Saturday, March 06, 2010

In Pursuit of Me: The Life and Times of Christylez Bacon or Escaping Southeast

Last night I saw, "In Pursuit of Me," a autobiographical theatrical concert from Christylez Bacon, a young performer from Southeast DC. You can read about in the review I wrote for my blog on

In Pursuit of Me: The Life and Times of Grammy nominated DC Performer Christylez Bacon

Since (for the moment) all roads on this blog lead to Congress Heights, I will say that the show gave me plenty of food for thought. One avenue my mind traveled down was the one that says taking people out of their environment can be a life-changing experience. In the show, Bacon talks about how his life changed after he was given the opportunity to leave southeast DC and attend a two week arts program in Colorado.

While discussing our disagreement with the plan the Peaceaholics have to open a group home to rehabilitate troubled youth on our very troubled block, I learned more about one of my neighbors.

The Peaceaholics told us that a large percentage of DC's youthful offenders come from southeast DC and that they didn't want to put their "problem" in someone else's neighborhood. My neighbor told me that, while she was not in trouble with the law, she was one of those kids who was given the chance to leave her problematic Baltimore 'hood to go to school in New England and that this gave her new perspective and altered the course of the life. Some people will change their lives no matter where they are, but for many, a change of scenery helps. Does it really help to bring people back to where they were before? While the cost of a building in southeast is low and the facility would be near metro, it is also surrounded by other social service facilities and many of the temptations that likely lured these kinds in the first place.

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