Lists, Race & Politics

The Great Name Drop

These ninjas shooting again? Take that to Bush Blvd.

Marlo said it best, “My name is my name.” Rihanna echoed, “ooh na na, what’s my name?” Snoop poeticized, “what’s my name, fool?”

What’s in a name?

There’s a high school in Washington, DC, that has currently been having more problems than three hypochondriac crackheads with an itch and a cough. There was recently (well last late year) a girl sexually assaulted in the school by a bunch of males who then had her name, face, and phone number plastered all over fliers that were passed out around the school as an “easy ride”. They’ve got gang problems. In fact, for a solid two months, I noticed no less than 10 police squad cards parked in front of the school. It’s a shame really. This school in its current iteration is a direct descendant of the famous (especially amongst older Black Americans) M Street School.

Yes, this high school is Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School.

And you know what? Every day I drive by I wonder aloud to the invisible passengers in my car if Dunbar wouldn’t want his name removed from that school. I know I would. If my name is going to be attached to something, which is an honor, I’d like it to be attached to something that doesn’t involve police, violent crimes, and plain ole f*ck sh*t. Of course, since most of our heroes names get attached to stuff in the Black community, which is generally inner city, well, we’re kind of stuck like chuck.

I remember The Boondocks episode with Dr. Martin Luther The King in it where he hilariously thought that somebody really needed to ask permission to use his likeness for ads. And kind of like dead rappers getting better promotion, dead icons get all the accolades by having their names attached to places where the folks have no idea who they are. So here’s my list of what I’d guess would happen if icons could ask to have their names removed from sh*t that their name is attached to when their named is attached to sh*t they can’t go for (that, no can do).

By the way, if I could have any other person’s name in life, it would be Shuggie Otis. Thank you.

1. MLK Ave, Street, Drive, Blvd, Circle, etc

As Chris Rock famously pointed out, MLK was a man who universally stood for peace. If you are anywhere near MLK in any city, you know that there’s some violence going down. My particular residence in ATL…is on MLK. From Harland Terrace all the way through Adamsville, there always seems like something is going down. I’ve witnessed shootings with my own two eyes. Flatlands FTW.  And its like that in every city. Of course, its a double edged sword. MLK goes through the Black community because well…

…he Black. We’re not going to NOT name a street that. But I’m sure if MLK had his way, his street would run thru the north side of town, since in most cities (most, not all) the North side is where its generally the most peaceful.

Quick Panama fact: I once nearly bought a condo near the intersection of Malcolm X Blvd and MLK, SE in DC because I figured it had to be the Blackest intersection in America.

I smart.

2. Medgar Evers College

I’m too lazy to find all the documents but MEC was going through ALL kinds of f*ckery at their Brooklyn, NY, campus. School presidential issues, misappropriation of funds. and a big booty b*tch to go with it. Just saying, It’s bad enough that Whoopi Goldberg played his wife in a movie, NOW he’s got ninjas kick dirt on his name educationally? I’d want my name back. Call it Kwame Kilpatrick U or something more apprpriate.

3. Morris Brown College Center for People Who Don’t Reed Gud

Speaking of colleges, I’m not sure it even needs to be stated, but if I was that ninja Mo B? I’d snatch my name off the school with the quickness. We got criminal scandals, eight students, and and teachers who know less than the students. Real talk, I took a class at Morris Brown my junior year. It was a 400 level French class. So we’re talking about reading French Lit and writing papers, etc. When I tell you that Professor Jenkins Jackson from Uganda didn’t speak any French…well he didn’t speak any French. And he’s my teacher? I should have known something was wrong when the “classroom” was this ninjas office. Standing room only.

That’ll do, pig.

Folks? What you got? Who do you think would want their name snatched back from an entity because it’s the antithesis of what they stood for?

And better yet, what would you rename these locales?? Let your soul glo(w). Let it shine thru!

Talk to me.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka lower.case.p aka SHUGGIE JACKSON aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

ATTENTION: Our Three Year Anniversary is upon us, and we are celebrating it in DC on Saturday, April 2. Introducing VSB Lounge: Three Deez. Yes, this means The Champ and Panama Jackson are finally meeting in person! RSVP here, while supplies last: http://vsbloungethemeetup.eventbrite.com/

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • http://itsmyurls.com/drmarctagon Marc A.

    Man, ever since Chris Rock said it, I could personally attest to the whole MLK thing…one of the cross streets of my block is MLK drive…and if I told you all crime, n*gga-ness and overall f*ckery that goes on that strip, I’d have enough to write a novel or two.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/legitimate_soul legitimate_soul

    Loved the Ice Cube reference and shots fired at Kwame Kilpatrick U. LOL!

  • taylormay

    Morris Brown College Center for People Who Don’t Reed Gud
    right. usually school’s like that (schools that have commercials between 10 am-4pm/ during the price is right, “stories”/soap operas, “judges”, jerry, maury, etc.) shouldn’t even be called college but rather 13th grade.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/legitimate_soul legitimate_soul

    I understand folks wanting to snatch back their name, but you can’t slap a black name on anything without attending to the conditions, access, etc. and expect it to be great just because it was named after someone righteous.

    It isn’t all black names either. There are some rough schools named after John F. Kennedy, and others. Plus, the bad things going on at some of these institutions named after noteworthy people of all races are not only due to those of color. Juss sayin’ for the record that we are not the only culprits of fooleywang.

    I’m sure a Mahatma Ghandi school in India might not be all non-violent either.

  • http://twitter.com/Phidelity15 Phidelity15

    See I was with you right up until your last name…now I’m pretty sure I mentioned I went to Morris Brown a few times on here and here you go taking shots and ish. Not every college experience is going to be the same and not every teacher can teach…we all know that. Our institution has issues just like MOST hbcu’s, did it get out of hand, yes but don’t try and down the college or its teachers as a whole because of one class you took. You can’t judge a college based off a foreign language class like really who does that??

  • http://harambee.ryan@gmail.com Young Brolic

    Don’t forget Booker T. Washington. My man discovered Tuskegee, and thought black americans should be skilled workers and be proud of their heritage. Most inner city schools have a BTW high school, and they have high drop out rates, crazy teen pregnancy issues, and rampant illiteracy. I think Steve Harvey taught at the fictional BTW high school in Chicago on his tv show. Who wants Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer as their teachers? lol. I’d take that fine Tasha Mack as my principal though. I digress. That kind of name dropping alone should have BTW himself turning in his grave. Unless of course BTW is co-signing everything Steve Harvey stands for; giving bad relationship advice, zoot suits and stacy adams shoes.

  • Hawaii

    What you know about Shuggie Otis, Pan Jac??!!
    Mayne… Inspiration Information, Island Letter and a drink to go w/ my two-step?? Already.

    Okay, back to actually finishing the post :D

  • bumilla

    i’m just now realizing that i went to an MLK elementary school … i think most of us made it out OK. even the white kids. despite having to sign personal statements that we would not turn non-violent objects into weapons of mass destruction.

    also, i currently live right near dunbar. and while i am not up on their specific incidents of criminality, i can attest to a healthy portion of their dredlocked male student body being blazed from homeroom onwards. (save the teen rape- good neighborhood, affordable rents, y’all) must make algebra interesting.

    but here’s my thing: why can’t we get past the porch monkey ish? i mean, really. we get a few, great, hopeful negroes out there and that’s it? i get socio-economic issues but, um, that doesn’t really excuse tomfoolery that results in us all knowing that MLK drive is not where you want to be past 5:30pm on any given day.

  • morvam
  • http://www.twitter.com/RealTalkSuki2 nowsayitwithme

    Hahaha I died at “f*ck sh*t”

    Can’t think of anything right now that would deserve a name drop. Lol this was entertaining to read though.

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