Each summer, juveniles in America’s inner cities made the decision to take a step outside of the boundaries made by their caretakers; this phenomenon is called “jumping off the porch”, and this summer many will take that leap.
I’ve seen it before…
The older neighborhood boys are paying, and all you have to do is ride your bike around the corner, and see if there are any police lurking…only problem: your granny told you to stay where she can see you.
You want the money. You need the money. But above all- you would want to obey your granny. After-all, she bought you that bike. And she can take it away.
But its summertime. And you know you could ride around the block, wave at the girls playing double-dutch, check for Five-0, receive your payment from the older boys, and return to your porch, before granny looks up from her daytime stories.
This is where you make the decision to “jump off the porch”, and into grimy city streets that move faster than any one of those gears on your pretty little 21-speed can handle.
It happens all the time, not just summer time. It happens for many reasons, not just money. And it leads to something one cannot find sitting on the porch: adventure.
But it leads me to question: is jumping off the porch a good thing, a bad thing, or a natural thing?
This train of thought was inspired by Youth Outlook reporter, Amanze Emenike, as he explored the topic and how it has influenced his community of Hunter’s Point San Francisco.
Here is a link to Emenike’s video story : Jumpin’ Off The Porch In Hunter’s Point
In the end, the classic teaching reins supreme: respect your elders. which means, if granny says stay on the porch, then do so. But then again, each experience where a wealth of wisdom is gained can be considered “a rights of passage”. And, if it weren’t for jumping off the porch, who knows how much first hand knowledge and experience I would have missed out on…
That leaves me asking: is there anyway I can jump off that porch, make that money, wave at those girls, gain that life experience, and not disrespect granny?