Right after George Floyd was killed, there were fireworks in my neighborhood. All night long. I live in Roxbury, on a sliver of Boston between two gang territories. So I assumed the noise was gunshots. But a few days later, fireworks actually lit up the sky. At 1am. 2am. 3am.

By the end of May, the fireworks out of our apartment window were amazing. Every night. High quality. They started at 10pm and by 3am, our neighborhood had seen serpents, rockets, willows, parachutes, and more that made me wonder: how much is this costing?

Based on YouTube research, the fireworks we were seeing cost about $250. It turns out that putting on fireworks is typically expensive because of government permits and logistics. There’s none of that in my neighborhood, but still, someone is paying $250 a night.

Then the mayor’s office of Boston reported that fireworks were not only in Roxbury but also in seven other areas of the city: Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, Roslindale, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, and South Boston. Boston is one of the most segregated cities in the US, and the list of cities setting off fireworks is the list of places black people live.

That made me excited. This is a form of protest. And the protest is so layered in meaning and gorgeous to view that I think it qualifies as performance art.

For one thing, setting off fireworks is only sort-of illegal in exactly the same way harassing black people is only sort-of illegal. It’s against the law to have fireworks in Massachusetts. The fine is $100 and confiscation of the fireworks. The city of Boston created a fun, user-friendly pdf to inform citizens that there is little risk to setting off $250 worth of fireworks every night.

But, just like harassing black people makes life for the whole community untenable, setting off fireworks every night makes life for the whole community untenable. The complaints about fireworks are ironically the exact same complaints we would hear about gang-riddled neighborhoods: “thunderous bangs…not a minor disturbance…tearing the neighborhood apart.” It turns out that fireworks done right are a relatively safe way to show privileged rich people what it’s like to be terrorized.

People are amazingly dense about fireworks as a form of protest. Some people brush off fireworks complaints as a yearly event starting in May. But this year Boston had 2300% more complaints than last May. Slate is reporting that increased fireworks are due to COVID boredom. Is it a black-people only boredom? Because otherwise, I don’t understand the logic there. My favorite headline is: Nonstop Fireworks at Night Making Boston Residents Uneasy. When I read that, I knew I had to go straight to the source.

I waited until 10pm and Grace and I walked toward the fireworks to talk to the people setting them off. Grace just moved here so she didn’t have to do lockdown alone, in Seattle. I have lived here a year. So I was the guide, and I immediately got us lost.

We asked a group of teenage boys if they knew who was shooting off fireworks, and if we could talk to the people doing it. The boys directed us through a part of the neighborhood people have told me hundreds of times to never go.

I said, “Is it okay for us to walk there?”

One guy said, “Of course. It’s your neighborhood too. We need to all get along.”

That surprised me. I mean. There are very few white people in this neighborhood, and definitely no Asian people in this neighborhood. And I thought the problem of getting along in our neighborhood is black people were not getting along with each other. But then I thought, okay, we are all being Black Lives Matter now, and he is being really nice to me, and I need to be nice. So I said thanks a lot. And we walked on.

Across the line between the two gangs was a group of kids setting off small fireworks. They asked us if we wanted to do it with them. The boy who offered to share with us almost set his friends on fire. But no one seemed to mind.

We asked where the big fireworks are.

The kids said the people behind the next set of buildings set off the big fireworks.

There was a big courtyard with a lot of people. It was fenced in, so we went to the fence. People ignored us. I said, “Excuse me! Hello. Excuse me.” People ignored us.

Finally, a really big, tall guy came over. He said, “What are you doing here?”

“We want to know who is setting off fireworks.”

“Are you gonna report us?”

“No, we want to know why you’re doing it.”

“C’mon now.”

“What do you mean?”

He walked away. I said, “Wait! Come back. No one will talk to us!”

He said, “No one will talk to you because we think you’re with the cops.”

“What? What!! That’s crazy! What? Look at how we’re dressed. What?”

“What else would you be doing here? A white woman and an Asian woman? At 11pm? You shouldn’t be here. It’s too dangerous.”

“We live nearby. We want to know about the fireworks.”

“What do you want to know? We put ’em off right here. ”

“Why?”

“Because we can.”

“Do you do it every year?”

“Not like this year. This year it’s like an F-you. It’s us showing people what’s up.”

“We wanted to tell you that we like it. It’s really effective. You’re bothering people in just the right way. And we want to help pay for the fireworks.”

“How’re you gonna do that?”

“We brought money.”

“Don’t take money out! Do not give me money. Don’t bring money here.  You don’t know how dangerous it is for you to be here.”

“Okay. We don’t. You’re right. We just wanted to help.”

“You helped enough by coming here.”

Then he pointed the direction for us to go back home. It was not the way we had come. We got lost. Of course.

Since then, we think of him each night when the fireworks go off. And the next day we read the complaints to the police with glee; it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful, playful way for the black community of Boston to shine a light on the inherently oblivious nature of white people exercising privilege. And the more people complain about the disruption of peace in their neighborhood, the more profound this fireworks performance art becomes.

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203 replies
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  1. lee
    lee says:

    If I set illegal fireworks all night in my apartment, there would be many Latinos and African Americans (who have to go to work or just need a good night’s sleep) who would be inconvenienced. And the tenants and surrounding neighborhood is predominantly Latino or non white.

    As a person of color myself, I can confidently say that you people are laughably stupid and no one should take you seriously. Why do you assume blacks would welcome disruption in their lives, even as measure of protest? I hear explosive argument (And things being thrown and destroyed) among black neighbors all the time, and an hour later 3,4 police officers enter the premise, let in by a black manager. The entire apartment complex complained about a noisy, out of control black tenant and he was finally evicted earlier this year.

    Illegal fireworks are illegal for a reason. What happens if they cause a fire? Or if they blow up someone’s hands? It’s amusing to see a bunch nanny staters suddenly give up enforcing safety measures in the name of ideology.

    Reply
    • Pedro
      Pedro says:

      Yeah, this story is bullshit. She didn’t go talk to anyone, because if she had, she would know that those guys aren’t polite or nice to people who show up when they shoot off fireworks. I live in Dorchester, and my neighbors, mostly people of color, fucking hate it. People need to be able to sleep. It’s not “beautiful.” It’s fucking obnoxious, and the white idiots in this comment section need to shut the fuck up.

      Reply
    • harris497
      harris497 says:

      Lee,
      If you are black, and that is questionable because you speak in terms that we do not use to refer to ourselves, you conveniently fail to see the point. We are talking about civil disobedience, not a domestic squabble. What form of civil disobedience is palatable to all sides? As a “person of color” you know this.
      You say, “Illegal fireworks are illegal for a reason. What happens if they cause a fire? Or if they blow up someone’s hands?” Well, what if you kneel before a game, in quiet protest, nothing unpleasant could come from that right? I mean you couldn’t lose your job or have the president and vice-president curse your existence… right?
      I bet they wish we were kneeling now!
      If you are a “person of color” I suggest you reassess your priorities and consider alternatives, because your diatribe offers none.
      My2centsworth

      Reply
    • Alice
      Alice says:

      I agree with Lee. This whole post is offensive. You called the groups of kids “gangs.” You called setting off fireworks a safe thing to do. And you assume that the people living in these neighborhoods were these “protest” fireworks are going off are ok with the noise and fear. I came across this after googling who is behind the fireworks, after having my baby wake up numerous times. How will we all help each other without sleep? How will people get along if they’re all cranky and scared? It’s not a form of protest, it’s just blatant disrespect to neighbors, and also dangerous!

      Reply
    • Dave
      Dave says:

      As a person of color with two screaming infants and a dog that is now a nervous shadow of her former self, I can say your store and their excuse are bullshit. Every night I’m awoken at 10pm and again at 2am by my kids and my dog because someone thinks this shit is cute. It ain’t cute when I have to be up for work at 5am

      Reply
  2. dean
    dean says:

    I’m sorry but this story sounds just like that. A story. I am from the neighborhoods you speak of as well and the narrative reads like an after school special with bad acting and all.

    “I immediately got us lost”… So two people didn’t own cell phones? You both left them at home but brought money? Who is “dense” exactly?

    One guy said, “Of course. It’s your neighborhood too. We need to all get along.” … said no one ever… Oh wait, Rodney King did…

    “Across the line between the two gangs was a group of kids setting off small fireworks.”… between two gangs?… between two gangs?… from where you were standing, the embedded war correspondent, you saw two gangs and not two groups of youth? … sounds like some racist prejudice ish right there.

    “People are amazingly dense about fireworks as a form of protest.” Really? The general public should have known because it was a coordinated and well publicized form of protest? Or did the fireworks just start going off and annoy a bunch of unaware people? They should have all woken up and said, “wow what a wonderful way to be shaken from my sleep”?… I think you’re being a bit obtuse here … on purpose. You can empathize I’m sure.

    And I’m pretty sure not one of them are thinking… oh this is orchestrated performance art. Whatever it is… It is what it is… and I think I’ll let them tell the story. Trying to hijack and steer people away from the genuine narrative is all this seems like to me.

    Sorry.

    Reply
  3. Jen
    Jen says:

    Just so you know, there are videos showing fireworks being set off behind police precincts and firehouses, with unconcerned looking police and firefighters standing right there. There are also reports of fireworks being set off in neighborhoods throughout the country. And on Twitter, people are wondering how protesting kids would have enough money to purchase that grade of fireworks to set off every night, especially in this economic climate. Here is an NY Post article about the firefighters setting off illegal fireworks. https://nypost.com/2020/06/17/fdny-firefighters-light-off-illegal-fireworks-in-brooklyn/

    Reply
  4. Sam
    Sam says:

    I appreciate what you are trying to do with this blog post. But it’s a one incident one sided perspective. The truth is fireworks go off in these neighborhoods every year and have been for a long as I can remember growing up on Boston. This year I’ve noticed more college students and kids of privilege shooting fireworks in parks, streets, and out of their cars. They come to the “rough” neighborhoods to do it because they can’t do it at home. Yes, shooting fireworks in neighborhood like Roxbury and Dorchester are a big FU to the system , because historically people of color weren’t permitted to the areas wheee firework displays would be happening. As recent as 1975 black people couldn’t even go to Carson beach.

    Reply
  5. Olivier
    Olivier says:

    Penelope, I would wager that the fireworks are funded by local drug kingpins (who else has the money in a poor black district?) and that this is why you got such a tetchy reaction: if you could find out who is bankrolling the fireworks you’d have the names of at least some of the local drug lords, which would indeed be dangerous for her and your sons.

    Reply
  6. Erin
    Erin says:

    We are loving the fireworks!! They bring our kids so much join. There is so little to be had right now in the world and since there won’t be a display this year it is so nice to see some!

    Reply
    • Will Garré
      Will Garré says:

      When I read to my son at night, there are M-80’s popping off five feet from his head. Then the newborn is awoken by bottle rockets.

      Reply
  7. Josh
    Josh says:

    This is such a blinkered, asinine piece, written out of ignorance or just for the sake of being a “hot take”.
    Hundreds of community members attended the virtual town meeting on FB a couple weeks ago. Councilors invited people to share their stories about how their lives were being affected by the fireworks.
    One Latina woman talked about her earliest memories as a child in the projects in Brooklyn during the riots in ’68 and ’69. She has a bone disease, she lost two sons to gun violence (one in Iraq, another to suicide), and has a hard time sleeping as it is. Once the fireworks start her cat freaks out and she’s not able to get the sleep she needs to work the next day.
    One African American man talked about how his thirteen-year old son was killed just feet from their home in 2007. The man heard the gun blast that killed his own son, and every time he hears any kind of blast or sirens it is triggering.
    Another man talked about completing his first Boston marathon just moments from when the bombing occurred, not being able to reach his parents who he knew were waiting for him near the finish line. A couple doctors talked about PTSD and the triggering effects these three people and others are suffering because of the fireworks.
    A high school girl talked about the fireworks being launched right from outside her building as she tries to complete her semester.
    But according to this writer, let’s give money to these criminals who – purportedly – just want to make some kind of “F.U.” statement.
    If you just want to live in peace and quiet, and a nearby explosion rocks your socks off, catches your breathe, and feels like a punch in the gut, does it really matter if it sounds exactly like an M80 or a gunshot or a cannon?
    If these people really want to make a statement, there are protests during the day, and the money would be better spent donating to BLM. Or they could at least set up camp for a fireworks show at one of the fields (which I don’t condone) and shoot their shit off before it gets ridiculously late.
    But no, the fireworks have been done in the most disruptive way possible. They let them go and then scatter to the next location. And they are so pervasive throughout the whole city that one can’t simply lump them all together as protests.
    As other commenters have said, this has been going on since before George Floyd. This summer, and years past. Only now the pyros have wider latitude to get away with what they’ve been wanting to do more of anyway.
    The issue about who the culprits are, there motivations, and most importantly how to solve this problem is complicated.
    The bottom line is simple, though. Either you’re the kind of person who gives a shit about your neighbor or you’re the kind of person who does whatever he feels like. Because I seriously doubt the title of this blog, that anything is “working”.

    Reply
  8. harrison jones
    harrison jones says:

    This story sounds 100% made up and I don’t believe it for a second. It sounds like some poorly written racist white savior fan fiction.

    Reply
  9. Sarah Beth
    Sarah Beth says:

    Don’t you think this form of protest could get people killed, though? All it takes is one annoyed person calling the cops and a trigger happy officer to take this from a harmless form of protest to a deadly one.

    Reply
  10. Joe
    Joe says:

    This article is BS. I live in JP/Hyde Park, and I know and have spoken to many of the kids setting off fireworks around here. They are not protesting anything. They just think it’s funny. Also many are white. Also this dialogue in this article sounds fake as hell. This is some pathetic virtue signaling fabricated assumptive garbage.

    Reply
  11. Zeke
    Zeke says:

    As someone who lives in Mattapan, let me tell you this: My neighbors -most of whom who are black, most of whom who wake up at 5AM to go to work as underpaid healthcare/essential workers, most of whom have children, most of whom who are active in their support of BLM and their pursuit of racial justice- do not smile upon our the folks who are creating this fireworks nuisance. They hate it. They want to sleep so they can drag their tail to work the next morning. I want to sleep for the same reason. Your little tourist trip through Roxbury reeks of privilege and you should stick to the South End. Stop writing inflated stories about adventures in “bad” neighborhoods for your rich friends.

    And if you’re going to throw money around, give it to Violence in Boston or a bail fund instead of directly to some guy who could blow his (or his kid’s) hand off or set his house on fire.

    Reply
  12. John
    John says:

    This article is dumb. Fireworks are illegal for a reason, there’s fires that have started due to fireworks all over my city. I’m reporting and filming all the idiots doing it too, I hope my footage gets at least one person fined

    Reply
  13. Contrina
    Contrina says:

    Apparently no one has been paying attention. These fireworks have been going off every night since Memorial Day. So that puts the whole protest theory to bed. Secondly these fireworks are being shot off every night around 9:00pm, around the entire country. So there is something more going on that none of us is aware of.

    Reply
  14. Wtf is this place
    Wtf is this place says:

    lol at the fact this was written (it reads more fake, i think it’s fake as fuck, it reads more fake than brands pretending to care about #BLM)

    lol at the mostly white ppl in the comments believing this is true

    advice to those white ppl; if you had some black friends who were in any degree involved with these protests you wouldn’t have to be combing a blog from a white grifter to get a perspective about these fire works and it’s effect on mostly low income mostly Brown/black neighborhoods; some of your friends who happen to be black would have given you their first person, verifiable experience of the fireworks — lack of politically involved ack friends???? wonder why

    Reply
  15. Dany
    Dany says:

    As a white person, I have no business or interest in telling black people how to protest. Maybe the fireworks are in part an expression of thoroughly justified anger and frustration. Not for me to assess or judge.

    I can sure have an opinion about how you, privileged white woman, write about it, though.

    You say “And it’s working,” Working to do what? “To shine a light on the inherently oblivious nature of white people exercising privilege”? “To show privileged rich people what it’s like to be terrorized”? Your story is about a neighborhood where few white people live. And the comments here show that a lot of people who actually do live where the fireworks are happening aren’t happy with having their sleep wrecked.

    Are the fireworks “working” to force white people to confront their own privilege and complicity in police violence and white supremacy? Are they “working” to apply pressure on the city to redirect funding away from the police and to invest in underserved communities, in order to address structural poverty and inequality?

    If they are, you don’t provide any evidence of that in this post. What your post says is that they are “working” to give Intrepid Woke White Person a backdrop to humblebrag about her clueless, privileged foray into a “dangerous neighborhood.” You might even call it “inherently oblivious.”

    Since you literally want to throw money at something, I hope you’ll look into organizations you can donate to that are working against police violence and the inequalities caused by structural racism.

    Reply
  16. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    Hi Penelope,

    As a white person, I recognize that I am in no position to critique the forms of protest that black and other POC are engaging in. So with that being said, this is meant as a critique of your article rather than the actions you describe.

    You note that these are occurring in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods, but later draw the conclusion that the fireworks as an act of protest are meant to mimic the discomfort black people feel in their day to day lives in rich, white, communities. How can that be so if they’re not taking place in those communities?

    As someone who has lived in Roslindale for many years (and who lived in Dorchester before that) your characterizations of Boston’s majority-minority neighborhoods also rang false to me.

    Reply
  17. Scott Aaron Weber
    Scott Aaron Weber says:

    “I don’t give a shit about getting sleep at night, and so therefore no one else should either!” Got it.

    Reply
  18. Mark
    Mark says:

    Honestly, the biggest problem with this form of protest is that few people know why it is happening or who is doing it. The point is completely lost if people do not understand why it is happening. You may as well have a march without telling anyone what you are marching for. Except even that would be more valuable since people would know you are trying to make some kind of point and might ask. Random fireworks can mean anything unless a message is attached. And so many other people are doing the same thing for their own reasons that it dilutes whatever message manages to get out through an article like this.
    The level of impact is minimal and is simply an annoyance. Comparing it to the violence and abuse that our black neighbors suffer on a continuing basis is practically scandalous. This is more like a traffic slowdown. Technically it impacted you, but you forgot it as soon as its past.
    Real protest causes real change.

    Reply
  19. Bridget
    Bridget says:

    You don’t live in gang territory, I used to live in the same apartment building you do now, when it was less expensive and less gentrified. It’s the south end.

    Reply
  20. Daniel
    Daniel says:

    Im sorry this is terribly cringey and pretty fuckin racist—you act like your neighbors are animals at a zoo you and your friend planned an evening out to gaze at. Then you try to give young teens cash like because they are black they must be in dire poverty not knowing when they will eat? Ugh so dehumanizing and divisive
    So many assumptions, so many generalizations.

    Reply
  21. Amber
    Amber says:

    I don’t believe any of this is true. And if it is, how irresponsible of you to share this information. So other people can go search for the people shooting off fireworks, whether they are well meaning or not?! And what’s the point of sharing this story? So you can seem cool, like some well meaning white liberal contributing to the cause of… fireworks?? This is exactly the problem with white liberals, they do the most basic shit then post about it and seek praise at the detriment of those they THINK they’re helping. At least a pure racist doesn’t pretend to help, we know where they stand but you… you’re the worst. If any harm befalls those protestors or any others, I hope it comes back to you 100 fold.

    Reply
  22. harris497
    harris497 says:

    Penny,

    I believe that the comments are being hijacked by a few trolls who are targeting your site.
    Just look at the fake names and very similar writing styles. I suggest you have your IT consultant check the IP addresses of the commenters. You’ll probably find that two or three addresses are responsible for most of the negative comments.

    Peace,
    D

    Reply
    • MRJ
      MRJ says:

      D/Harris, I imagine you are trying to protect the author because you care for her personally, but trying to deny the legit outrage is not helping her at all. Let Penny reflect on the feedback from her community so she can act with more informed intentions and support activism in meaningful ways. Don’t hijack this moment for us all to learn and grow.

      Reply
    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I moderate all the new comments. So I can tell you that most of the comments on this post are from people who have never read this blog and live in the Boston area. I let the comments go through as long as they are not completely repetitive.

      Penelope

      Reply
    • Ozzy
      Ozzy says:

      Erm, can you really not see any legitimate points from the commenters? Or is everyone who disagrees with you a troll in your world view? The subject matter isn’t Penelope’s usual domain, and she’s clearly hit a nerve judging by the volume and content of the comments. How about we assess the reasonable points being made, rather than dismiss and reach for the Russian bots theory. Talk about echo chamber.

      Reply
  23. Kyung
    Kyung says:

    Thank you for posting this. Even though there were parts that were problematic, I learned much about where people are coming from and how I feel about the fireworks happening practically in front of my house. I’ve been learning from Black anti-racism educators and on my own for over a year, and we all have work to do. It’s not easy to put yourself out there for criticism, but I am thankful you did, even if to just to keep the conversation going.

    Reply
  24. harris497
    harris497 says:

    Genuine discourse is good. I value this community and would hate it to become a target. MRJ I appreciate your comment. Thanks

    Reply
  25. John Holmes
    John Holmes says:

    This article is a complete shit show of virtue signaling and white apology, and all of these mindless sheep espousing it as “such a great article” make me shake my head in disbelief how so much willful ignorance and pure idiocy can exist in a single person.

    Reply
  26. Katarina
    Katarina says:

    I’m hoping that you are not celebrating the people who are throwing fireworks onto homeless people on the street. I’m guessing that the people who just make lots of noise and stress out the neighborhood are the true heroes.

    You say that the fireworks are working. How do you know? How have things improved for the black community there or anywhere?

    Do you pay attention to the news in Chicago? Any suggestions on how to solve that crisis?

    Do you think fireworks will help them?

    Reply
  27. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    Based on the above comments, next time I’m answering Europeans about U.S. gun culture, I’ll say that in America ordinary civilians know the difference by sound between fireworks and small arms…. Then I’ll add that Bowling for Columbine, the documentary that played in mainstream movie theatres, has not caused even one atom of change. To any followup questions I’ll just say, “I don’t know.”

    Reply
  28. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    This is a reply to all the people from Boston who are complaining that I don’t live in Roxbury. In my short experience here I have discovered:
    1. When I tell Boston hospitals my address and say Boston 02118, the hospitals always change Boston to Roxbury.
    2. The College Board just announced it will use street addresses to determine the socioeconomic status of a test taker. The College Board marks the line between Roxbury and South End at the street I live on – Camden.
    3. I see other maps that are different from both #1 and #2
    So to someone who has not been here to trace the history of this moving boundary, it’s pretty difficult to know where it is.

    Twelve years ago I moved from New York City to a farm in Wisconsin and the culture shock was crazy. Not just because I didn’t know a sow from a gilt. But because the painters refused to use pink in the house until my husband gave them permission. Neighbors thought I was lazy because I did “desk work” all day. I wrote about learning to farm, and people in the community left seething comments on my blog about how I should get to know the area better before I write about it.

    Now I’m in Boston, writing about living in a new neighborhood, and my blog is again full of people in the community telling me I should get to know the area better before I write about it. I’m struck by how intolerant people are of someone who is learning. The blogs that are the most fun to read are those where the writer learns alongside the reader. But it turns out that readers are indignant when you talk about their location in a way they never would.

    When I wrote about the farm I didn’t pay close attention to the percentage of genetic diversification in the hog herd. Most readers don’t care. But the local readers thought the omission was a sign of impending perfidy. Now in Boston, people are arguing about if I live inside or outside the boundary of Roxbury. Most readers don’t care. But the local readers take this as a sign that I made up the whole story.

    About ten years ago I was a columnist at the Boston Globe. I was writing from Wisconsin, which I could do because career advice is stateless. But I always included someone local in my column and I had the Globe photographer take a picture each week. We love reading about the place we live, but only if we think the person got it right. Which they never do. Because our place is our personal story.

    Penelope

    Reply
    • Kiki
      Kiki says:

      Well Penelope responding to your statement above about how could you know a person of color wrote certain comments …. I’m here to tell you Iam indeed a BLK woman. Lol Is it true trolls lie about identity yes. However Im not in that category. As a matter of fact I read your most recent comment and it seems you feel quite attacked. As someone who has grown up on both sides of the south end and Roxbury as a BLK woman I’m here to tell you, people getting huffy about their neighborhood is a big Boston thing. It was a big thing when my own mother was some of the first kids involved in the desegregation of Boston public schools and clearly it is a big thing now. As for the getting to know the community better bit.Personally to me your tone was one of being inquisitive, and all supporting of those like myself who are in the struggle. Honestly I didn’t see it as white lady tourism as some of my fellow poc’s have expressed, although I can understand where they could get that feeling from. Race relations in the city especially now can be a bit sticky. But as others have stated I believe you would gain greater insight by speaking with others in the community. We are not those people you met in Wisconsin we are not monolithic. Many of us are quite open and friendly. As covid restrictions drop if you still feel like an outsider to this new place you call home … Feel free to visit one of my fave places Black Market in Nubian SQ! It is quite a lovely place in the heart of Roxbury. Also joining some of the meetup groups in the area would help give you a more rounded out view of this lovely city of ours. Heck if push comes to shove you may even run into me in either place! Lol And if you have any questions about the area as your neighbor you are more than welcome to ask me. I’ve linked my throwaway Twitter account on here so reach out if you like. Fair warning I don’t have all the answers after all I’m just a 31 yr old BLK woman , however I’m willing to share all that I know.

      Reply
  29. Anita H.
    Anita H. says:

    To everyone who thinks this is a good way to protest I have a few questions for you. Have you considered the negative impact on wildlife, those with PTSD, and domestic animals? Have you considered that there are plenty of people of every color who are being sleep deprived and unable to function at work – possibly jobs that could affect your loved ones like doctors and nurses? Have you considered that permits are required because fireworks in densely populated areas have the potential to be incredibly dangerous causing injury, death, and fires? Have you considered that using memes such as “you didn’t like it when they protested like this” or “Karen this and that” or “now you know how we feel” are not productive and actually turn people away from listening to your message when you lump “everyone else” into the category of being against you. I personally don’t care too much since I don’t live there but a small part of me find sad that cities which have been ruled by the Democratic Party for decades are the ones facing so many problems with racial and economic disparities and somewhat odd that you don’t realize that you are quietly turning the minds of those you continue to defame into voting for the party you seem to hate to the core. Candace Owens 2024

    Reply
  30. Will Garré
    Will Garré says:

    My friend sent me a link to this blog post, so I had the unfortunate experience of reading it. Please stop writing stuff like this. It is poison. You are romanticizing a behavior (fireworks) that most human beings dislike and that hurts the BLM movement, and exoticizing black people by describing your stroll into a black neighborhood like it’s a voyage to an alien planet. Please do not pay attention to any of the comments on this post that applaud you for writing it.

    Reply
  31. Thomas
    Thomas says:

    “just like harassing black people makes life for the whole community untenable, setting off fireworks every night in a black neighborhood makes life for the whole black community untenable” FTFY

    This article reeks of privilege and naivety.

    Reply
  32. Adam Baum
    Adam Baum says:

    We have had these fireworks here in Philadelphia since March. Every night. Sometimes starting at 3 pm and going until 3 or 4 am.

    The problem as a form of protest is that this neighbourhood is 98.9% Black and predominantly poor (SW Philly). These fireworks are terrorising the Black community that has already been terrorised enough by this country. On my block we have senior citizens, newborns, and combat veterans. And it’s been hell for these families.

    The senior across the street lost her cat of many years because he had a heart attack. The combat veteran next door has had to increase his medication to deal with his PTSD. New parents are frustrated because it’s nearly impossible to get a baby to sleep with constant explosions going off. Seniors are complaining of sleep deprivation.

    The talk around here for the past month or so was theories that the police or government have been behind this as a form of disorientation.

    Now we have people shooting fireworks at each other, at cars, into homes, and not long ago into a portapotty.

    I have seen several stories and posts from Middle or Upper class Whites saying how nice they think the fireworks are but no one in these neighbourhoods finds it entertaining. Maybe when you deal with the constant fear of being shot in or near your home, these fireworks have a bit of a different meaning. (In neighbourhoods like this, it’s common to place your furniture strategically to avoid stray bullets.)

    How exactly is terrorising Black people a form of protest against a system that terrorises Black people?

    Reply
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