Mosunmola and Johnson are shown here with their children, Titi, Abi, Morayo and Segun (in his father’s arms). So when he asked me to help him out one day, I jumped at the chance.
(Image: Courtesy of Segun Akinsanya) A few months later, I noticed a man hanging around the neighbourhood. He used to give us here and there, or buy us a Big Mac for lunch. He gave me and my friend a brown paper bag, and told us to stand outside a convenience store and hand it off to another guy.
I saw a few guys from my class, and when they asked me if I wanted to hang out, I said yes.
One guy socked me hard in the nose—and then everyone joined in.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was an initiation into the crew.
BOYHOOD The author’s family immigrated to Canada from Lagos, Nigeria, in 1987.
His pants were perfectly baggy, creased and tucked into his socks.
“Mommy’s dead, Mommy’s dead.” It turned out my mom had been driving through a snowstorm on a nearby road—she couldn’t have been going more than 10 kilometres per hour. By Grade 7, we had moved to an apartment in Toronto, near Victoria Park and O’Connor, so my dad could be closer to a woman he was dating.
ops always talk about getting young black men off the streets. And they’re not organized into intricate hierarchies like you see on TV.
Most of them are based on where people live, particularly in low-income neighbourhoods or community housing complexes.
He was a tall, quiet guy—he seemed ancient to me then, but I realize now he was probably in his 20s. I didn’t look inside the bag, but I knew it was full of drugs.
We loitered outside the store, and the owner came out to shoo us away.