The Raven #2: Bronx Stories
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172nd Street and Morrison Ave.

The Bad Days of Morrison Soundview

Morrison Soundview once was known as one of the worst places in the South Bronx. In the late 80s and the early 90s, Soundview was at its worst stage. Many casualties happened and people thought that it occurred because of the rise of the drug craze. From my prospective growing up around that area, I think the cause of so many casualties was because of the rise of the Bloods and the Crips. I have a lot of reasons to think why gangs were the reasons for casualties in the Soundview area.

Growing up at 1633 East 172 Street wasnít as bad it seemed. Where I lived was in the middle of the Blood and Crip wars. The Bloods were on 174 and Bronx River, in the projects. The Crips where mostly on Stratford. I knew that both these gangs were around and my parents told me frequently to avoid Stratford and Bronx River, and I did.

One hot summer day while Stratford was having its annual block party, I walked by because I had to go to my cousinís house. When I passed there were a lot of people outside, kids were riding their bikes and boys where chilling trying to get a girl for the day. I was temped to go to see what this block party was about but I remember my mother saying, ďShanieka, go to Kimís and donít stop,Ē so for one time I actually listed to my mother. I walked by and I went straight to my cousinís house.

While I was at my cousinís house we were outside just talking and she was braiding my hair. I stood at her house for like about an hour. While outside I heard a loud sound (like POW, POW), and I turned to my cousin and said, ďAnother drug dealer is down.Ē We both laughed and went back to talking about nothing.

When my cousin was walking me home I saw a lot of ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks. I walked by because I did not know what happened and my mother always told me, if you see a crime scene walk away, donít be a fool and stay there. So once again I listened to my mother and I went straight to my house. When I went into my gate my father, mother, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, and cousins were outside. I asked them what happened and they told me that a little girl got shot up the block. I was kind of scared because it was so close to my house. The next day I found out that it was a girl that lived across the street from me. I really did not know her as a person, but I saw her around since I was a little girl. She was like the same age as I was. That day was a relief because I found out that she only got shot in the arm and her cousin got grazed by a bullet.

The story was posted on 2004-06-03