A not-so-harrowing trip through Chicago’s South Side
On my right and several blocks away were the charred remains of Pilgrim Baptist Church, said to be the birthplace of gospel music. The church conflagration was devastating, but the congregation refuses to surrender to adversity and now holds services in a building across the street; it isn’t as imposing as its predecessor, but joyful sounds come from inside on Sunday mornings.
Eventually, I came to the park that’s named after Paul Laurence Dunbar, whose poetry, written in “Negro dialect,” embarrassed me when I was in high school. Now I slow down respectfully as I pass his statue; as with many other African American literary figures, Dunbar’s fame came posthumously.
I finally rolled into the parking lot of my apartment complex and climbed out of the car to go to my unit. There I prepared a simple meal, which I ate at a leisurely pace as I sat in front of the television and waited for the Night Football game to come on. I felt I deserved a bit of relaxation after surviving another harrowing trip through war-torn Chicago.