"The Travel Guide is mind-boggling. Please explain the significance of the pictures that head the webpage. On the left I see what looks like a man with a dog and a boy with a skunk. In the middle—it's pretty obvious that those young men do not want to be identified, so I get that. But the rightmost picture over Guide, why should I be interested in a scene of unemployed young men lazing about and doing nothing?"
Celine, in the interest of pointing out that African American fatherhood is not dead, I insisted we include this photo. This is a dead end behind a small college campus. Behind the two dog handlers—that is not a skunk, my dear, but a brindle pit—are the railroad tracks and Interstate-83. As you can see, these two concerned citizens, shown greeting the Google Earth car with what could only be described as astonishment are patrolling in this area to assist any lost visitors to the campus and to aid authorities in search and rescue attempts to save people who have been thrown from the CSX train by white serial killers or run off the highway by rednecks in pickup trucks.
These three were about half of the members of a group of young fellows who had congregated in the middle of a street on the other side of the railroad tracks near Liberty Heights, a well known Baltimore Greenway, during school hours. These young men were risking truancy convictions for patrolling their neighborhood and defending it against Islamic State Militants.
Celine, I had fancied you a fine mulattress—or some other brand of mixed-race eye-candyuntil now. But only a white person could look at these four hard-working "men in the game" and see sloth, laziness and shiftless lack of ambition. [If you're cute, you still get a pass on this.]
The man in the street is either the lookout or the set leader, the shot-caller or the eyes of the shot-caller.
The man walking up the street is returning with cash from some whiteboy who drove down from Johns Hopkins University to buy some crack to help himself stay awake for exams.
The dude on the porch steps is going to go to the stash house and get the dope and run it to that scared ass white boy as soon as the cash runner hands off the cash to the man with the hooded sweat shirt on. The stash house will be guarded by one or more older men.
The man with the hooded sweat shirt is the heat, the hitter, the guy with a gun on him or stashed in easy reach.
These fellas have a lot of responsibility. They are charged with providing mind-altering substances for the privileged white elite, even as they combat rival service providers and seek to deal with the evil intentions of the police.