Friday, May 2, 2014

Good Old Pratt Institute

Became nostalgic for Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, where I taught for many years. Jumped on line to catch up with the news. Here's what I found:

About a day ago, a gunman unleashed a hail of bullets near Pratt Institute, hitting one 17-year-old girl in the torso, another in the leg and a 26-year-old man in the knee.

About  2 days ago, gunshots erupted near Pratt Institute's campus as a gunman hit a 20-year-old man, shot another in the arm, and a third in his hand. 

In recent months, near Pratt's campus:

An innocent bystander, Antonio Wilson, 23, was killed May 31 last year when a bullet, fired during a fight, pierced his chest.

In October last year Corey Brown, 21, tried to shoot someone but instead hit two other people. One, Nicoleia Taylor, 24, died.

These news items jolted my memory. 

Pratt is located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the second biggest ghetto in New York City. The biggest is Harlem.  

Teaching at Pratt I walked from the subway to class in the heart of that depressed community. There on campus, two masked teenagers held me up at gunpoint. There my students looked out a classroom window to watch a man stalked, shot and killed in the street. 

Remembering why I left New York for Nebraska jolted me. Here in my home state, I did find Omaha's ghetto an improvement on New York's. But it's not that much better. Except for size, North Omaha shares a lot with Bedford-Stuyvesant. 

However, in Nebraska I safely read newspaper accounts of North Omaha's many shootings and killings, anxious about the ghetto but relieved I don't live or work in that stubbornly depressed part of town.

No comments:

Post a Comment