I am South Berkeley, An Urban Analytique

I never would have thought that analyzing a place would turn into a personal, and very emotional, self reflection exercise. I've been assigned an Urban Analytique project to "explore" this corridor in South Berkeley and I'm like "Yes, finally! This will be fun." Only to get off the bus, ask an 18 year old young man where I was and he said North Oakland was just a few blocks away so I start to get a feeling that it's a Black neighborhood.. but this place is blackity, black like they have senior housing called "Harriet Tubman Terrace" kinda Black lol. It's also a changing neighborhood like many others in the Bay Area and around the US. We're supposed to analyze and measure urban form, street scape, land use, pedestrian life, etc in EVERY kind of way. As I'm looking into census data, I find that Berkeley lost 20% of it's Black population from 2000-2010. A huge sense of helplessness came over me. Suddenly, the 20% became me, the remaining 80% became me, the streets became my veins, the social services became my heart, the businesses became my lungs, and so on but my body isn't healthy. It's a type of self reflection and painful personal growth like nothing else I've encountered. How do I bring awareness to my "body" and help it become healthy but more importantly how do I attain maximum immunity?I can't breathe. I'll share more in my blog when I'm done exploring :) #Namaste


Jasmine Humphries