I defied the national punishment today and walked to the post office. On the way back I saw an Oakland that was black enough to make one believe that gentrification was just a rumor. There were black people on the sidewalk with chairs. Black people pulling up to their homes from working “essential” jobs. Black teenagers milling about. Black people appreciating the Spring and dreading not being able to get fly and go to the club, or a house party, or to the movies. It felt very nostalgic but very present day. A few people had masks on but most of us didn’t. It was almost as if I was walking home from grade school in 1992 except for the fact that there’s a big empty lot where the housing projects used to be and there’s a bike lane on either side of the street so people can’t rev up their engines and race at the light. Other than that I swear I was in a chocolate city today with no hint of Vanilla in sight. It was an awesome rejuvenating walk. I took my time.