To the girls in the hood

You’re not a Thug’s bitch.

You are not less because you have a vagina.

Please stop hiding his dope in your fucking bra’s. Drugs don’t belong there, neither do his hands while all his friends watch.

You matter more than how much time he will get if he’s caught with his drugs because he’s a guy.

There is no deeper isolation and pain than the life of being a girl surrounded by gang guys who pretend to care about you. Your loyalty is just as important as his, so I mean that motherfucker has to earn it too.

You don’t give it to him because he’s the boss, or because he’ll protect you, because when he’s behind bars, or on his way in, I can promise you his “friends” won’t care, and his family will forget your name.

You deserve to be loved, to be taken out on dates that cost more than the change in his pocket. You deserve to be treated like a human being, forget being treated by a lady. They don’t know how to treat ladies, believe me, I used to be one.

I was the girl that everyone liked palling away with because they knew my cousins had my back, they knew if I really needed them I could make a call, they didn’t give a fuck about me when the shit hit the fan, and believe me it did and it will, because it always does.

You deserve to have a guy willing to stand up and defend you, not a man who expects you to take the bullets for him when they go flying, believe me, they fucking will, because eventually they always do.

You are not his bodyguard, you are not his woman, you are your own person, in your own beautiful body and that body belongs to you. It is your body, your mind and your soul he is asking you to put on the line when he demands your loyalty. I say demands because they never actually ask for your loyalty, they just expect that you’re going to give it to them. Because if not you someone else, and there is always someone else.

There has never been a single woman who dated a man in a gang, who didn’t know that there was always someone else. You need someone who knows all your secrets and is willing to keep them, and in order to have that you gotta have a side chick, because not only is it the thing to do in that world, but she’ll keep your secrets for those rare times you actually show her off.

Those times will almost always end with you getting your face smashed in because the girlfriend or wifey shows up. It will always end in you being the side chick to one of the guys because they pass their women around, and then they blame the chick, always, because it’s what guys do. Dear Hood Girl, you deserve better than that.

This isn’t me asking you to keep your legs closed, it’s me asking you how much you value yourself, because I promise you these men don’t think your shit. They’ll expect everything from you and give you nothing in return not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t know how to.

A man that can stab, beat, or kick another human being into death is not a human who can understand love. They are too angry, too broken, too abused, too sad, and too “macho”, to back down from a fight. They are the ones everyone is afraid of, and sadly fear represents itself all too often as loyalty.

I know this because I got out, too many of my sisters are still living in fear, many more still are dead, because they had the courage to love a man who loved the street.

And believe me, it takes courage, to love a man who might die at any possible moment just because someone wants to take his spot. It takes courage to love a man that every woman wants to be around, not because they like him, or even because they respect him, but because she thinks what you thought. That’d be take care of you. That if he had the right woman he’d calm down and change his ways.

I promise you that shit never works, they never change, they teach their sons to be exactly like them and the cycle continues. I am begging you to love yourself more than he promises he does, because when the bullets fly and the shit hits the fan, even if your the mother of his child, you still have no guarantee that he’ll stand by you.

The days of old are not gone, they are just repeated in a different way. You had your turn, if you’re reading this the universe is talking to you, it’s begging you to change your ways and to get out before it’s too late. Before you become a statistic, because that’s exactly what we are. From the moment we say “yes, we love you, yes you have my loyalty,” because eventually he’ll test it, that is the moment we become a statistic.

Don’t be one of us, be like you, your amazing beautiful, strong powerful Goddess filled self, without the trouble of taking a man who doesn’t care about your needs more than he cares about how he looks to the outside world.

Remain vigilant, and stay strong against the idea that you have to have a man to be happy. Sure they make things fun, if they treat you good, but until you’re ready to treat yourself good, a man is just a thing you have on your arm. Same deal if you are LGBTQ, replace the label for one that applies to you please.

Relationships are hard, pure and simple, you don’t need the stress of trying to hug the same streets that will just as soon kill you as they might make a story teller out of you.

Men in general are exhausting, but I promise you in the streets you will find all kinds of twisted mommy and daddy issues that will fuck you up and frankly my dear if you’re reading this you know damned well that you have enough of your own issues.

Don’t let his cloud your judgement, be strong, be wise and remember always that the right choice is whatever choice you fucking decide is the right choice for you. Just don’t bitch about the consequences, because at the end of the day, you made your choices, and the Universe answered.

*You will bitch about this constantly, by the way, once you’ve corrected your course, and the answer will be exactly the one you expect. Because the Fucking Universe thinks it’s funny.*

I have to remind myself of this every single day.

Sending all my love to myself tonight,

Devon J Hall

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