It was on Craigslist that I spotted what seemed like a standard ad seeking housing. Yet when I clicked the link and scanned the text, two sentences shouted out, reverberating deep inside me. These sentences are hardly standard in such ads. What surprises me is that more ads don’t include them.
While the person who placed the ad was seeking housing in a different part of town and at a different price point, ignoring the shout was not an option. Within nanoseconds, I equivocated not whether to "do something," but how.
And I sent the person an email. He replied three minutes later. And between my sobs, I recalled Incident, a poem whose title I borrowed for a post I mounted last year. That post includes the photo that belongs right here, too.
Reply to: email@example.com
Date: 2007-08-12, 3:41PM EDT
My Aug 1st deadline has pass me by and I am still in search of some where to stay. I am a professional BLACK male, some people were shocked to see I was black when I came to view the property, so I decided to let you know before hand. So if you don't want to rent to black people, keep it moving. 27 yrs old, and graduate of Morehouse College. I need a Studio or One bedroom small apartment. I can only afford about 700. I don't have money for a deposit but it can be made in payments. I work at the Home Depot Corporate Office and I tend to work long hours. Drug free and I do not have any pets. Please provide me with pics, and just not pics of the bathroom and the living room.
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 13:38:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Tamar Orvell"
Subject: your ad
just to let you know i read what you said about people being shocked by your color. i am so sorry that the bigots still impose their ignorance on others. you have lived with this reality so i am not saying what you don't know. i just want you to know that someone, me, was saddened by the experience you describe. keep telling the truth. some day, people will become better than they are now.
Thank u, u really lifted my spirits.