Corey Nash doesn’t have much faith in Milwaukee. The 17-year-old and a friend walk down a partially-snow-covered sidewalk on 16th Street in Borchert Field but they grew up on the South Side, he says.
“[You] couldn’t go to sleep without hearing a gunshot,” says Nash. “They say the South Side is supposed to be safer than the North Side — it’s all the same.”
Nash talks about a friend of his who was killed the night before at a house party. “She didn’t deserve to get shot.”
“Every day I wake up there’s another person gone out this world,” he says. “I hope it just gets better, you know?”
Some of Nash’s older cousins who are in their 30s and 40s are locked up, too, he says. “They won’t see daylight again.”
His friend has family in prison, as well.
But Nash speaks fondly of his mother and father. “My parents, they real good, you know. My mother, she has two jobs — she’s a nurse and she’s a special education teacher — and, my father, he’s a carpenter.”
While Nash acknowledges it’s “just real crazy out here,” he also says he doesn’t want to “grow up to be bad or nothin’.”
“I’m gonna go to college,” says Nash. He wants to be a computer technician. “I’m just very active with my hands.”
Nash says he can’t sit in one place for a long time without getting bored, except when it comes to computers. “They don’t never get boring; you can never get bored tryin’ to unlock somethin’ or fix somethin’ on a computer — it never gets boring doing that.”
“I started from takin’ my own games apart, my own game systems, and puttin’ them back together.”
And, despite everything around him, Nash is confident. “Oh, I got a promisin’ future,” he says. “You know how they say a lot of black young men wouldn’t live … to see 18? I’m gonna make it to see my whole life.”
But, hopefully, it won’t be here, he says. “I’m lookin’ forward to, 20 years from now, seein’ myself far away from this place, somewhere, takin’ care of my momma.”
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