We are 22 days into 2021 and let’s just say it’s been a lot. Living in the Washington, DC during this time feels like I’m watching an episode of Scandal.
I’ve seen memes floating around social media stating “previously on 2020”. 2021 feels like an extension of 2020. To be honest, most of us are still working from home, COVID numbers are rising, and the social and racial injustices are still prevalent. Politics have been crazy and watching the news is draining. So yeah 2021 doesn’t feel any different. Like most of America some of us are at home witnessing this on the screen. However, for me it’s happening right outside my door. Can we say “intense”.
I’ve been living in Washington, DC for six years now. I initially moved here from Atlanta (that’s where I attended Spelman College and began my teaching career with Teach for America). I moved to D.C to attend graduate school with the dream of becoming the real life Olivia Pope in Education ( Scandal further solidified my desire to move to D.C). At the time Obama was in office and Black America was proud. My Saturday morning runs consisted of me running pass the White House hoping to spot the Obamas (never happened). Church at the infamous Alfred Street Baptist Church sometimes involved special guest like the Rev. Al Sharpton, The Obamas, or Michael Dyson. Overall, D.C was vibrant and full of life. Living and working in D.C felt amazing . Here I was in my prime making a decent salary and living downtown close to the Capitol. Life was a dream.
Unfortunately, living close to the Capitol has given me a front row seat to the riots, protest, civil unrest, and recently the Inauguration. On January 6, 2021 unbeknownst to me I had no clue what was going on at the Capitol. City living consists of daily sirens, honking cars, and just noise. It felt like a regular day to me and the normal “be careful” texts didn’t feel strange. It wasn’t until I walked outside to walk my dog Chai that I realized what was going on. I never felt scared for my life but on that day I did. Thank you God for covering me because I wasn’t harmed or put in any form of danger.
on January 2, I sat in my living room watching the Inauguration. Of course Auntie Michelle was serving all the looks. However, when Kamala Harris took her oath, I nervously looked outside my window anticipating. It was eerie quiet and everything felt still. In that moment I started to cry I was witnessing history. A woman of color is the Vice President of the United Stated. It was that very moment I heard loud cheers of “WE DID IT” coming from outside. I felt proud to be a black woman in America.
2021 has been showing her tail but I promised myself for the rest of this year to hold on to special moments. I’m holding on to the memory of looking outside my window and seeing people cheering and finding joy in the mist of a pandemic. The memory of watching the Inaugural fireworks from my living room. Living in Washington, D.C. has given me a front row seat to witnessing history for six years now. I don’t know what’s to come for my time here but I’ll take it for now.
Photography by : Oscar Merrida