Mass Incarceration’s effect on Fort Worth is a complex. In many ways, Fort Worth has been affected in the same major areas that other cities across America have been: evidenced by the existence of communities like Stop 6 that have been ravaged by Mass Incarceration. However, there is also a wealth of individuals and organizations doing positive and productive work that are from Stop 6 itself. Therefore, through a case study of communities like Stop 6 we can gain much invaluable insight as to the effects of Mass Incarceration as well as exceptional strategies to fight it.
“The community and environment is made up of African-Americans. There is no Latino presence, no Caucasian presence, none whatsoever. The community is one where if one got in trouble, the neighbor pretty much was allowed to discipline you, because she said ‘Karl did this,’ my mother said ‘if you catch Karl doing that, take care of him.’ [so like, it takes a village to raise a kid type mentality], right. We had parents all over Stop 6 even though they were not biological parent or dad or uncle or whatever else: the village did raise the child. Now is that the case right today? I’m not real sure, because you have younger parents now, and they’re not the same parents I had.”
Karl Bradley’s recollection of Stop 6 from shows some of the diversity issues that the community faced, but highlights the beauty of a combined effort to take pride in their individuals. At the end, Bradley hints at the community’s change over time, and Gyna Bivens helped provide context as to what Stop 6 is like today.
“But for the focus in terms of Stop Six, Stop Six was- and is no longer- but was primarily an African American community when I grew up, but today it’s quite diverse. I was quite surprised to see white men, Hispanic men, walking around Stop Six with 40 oz beer bottles, wine bottles- you know, the brown bag- I don’t drink, so I just assume there’s something in there, I know it’s alcohol. But when I first saw the first white guy walking around Stop Six with what I assumed was a 40 oz, I thought ‘boy this has really changed.’ That was probably- it was before I went to North Texas Bold- so probably the year 2004 0r 5. And you know there was a time in Stop Six where you only saw African Americans. Walking around now, everybody is there. And the sad thing is, too many of them are financially challenged, too many of them may have problems keeping them from getting what I call decent wages, and too many of them have many obstacles to overcome that it takes more than their will to do so, you know, in my opinion.”
At the end of the day, Stop 6 is a place that has many positive people who are creating positive change. One of the keys to Stop 6 continuing this upward trend is keeping those people involved in the community.