By Katherine Brown
While on this love experience, I learned that you don’t need very many words to define or explain it. 140 will do. To find out more about how folks from Oakland view love – and whether or not it exist in the city – I conducted a few Twitter chats with some fellow Oaklanders. Here is what they had to say.
Tahlia B. is a 34 administrative assistant and called the Town home for 14 years. She defines love as:
@KattyGirlOak It's unconditional. Accepting someone for who they truly are, flaws and all.
— Tahlia (Tuh-lie-yuh) (@tahliab) December 4, 2012
She goes on to say, “It’s giving yourself, your true inner self, away to someone totally and completely”
Chuck Hawkins, 35, is an entrepreneur and sale coach, and has called East Oakland home for over 30 years. He sees love as “willingness to keep the commitment to the thing/person long after the EMOTION has left that aided the decision, it keeps u going, it holds the key to your oxygen, MOTIVATION, drive & dreams. Love powers you.”
Hawkins feels that The Town has a lot of love to give. Particularly:
@KattyGirlOak Oakland loves a lot of things, music, history, etc…its hard to answer kinda just generally???
— Chuck Hawkins (@Chuckishustle) December 4, 2012
Hawkins believes that love does exist in The Town, but that it could use a little nurturing. He says, “in this context, love is a maturity deal it exists in the music historical aspects, but personal interaction, depends on where u are.”
For some, 140 characters was too small of a limit to express what love means. 35 year-old Raimone Bradford has lived in East Oakland for 32 years, and via e-mail, he defines love as:
“Love to me is defined as more than unconditional can describe. To me, Love must include sacrifice, pain, suffering and consideration. Love isn’t measured equally against what we apply it to. Love operates on a separate spectrum for each category we apply it to. There’s one thing that Love is without a doubt, and that’s the most powerful expression one can display. Love is blind, love is strength, love is eternal….”
And then there is the definition from Shelley McCray. The 39 year-old teacher defines love as:
@KattyGirlOak Hmm… Accepting someone for who they are, not who you hope they become.
— S (dot) McCray (@ShelleyMcCray) December 4, 2012
McCray feels that it is possible for love to exist in Oakland. She says, “absolutely, my husband and I met here 25 years ago.”
She goes on to say how it is important to build a better foundation for the generations to come. Specifically, “parents who want the best for their kids, even though they may not have had exposure to “the best” themselves.” McCray explains, “TV & videos shouldn’t provide the model for what love looks like. Neither should I. You define love for yourself.”