About the Author

Charlotte Simpson, aka the Traveling Black Widow is a retired guidance counselor and special education teacher. After losing her husband of 31 years, she made solo-world-travel a central part of her retirement and has traveled all seven continents and 50 states. ​

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Being Black on the block was also my foundation, growing up in” money earnin” Mt. Vernon, a suburb outside of NYC. I resonated with most of the writers sentiments about living and thriving in a black neighborhood. It was a blessing and am thankful for it made me who I am.

  2. Family, family reunions, friendships and church relationships have kept me happy and sane in my beautiful blackness. In addition, I believe it goes without saying, God has kept us as a people in this country.

  3. I grew up in a Black neighborhood in Pittsburgh, PA in the 60’s, 70’s. I went to a Black elementary and high school. When it came time for college my mom wanted me to go to a PWI. I chose an HBCU; in Atlanta. Best decision I ever made. I now live in a predominately Black neighborhood in Atlanta. I cherish the Black experience I have lived with and will continue to live with.

    • Portions of your passage reminds me if my neighborhood and my college experience. We were numbed by the negatively to the point we survived with our nose to the grindstone. As we exhale we are still surviving. Thank you for your well written piece. We’re blessed.

  4. Very nice article. In the 50’s & 60’s we never missed the Ed Sullivan show on Sunday nights when we knew there would be Black people performing. I saw Blacks being mistreated in the South on TV, but that really seemed like worlds away from Philly. I was a teenager when Motown was building its empire. We could see shows with several Motown acts at the Uptown Theatre on the same stage, same day for about $1.50! If you cut your last period class on Fridays, you could see a show for .50 cents!! I was devastated by the loss of President Kennedy, Dr. King & Robert Kennedy. In 1970 Philly’s Mayor Rizzo had the police raid a Black Panther house at 2:00 a.m & the police made all of the men come outside in the boxers after an officer was killed. There was no evidence that the BP’s committed the crime, but they were blamed. In 1985, Mayor Goode gave the OK for police to “bomb” the home of the MOVE (Black people) organization. Instead of just scaring the members, the ENTIRE block caught on fire. 11 people died incl. 3 kids, and folks who had nothing to do with the MOVE group lost their homes (250 people ended up homeless)! I really experienced racism between 1979 & 1982 when I could not get hired for a permanent job despite having excellent skills & an Associate Degree in Exec. Secretarial Science. In my pursuit of work, an HR employee shared that the company he worked for was “seen as a white organiztion”. In ’82 they started LOOKING for Black applicants they had previously denied employment to. In 1982, I was hired as the 1st Black person in my dept. I disagree with the writer re: Mr. Cosby, Mr. Woods & Mr. Simpson. Cosby & Simpson committed crimes & Woods got caught having affairs. I can agree that their actions caused them to have issues, but they did whatever they did bc they’re men, not bc of white men. No one of any color forced them to do what they did. If anything, it kind of looks like they experienced a level of “Black celebrity” privilege. Friend Al Cowlings drove O.J. & led the police on a slow speed chase for 2 hrs and not even the tires were shot out on the vehicle.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *