...And The Heart That It Gave Me
Today, August 18, 2012, is my last day in the United States. As I think about my upcoming journey, I have to pay homage and honor to the city that made me. The media speculates on our crime as if we are a third world country. People label us one of the "worst" cities in America because of what they hear on TV.
But I am from here. And in 2012, I have never been more proud to be from Philadelphia.
The city that I've come to know as home. No matter where I travel in the world, Philadelphia will always be my "home".
My city is more than just cheesesteaks and pretzels (I promise you we are). We are a city whose children have the heart of lions. A city whose people can throw the best block parties and welcome anybody with open arms. Even the grimiest part of Philadelphia has it's angels. We thrive through thirty inches of snow and ninety degree heat and take it in stride.
We are made of heart. We're tough. And at times, a little too rough. But we're cut from a different cloth. I went to Temple University, one of the most diverse schools in the nation. I have never met anybody from anywhere that is as authentic as a Philadelphian.
Bred from rough streets, we survive. From the brothers on the corner to the ladies in the club, the working mom doing it up or the single father making it work, we survive. And I will forever be grateful for the things Philadelphia gave me.
We have some of the greatest people gracing the stages of Broadway, hopping through Hollywood and beating the doors in the music industry down. And they are from Philly. Kevin Hart, EVE, Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, Patti LaBelle, Bill Cosby, Kevin Bacon, Grace Kelly (yes, the former princess of Monaco is from Philadelphia), P!nk, Cassidy, Will Smith, Boyz II Men and the list goes on.
Every person I listed above has made you love them. Flaws and all. Because we are just "us".
And then, there's me. The author. The writer. The humanitarian. The educator. The producer. I AM.
I will always love Philadelphia for what it made me and what it showed me. I manuevered the streets like a champ because my mother raised me right. I knew what to get into and what not to. And as much as people may want to hate, Philadelphia just is. And that is something you can't deny.
I love you Philly.
"EA All Day"