When I was preparing to move to New Orleans, a friend from high school, someone I talk to on Facebook but have only seen once in person in the past 10 years, told me that New Orleans was a VERY DANGEROUS PLACE! SO DANGEROUS, because NONWHITE PEOPLE DARE TO LIVE HERE!
When I explained that I haven’t lived in a predominantly white neighborhood since I was six or seven, he repeated that, OMG, SO DANGEROUS, and his speech started taking on the, “Listen to me, little lady, I know what I’m talking about,” overtones I often hear from narrow-minded people.
In reality, I have never felt as safe as I do in my New Orleans neighborhood.
Yes, I understand that New Orleans is a city. Yes, I understand that some of the people here are not good people. But, I feel safe enough here to walk by myself at night. That is something I never did in my neighborhood in Florida.
Mind you, I don’t wander the streets at night. I always travel from “Point A” to “Point B.” I never walk more than a few blocks. I walk with a purpose and keep an eye on what’s going on behind me. Still, I have a freedom here I did not feel in Tampa. And, I’m glad that I don’t let fear, or prejudice, keep me from living a beautiful life.