Over at Bay Pop, Eric Snider writes about the urban exploring he did yesterday in Saint Petersburg after the MLK parade:
Everyone from old folks to little kids flocked to this thing. Amid all the dueling, booming sound systems, a raggedy young guy rode by in a grown-up tricycle, a busted-up boom box tied to the back, feebly pumping out his tunes. A couple of muscled-up dudes strutted down the street without shirts, tattoos glistening in the sun.
I basked in the aroma of the many pop-up barbecue stands. A guy in his 20s approached, showing me a couple of DVDs he had for sale. They were movies by the local production company 909 Films: Dropz, which the young man told me revolved around Social Security fraud, and Trap: One Way In, No Way Out, which had to do with the drug trade. I got ‘em both for $10. Really curious to watch them.
Snider notes that the street party showed him “that segregation is still alive around here”, which he doesn’t necessarily always consider a bad thing:
(I)n this context, I don’t know that segregation was a bad thing. This was a party for black people in a black neighborhood celebrating black culture, on a day that celebrated one of the great black heroes, and on a day that the first black President was re-inaugurated.
I was not invited. But I showed up anyway, and everything was cool.
Kudos to Snider for two things: 1) for being one of the few white folks in the ‘burg to venture into Midtown on MLK Day; and 2) for calling a spade a spade. No one thinks segregation is a good thing, but it would be foolish to deny reality, which is that yesterday’s holiday, for better or worse, was celebrated mostly in one part of town.
Sometimes St. Petersburg is not such a seamless city.