Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rest In Peace Monte

Death is inevitable. We are only here on Earth for what seems like mere moments. Our job is to make the most out of those moments and leave behind a rich legacy of good works. Some people accomplish this, but many don't. Where I am from, if you are lucky to get out of the city, you are doing better than most.

I read on Facebook this morning that someone from my hometown was killed. The name Monte was all I knew. Reading the statuses and comments, my heart sped up a bit because I was hoping that it wasn't the Monte that I was thinking of. Growing up in the projects in Columbus, MS, I had the luxury and pleasure of growing up around some of the most down to earth dudes around. Cats in the hood get a bad reputation because many are involved in illegal dealings or what not. But in my eyes, they were friends. Monte, Anthony Hodges, Big Chris, Dominico, Head Poppa, Robert, Marquee, Jermaine, Thad. These were dudes that always looked out for me and my female friends in the neighborhood. They were never disrespectful and never let anyone else disrespect us either. I remember some of my best memories growing up involved my front porch and everyone from the neighborhood and the streets nearby just hanging out, laughing, enjoying life, and making the best out of our circumstances.

I checked the local news website about 20 times before they finally printed the name of the 32 year old victim that was gunned down in front of his home early this morning. It was Edmund Mosley...Monte...one of the coolest cats I knew growing up. My old friend. My heart hurt. My hometown has a history of violence but only a few deaths hurt me to my core. The death of Monique Ledbetter at her own party was one. She was shot by a stray bullet from a drive by just weeks after giving birth to her baby. The death of Monte is another. These are two people whose faces I can still see walking down the halls of Columbus High School. Faces I still see in the grocery store, at Skate Zone, riding past my grandmother's house on 20th street or just walking to the corner store. These were people I knew personally. Shared life with at one point. Monte was a good dude with a big heart. Had some run ins with the law but I couldn't think of a better dude to watch out for me when my brothers weren't around.

I hate that he is gone. Most of my FB friends from back home are really feeling the sting of his death, considering this is the second murder in two weeks. My heart hurts for Columbus, MS. Kinda glad I am going home this weekend to get my boys just so I can take a look at the city that holds so many memories for me. I was one of the lucky ones. I got out and never looked back. So many people I know are trapped there. Trapped in unemployment, lack of education, crime, violence, racism, hopelessness. My family is still there. My heart breaks for my brother who is still there and my cousins who are buying into the hood antics and mentality. There is a world outside of Northside.

RIP Monte. My dude. Thanks for holding Northside down.

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