Sign of the Times
Sign of the Times
By Dedrick D. Henry, Sr.
With the refurbishing and upgrading currently happening in and the around the historic Sistrunk Corridor in the Northwest section of Fort Lauderdale’s African American community, residents find it hard to support local businesses due to the harassment by some of the local police. The speed limit signs are posted in hardly visible spaces and are seldom seen along Sistrunk westbound, just past Powerline Road (Ninth Avenue). Most downtown travelers do not know that the speed limit on Sistrunk is no longer 35 miles per hour but 25 miles per hour since the upgrade. This information should be made known to residents and travelers.
Could this be by design? Could it be that the city has invested so much money in this section of town they plan to get it all back from its residents by issuing simple citations? Even if you’re not in a vehicle you are still subjected to a fine for an unregistered bicycle or a loitering citation after just exiting a neighborhood corner store. I fully understand that police have a job to do, but some of us are law abiding citizens and a walk to the corner store should not turn into a trip to the County Jail. Just because there are a few bad apples in the bunch does not mean they are all no good, if you get my drift.
Black people are stereotyped by their hairstyles, tattoos, wardrobe, gold teeth and company they keep so this is a so called probable cause, which is unfair to good individuals. The palm trees along Sistrunk are beautiful and it gives the neighborhood a sense of calmness until you see three or four Black brothers sitting on the hot concrete. For what? Who knows? You don’t see white boys sitting on the curb on Las Olas Boulevard, so why must we see Black brothers sitting on the curb on Sistrunk Boulevard?
Both represent thriving sections of prospering businesses in our down-town community. The difference is they serve different cultures and ethnic groups. They both provide fine dining depending on your choice in foods. Sistrunk has Ivory’s and BG’s restaurants and Las Olas has the Cheesecake Factory and Mango’s. They both provide home shopping: Sistrunk has Bass Brother’s and Lucy’s Meats and Las Olas has the Meating Place and 7- 11. They both provide entertainment: Las Olas has nightclubs, movies and the Riverfront, while Sistrunk has parks, recreations and an African American Research Library and Cultural Center. Sistrunk also provides domestic and foreign family needs from salons, barbershops, cell phones, laundry mats, Caribbean and Chinese cuisine, to local funeral arrangements by our family and friends at Boyd C. Funeral Home.
Small areas along Sistrunk Boulevard like these create good business and business opportunities, and their consumers should be appreciated and not harassed, just as the consumers on Las Olas Boulevard. No Boulevard is exempt, regardless of location. Right is right and wrong is wrong!