•    Bed-Stuy and Downtown Brooklyn   

    Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brooklyn

    Bedford-Stuyvesant

    Downtown Brooklyn

    Resentment does not afflict me. But why does that white-skinned, black-suited, and – well actually the only other thing he has is an attaché case – but nonetheless haughtiness-exuding man have to stand there? The entire train car is empty! I acknowledge that there are many possible reasons for his standing; he could have problems with his knees, or he could be performing some strange exercise. And yet an idea stirs in the back of my mind that that prim white man thinks he is too good for this train and for relaxing in my presence.

    He sits down as the lights of the Flushing Avenue station give way to darkness. I know now why he was standing earlier! This car is empty because the G train had deviated from its schedule – probably more construction or signaling defects – and that man, not expecting it, had run to get onto it at the previous station. He was just sorting something out in his case and has now sat down with an open newspaper.

    The previous station – I almost never go in that direction – is it not Broadway? The “Broadway of Brooklyn” sounds so arrogant to me. And of course it just has to lie in Williamsburg. The next stop, my stop, Flushing Avenue, is already Bedford-Stuyvesant, my town. As soon as one crosses Broadway, leaves it behind, one is in my town.

    But we do not need such a name to rise. I have risen, and I will raise this Bedford Stuyvesant and other blacks like me up with me. I bet that that newspaper reader there is a politician like me. But he is not like me; he probably inherited his office from his father and strides in his suit as though he had earned it. I have earned mine; I have ridden this G train from Bed-Stuy to my office in Downtown Brooklyn every morning and will keep doing so until I get up there. I will help my black people too; I want them to sell some suits on Fulton Street as well. I should read that report on Fulton before I have to get off this train…

    “Hoyt-Schemerhorn” jolts me from my reading. The train is crowded now. As I flow through the crowd, I spot that white man I contemplated earlier transferring to the Manhattan bound A. Whatever. I have my own Downtown awaiting me here.

    Analysis: Bedford-Stuyvesant and Downtown Brooklyn