Diversity cometh this way

Just a quickie today since I am off to conduct a training and feeling a tad under the weather. Portland is Maine’s largest city at roughly 65,000 inhabitants which really tells you how small this state is with a mere 1.5 million folks in a space that is as large as the other 5 New England states combined.

Anyway folks are often curious about how a Black woman (from Chicago of all places) can actually end up in Maine and moreso not want to slit her wrists…well its not easy but for the most part I like living here though I wish we did have a tad more diversity. That said, Portland our largest city and a mere minutes from my little town is about to get its first Black police chief. Check out this story, yep, James Craig a brotha from Los Angeles who currently oversees the gang and homicide unit in LA has decided to come to Maine.

According to the local media, he wanted a change of pace and even though he will be taking a substantial pay cut to be the top dog , I hope things work out well for him. Its funny because Portland also as a Black mayor, one Jill Duson who having met in passing once at a local event is a decent sista from what I can tell.

Strange, how in the whitest state, 2 of our largest cities, Portland and Auburn both have Black mayors and now we add a Black police chief.  Change is indeed a coming to a town near you, Black president, mayors in white states and so the list goes.

I’m just being silly but I just wanted to share that piece of news. All jokes aside, congrats Chief Craig and welcome to Maine.

Living in Maine as a Black person

Next month will mark 7 years that I have been in Maine, some days I feel like I should get some sort of badge for surviving that long but generally when I feel that way its just an off day. The truth is that once you get over the initial culture shock, Maine is not a bad place to live.

I can honestly say that I know my neighbors here far better than I ever knew any of them in Chicago, Mainers are an odd bunch, in many cases they don’t say much and have a tendency to keep to themselves. Yet in a pinch when you need a neighbor they are there for you. Case in point, as I have written before, my neighbor across the street 9 out of 10 times in a large snow storm will plow us out. I have never asked but its always a welcomed surprise to wake up and see that I don’t have to manually shovel a foot of snow. In the summer they often bring over a treat for my daughter when they see us out in the yard, we did reciprocate this fall by sharing our apple picking bounty over to them.

If you saw my neighbors, you would think they probably don’t speak to folks like me and while I doubt I will ever engage them on their political views, they are decent folks from what I can see.  Last summer a local Dominican family tragically lost their teenage son in a river drowning and folks came out to help the family, its that type of shit that makes me remember why I don’t mind living here.

Even my Black friends who live in smaller towns here where they are the only Black person, generally don’t encounter any hassles once folks know you live in town and see you around. I will be honest though and say I couldn’t live in a town smaller than where I live since 16,000 folks is pretty small to my Chicago brain.

All this to say, I still don’t understand Negroes who come to Maine intent on wrong doing, this storybroke last night, now in last night’s story they showed a picture of the alleged suspect and sorry to say he was Black. Look going to a lilly white town and breaking into someone’s house is a sure enough way to get your ass caught. For real, Maine is a small state, only 1.5 million folks in the whole damn state and folks of color and that is combining all of us make up less than 10% of the population so you ought to know if you fuck up and do something shady, your ass is going to get caught.

In my time here, I have noticed an increase in folks trying to come up here and doing shady shit, obviously it pisses me off. When we first moved here the big crime story would be some white boy robbing an convenience store with a knife, I admit that sort of shit used to make me laugh especially in my first year here. Robbing someone with a knife? That shit would not work back in Chicago at all. Yet as the years past, I have noticed the crimes getting more dangerous and scary and sadly at times more folks of color as the alleged suspects.

Now as a sista living in Maine raising my family, that shit distresses me to no end but also reminds me that such stupidity can make it harder for the rest of us trying to just live our lives in peace and quiet. As for Mr Bennett, the alleged suspect I suspect he better watch his ass while he is in the joint.

As for me, well I just plan on doing what I do which is to live my life.

Hardy Mainers? I think not

Today we have yet another snow storm, of course being that it is winter time and winter in Maine, I expect snow.  Problem is any time it snows it seems like everything in this damn state shuts down and frankly I am tired of it, look I come from Chicago so I am used to snow and cold but look schools and stores don’t close at the drop of a hat back home.

Shit, I can count the times growing up we had a snow day, and that is on one hand. Yet here in Maine, let it snow six inches and add some ice and shit is closed. Even the damn restaurants close…um, look when you stuck at home with nothing to do, you like to get a treat from the outside world. If I ran an eating establishment I would be open but that’s just me.

However native Mainers like to run around as if they are the hardiest folks on the planet. When we first moved here people would ask were the winters too harsh for me up here? Um, no. I rarely even wear full winter gear because aside from the snow and ice storms, the average winter temperature seems a lot warmer than Chicago where a sista had all kinds of long underwear, hats and winter gear. The wind in Chicago didn’t play and I used to live right near Lake Michigan.

Look to my fellow Mainers truth is, I think some of ya’ll are a tad wimpy when it comes to the weather. Some years ago back in Chicago, we had an early March snowstorm that dropped 18 inches of snow and it was my first day at a new job and I was expected to get to the gig. Nothing was closed, hell I waited out in freezing blizzard conditions for 45 mins for a bus to take to downtown Chicago, got to the gig late and the boss was actually salty about it. He had no mercy on me and the fact that there was 18 inches of snow, there was a job to be done. Needless to say I often feel the same way these days about snow, so what? You can’t stop living because its snowing.

Anyway its another snow storm, thankfully the grocery store was open so I am all stocked up and hopefully can get to work tomorrow if we are open.