged in yet another horrifying ending to a block party:
“…police yesterday charged a seventh alleged Bloods gang member with murder in the death of a 13-year-old city girl earlier this month. Police said 27-year-old Sex Money Murder member Michael Jennings was part of a deliberate plan to target rival gang members with a drive-by shooting at a North Ward block party that missed its intended targets and killed Tamrah Leonard”
Interestingly, one of the few Black people block party events that did not end in bloodshed was a Hollywood feature that starred Dave Chappelle, Block Party. It seems only Hollywood can create the illusion that so many Black people know is false; Stuff Black People Don’t Like includes peaceful block parties, because four block parties -in four different states – full of hundreds of different black people – in a one month time span – all ending in violence, equates to Chappelle’s movies ending being a myth.