by Brizy Moon, SFC sophomore

Marcy Houses in Bed Stuy, where I have lived for the past 12 years, are known for their violence. 

People assume that life in Marcy is bad because of this notorious reputation. 

Some people who live here feel as if they have to fit into a stereotype because it’s edgy and somehow cool.

The whole world knows Jay-Z grew up in Marcy, so it must be cool, right?

Well, the truth is, life can be quiet here if you know how to live in such a space. The people here are actually very kind — although a bit misunderstood.

In all the years I’ve lived in Marcy, I’ve never had a problem or gotten into trouble. 

My mother always told me: “Don’t shit where you sleep.” 

It means don’t cause trouble where your home is. I feel this doesn’t only apply to living in the projects, but also anywhere that you happen to be. 

Your community is where you feel most at home — and where you are most vulnerable at times as well.

You see the same people, know where they live, you may even know their daily routes to a point. But this means that they know yours too.

This is something most people tend to forget, and forgetting this is a big mistake. You should be kind to your neighbors, even in the smallest ways that may seem insignificant. 

Just remember, if you go looking for trouble in the place you lay your head to rest it’ll stay with you until you leave. 

This doesn’t mean that the projects — or anywhere — are 100% safe. Fate is cruel and you may happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t lessen the risk by creating a community where you feel safe — one where people help each other when they need it. 

If you want to thrive in Marcy projects or any other community, be kind to those around you. 

Say hello to the workers at the nearby shops to the point where they know your face and name. They could protect you. 

Greet the gossiping ‘big mamas’ who stay outside all hours of the day — they’re the ones who’ll tell the ‘gangsters’ to leave you be. 

Always keep your head held high, show them you’re confident. 

Be kind even to the old men who flirt and hold the door open for you, they’ll watch out for you.

Never be alone in a closed environment — take the stairs, check the mail, but don’t cower in fear.

The people here see me as their granddaughter, as a polite young woman who has a bright future.

This is because I never went looking for trouble where I slept.

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