The entire town was at the New Black Wall Street Corporate Headquarters.
Nearly everyone that lived in the District was volunteering their hard work and time to help provide food, clothing, household products, and other resources to the poor and disadvantaged.
American Descendants of Slavery came from the surrounding communities and all over the state of Arkansas.
The New Black Wall Street and the Go-Getters have always held community gatherings like this one every year for the past fifty years. People brought their entire families. Pregnant women, babies, children, elderly, disabled too.
Paige got out of her parents’ Lexus SUV and followed them and Steven to the community gathering.
She saw Zack and the rest of the Go-Getters and their families helping out at the event. Security and police officers were assigned all over the District and had the roads blocked off.
Surveillance cameras monitored everyone and everything. The observers were walking around and were alert to any potential drama.
Long lines stretched for blocks. People were walking around and riding through the town. A group of boys and girls ran up to Chad.
“Do y’all have junk food?” A girl asked.
“We have healthy food like fruits and vegetables that’s healthier than junk food. First, y’all need to clean your hands before you eat the fruit,” Chad informed them.
Chad squirted hand sanitizer in their hands and show them how to clean their hands with it. Then he opened a food container and gave them freshly washed and neatly cut fruit like plums, kiwi, oranges, bananas, apples, and grapes.
“This tastes good.”
“I know, right. Growing babies need all the fruits and vegetables they can get. By the way, where are your parents?”
The kids greedily ate the fruit.
“They over there.”
Chad and the kids looked over to where a group of adults stood. Chad waved at them and they waved back. A man walked quickly toward Chad and asked him if he was hiring.
Chad answered yes and gave him an application. They talked for a bit about the different job descriptions and the man’s qualifications before Chad went to help others at the event.
The Go-Getters and other volunteers continued to help give out three boxes of food and household products. When the community gathering was over, Chad walked over to Darrel.
“It’s a good thing that we changed the requirements for the community gathering to American Descendants of Slavery only and excluded everyone else,” Chad said to Darrel.
“Last year the event was so diverse and they were everywhere. This event is for our people who need it the most not privileged folks and model minorities.”
Chad’s iPhone rang. He looked at the caller id and saw his mother calling him.
“Hello, son, can you come to my office? I want to speak with you about something.”
“Sure, Mother, I’m on my way.”
Chad walked inside the New Black Wall Street Headquarters. The receptionists at the front lobby gave him the mail. A man approach Chad.
“Sir, I didn’t get a black love invitation for the office party next week. I was wondering if I can get one.”
Chad glanced at the man and scoffed. “Aren’t you married to some nonblack woman?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Duh, that’s why then. You and your nonblack spouse wouldn’t be able to relate to a black love event especially the black woman discussion. Now, excuse me, I am very busy and I have a lot of work to finish.”
Chad walked quickly to his mother’s office. The man got on the elevator with some more people.
Daphne’s office was feminine and she kept it business casual at the same time. It looked like Chad’s office but with a lady touch.
“Darling, your father has been acting kind of naughty over my anniversary present,” Daphne smirked at Chad.
“Is this why you called me in here, darling?” Chad mimicked his mother and smirked at her too.
“Your mother’s a lady. She likes to keep conversation civil. I know you know there’s a self-hating, sell-out color-struck coon that has found his way into our nest. I want him terminated, darling.”
“I know, he asked me about our black love party that we’re having next week. He wanted to bring his non-black spouse to a black love event. Anyway, we can’t terminate the coon like that. He has to give us a reason.”
“You can find one, darling. Find one. He probably said something about his race and/or black women. Said something stupid and trolled on some social media site, spread racist talking points about his own women.”
“You’re right. We’ll find something that the clown did.”
“Now, honey, about my anniversary present. I know it’s hidden somewhere in the house. Can you give your mother a hint? I know your father told you, you probably hid it for him,” Daphne walked over to him.
“Darling, I’m your mother! I gave birth to you and took care of you, raised you to be the man that you are today!”
“Thank you, Mother. I appreciate everything that you and dad did for me.” Chad walked off with a smirk on his face, feeling his mother’s eyes on him.
Paige walked down the hall with her friends. She made it to the cafeteria and sat down after paying for her lunch. Crystal, Danielle, Mackenzie, Casey, and Jasmine sat beside her in the lunchroom.
“Juan, Satin, and their friends were at the community gathering helping out like they did nothing wrong to Porsha, Crystal, and the other girls from the hood,” Jasmine said.
“I know right. It’s horrible,” Casey agreed.
“Juan, Satin, and the Go-Getters are like gang members,” Crystal stated.
“Say what, now? Don’t say that, Crystal, they are not like gang members,” Danielle replied.
“There you go defending them again! Not surprising. I said like gang members. I didn’t say they were gang members. Gangs like the Bloods, the Crips, the Cold Stoners, Midnight Executions, the Straight Gamers don’t fuck with them. When they see them coming, they turned the other way. Why is that huh?” Crystal asked.
Danielle rolled her eyes. “There you go criticizing them again. After we repeatedly told you that not all of the Go-Getters are like Juan and Satin. Being in a gang is beneath them.”
The friends were quiet for a minute. Then it was Crystal’s turn to roll her eyes. They finished eating Chef salads, chicken breast tenders, mixed fruit, lemonade and juice.
Paige wore a bright yellow jumpsuit, Earth brown sandals, her hair was slicked back in a ponytail. Paige wore light makeup and lipgloss. Her purse sat in her lap.
Danielle wore her curly hair, hanging down and, light makeup on. She wore denim shorts, a red tank top, and denin flats. Her purse was resting on her lap too.
Crystal wore a multi-colored, print party dress, and white high heels. Her handbag rested on the seat beside her. Crystal’s hair was in a messy bun and she wore her usual heavy makeup.
Mackenzie wore a plain white t-shirt, old blue jeans, and tan boots. Casey wore an African flag dress, slides, and her hair was braided. She didn’t wear any makeup nor did she have a purse.
Jasmine wore tight purple pants, a purple halter top, and matching casual sneakers. She wore an Afro, little makeup, and lipgloss. She played with her purse’s strap and chewed gum.
“Girls, I heard something from the streets. It’s important gossip,” Mackenzie commented.
“What, Mackenzie? Spill?” Crystal stared at him.
Nearly all Crystal’s bruises were gone. The gash on her forehead was still there but it wasn’t noticeable unless you come close.
They learned that the girls that attacked Crystal only got probation, paid small fines, and spent two weeks in jail even after the judge viewed the video of the horrific fight.
They thought that was messed up. They knew Juan had something to do with the light sentences. He had paid the small fines for his girlfriend Ava and her friends.
The bell rang, dismissing the lunch period. They got up and left with the rest of the students.
“I heard that one of the Go-Getters is on the down-low!” Mackenzie sounded giddy.
“What? That can’t be in Arkansas. Our state is too small and people all around town would have found out about that,” Crystal remarked.
“Is that in a bigger state, Mackenzie?” Jasmine asked.
“Yeah, girls! Not in Arkansas. I heard that the down-low Go-Getter is in the ATL.”
“That’s what I thought. I know the leadership of the group is in a hurry trying to figure out who it is so they can terminate their membership!” Jasmine replied.
“Yep, they are homophobe all the way. Maybe I should go to Atlanta and get my fuck on! I know he fine too!” Mackenzie giggled.
“Mackenzie, down boy, down! You trying to fuck with some strange, insecure man that’s confused about his sexuality and closeted. You can’t be serious!” Crystal remarked.
Mackenzie waved his hand as if dismissing her. They had just reached the lockers when suddenly an aggressive fight between two jocks erupted in the hallway.
They saw some guy tell another guy to leave his girlfriend Cindy alone then he punched him. All hell broke loose. The big jocks began fighting and throwing each other into the lockers, the hard floor, punching, kicking, pushing, etc.
The Go-Getters stood in full view of the fight. Students started yelling fight over and over again.
“Beat that ass! That’s what I’m talking about!” Mackenzie hollered.
Paige shook her head. “Pitiful. What are they in grade school again?”
“Oh shit, here comes Principal Silverson, the security and the police!” Crystal remarked.
Students and teachers stood in the hallway, watching the fight. Ms. Jakeson and Mr. Moore stood outside their classrooms.
The warning bell rang. The security and police roughly pulled the guys apart, breaking up the fight. Principal Silverson was pissed.
Paige and her friends can hear the principal scold the boys as they walked away.
“That’s right, take yo ghetto ass back to the stinking projects! Fuck out of our school with that dumb ass shit!” DaShawn hollered.
“How dare you miscreants fight in my school! Leave this shit in the streets. Officers, take these two thugs to my office. You boys are going to get expelled permanently! You’re never coming back here because of our one-strike policy. You two fighting over some Becky, over someone else’s woman. Becky is still here and you two are about to be expelled for good. Emille is trying to be nice to charity cases but you two are going back to where you come from!” Principal Silverson snapped.
“Sorry, please sir.”
“Shut up! Officers, if these two punks give you any flack or won’t leave the school, arrest them!”
“The traitors are dismissed! They are so stupid! They were all over social media saying they were going to fight each other at Emille,” Tristan remarked.
“Students, get back to class! The tardy bell is going to ring any minute!” The assistant principal announced.
Shortly before school was over, DaShawn walked to the principal’s office and knocked on the door. Principal Silverson opened the door.
“Hey, Dad!” DaShawn greeted him.
“Hey, aren’t you supposed to be in class?”
“That’s where I’m going now. I just came from the restroom. I was on my way back. I was hoping you and mom will get back together. Sherri and I see that you and Ms. Jakeson have grown close.”
“I know. Christine and I have agreed to remain friends and be there for you and your sister. Get back to class, DaShawn, I’ll talk to you after school.”
The bell dismissed the school at the end of the day. Paige saw Zack standing by his ride. They had spoken briefly at the community gathering when they were volunteering with their families.
Zack smiled and waved at Paige. She returned both gestures. She looked around at their friends.
Danielle and Crystal walked with her out of the school. Tristan, DaShawn, Noah, and Cain approach Zack and started talking to him. They looked happy.
Paige said goodbyes to Danielle and Crystal when they left. She turned back to where Zack and his friends stood but they were gone.
Paige waited for her mom to pick her up. She wandered around the school. Paige began observing a tennis game until someone touched her shoulder. It was Zack.
“Hi, Paige!” he greeted her.
“Can we talk in my ride? I want to have a conversation with you, babe. I’m better now. It’s been a few weeks since my breakdown and I want us to get back together.”
“Uh, sure we can talk. My mom will be picking me up soon. She’s late.”
Paige followed Zack to his Jaguar and got in with him.