September 23, 2007

El Cerrito Plaza

"Man", he says, looking at me unreadably from the other side of the checkstand, "you'll never know what it was like for this Oakland boy to walk Black through the Plaza the first time". He mimes the reactions: panicked phone calls to the police and other merchants, squinting shop-keepers following his stroll from behind the blinds and counters. "That's the best reason to go to Wal-Mart — they don't give a shit that I'm black, only that I spend money and I'm middle class. And they don't do none of that bullshit Berkeley 'hug a black man' crap".

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