No real secret I live in Montgomery, Alabama. Our city made headlines after Christmas due to a shooting at one of our local clubs. Initially, there were only 2 deaths and 6 injured, but one of the severely injured died. The biggest part of the headline was rapper, Doe B, was one of the people killed. Secondly, the young woman, Kimberle Johnson had just celebrated her birthday on Christmas with a promising future, was gone.
Of course, I knew nothing about the shootings until I woke up Saturday morning after Christmas and checked FB. Initially, the posting were about the actual club and how it is a death trap and should be demolished. As I read further and got more information, I was just in awe of what I was reading and then I thought about solutions. I came up blank.
First of all, the club involved has been in existence in one name or other since 1979. My first experience with the club was when it was named Top Flight. I had a ball going to the club with family and friends, because frankly during that time there were very few clubs we could go to in Montgomery. Later it was renamed The Rose Supper Club, I went there a few times for birthday celebrations and a few times when this popular male stripper group would perform. I haven’t gone to the club in probably a decade. Definitely haven’t been since its most reincarnated name of Centennial Hill Bar and Grill. Hell, when I read there was a shooting, I kept saying when did they get their liquor license back? Well, just in time for the football games in September. This after last year’s massive shooting…
In all the times I have ever been to the club, I never saw a fight, shooting or even been burglarized. I used to park my car on the street and didn’t worry someone would break into it and steal something. I knew things happen there because this particular situation isn’t the first time the club has made headlines. I went to the club to have a good time. Although, all the rules weren’t followed I never worried about my safety. As I got older, I just stop going out and plus I really can’t be in the club with clients and my younger relatives. So not cool. Also, the atmosphere changed.
When I started going to the club, you couldn’t go to the club unless you were legal. Nowadays, you can go to a club at 19 years old, but you can’t drink. (So they say…yeah, right!) Honestly, that is why I stop going. The atmosphere changed and not necessarily for the better. You see during the time I was going to the club my attitude was to have fun, not drama and I know I was mature enough to act as an adult in public. When you start mixing young folks with seasoned folks you have the makings of a drama concoction. Let’s face it, there is a generation of young folks who don’t understand consequences and have no earthly idea about decorum, respect and being a mature and responsible adult. Their immaturity is seen in their reactions to simple things. And they just don’t care or understand how to care.
So when I read about the demolishing of the club my first reaction after blankness, was if there is nowhere for them to go, they will be breaking into my house regularly. Yes, I said it and out loud. Montgomery is severely in need of places for young adults to go to have a safe and good time. If most of the young people have a lot of idle time, they are going to find chaos and devilment. If Montgomery had more options for the young, maybe they will stop doing the illegal things they are doing right now. Working a part-time job doesn’t garner the money or power like quick money. You would be surprised at the amount of aspiring rappers we have in this city. And everyone can’t be a rapper, so what is their backup plan? Tell me when you find out.
My thing is Montgomery has this wealth of history and importance in this country, but it has failed its youth and young adults because we have been so stagnant for so long. Options for the young aren’t always affordable options for many. And demolishing my old stomping grounds isn’t going to change anything. There will be another shooting and innocent bystanders will be caught in the crossfire. It isn’t the club that is the problem it is the people. When you don’t care about anything, what do you have to lose?
My blankness comes from seeing so many young folks right here in this city who don’t care about anything and knowing I don’t have the answer to make them give a damn. I will continue to seek the answer and continue to mentor to the young folks on my second job, but I know it isn’t enough. I am just drawing a blank on what else to do.