Saturday, Sept. 8, is a day in which many community organizers in Homewood are hopeful for a bright, sunny day—in the weather forecast and the resident turnout.
It’s “Love Our Neighborhood Day” in Homewood, sponsored by the Homewood Neighbors Committee. The day features the second annual iLovelife! Community vs. Police UNITY Game at the Homewood YMCA on Bennett St. at noon, and the Park Jam 4 Love at the Baxter Parklet at 1 p.m. (Frankstown and North Braddock avenues).
Anwan Wesley is leading the charge for the Community vs. Police basketball game. He told the New Pittsburgh Courier the distrust between local Black communities and the police “are deep rooted throughout the history of law enforcement…we have to endure targeting, driving while Black, living in constant fear for the simple fact that they may shoot us for no reason even when we are weaponless and/or faultless.”
The game is meant to show that “everyone in law enforcement is not bad because there are those who really care and I’ve had a chance to get to know some of the officers through coaching and playing sports throughout my life,” Wesley said.
The Park Jam 4 Love will feature a DJ, a live band, poetry, face-painting, and more. Free food and refreshments will also be served.
“Homewood is a unique place that has some of the best people you can find,” Wesley continued. “From the president and vice president of Homewood Community Sports, Mubarik Ismaeli, and Ayodeji Young to Monte Robinson, head coach, and his brother, Ramon Robinson, who leads the neighborhood high school football program at Westinghouse…to Justin Perkins, Westinghouse Jr. Wrestling, one of the best wrestling coaches in the state…Ahmad Wesley with Lady Dawgs girls softball and Harold Wagner with Homewood baseball…we have a community college, an African American Music Institute, the Harambee Black Arts Festival and a world-class media arts program, The Lighthouse. Homewood is like Pittsburgh’s Harlem.”
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