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 Nicknamed Uchi by his family, Freddy is second of eight siblings who grew up in what is socially characterized as a bad neighborhood.  To be called “ghetto” is not personally offensive to Uchi.  It is almost with nostalgia that he refers to himself and his family of street friends as “ghettos.” 

These self called ghettos similarly grew up in overcrowded neighborhoods.  Common street spectacles are broken sneakers and tennis shoes hanged on electrical wires; locks on things that normally don’t have locks on them; an adult man riding on a child’s BMX bike in the middle of the street; dollar stores, payday loans, Boost Mobile next to check cashing places in many spots, convenience stores with handwritten signs “WE TAKE EBT” to mention a few of their street landscapes.  In these kinds of hoods Uchi and his friends found one another and together had their good and bad

early matured life memories.  A book by Adrian LeBlanc titled “Random Family” was comprehensively written and exhibited real life stories of the members of this street “Random Family.”

The phrase “take it lite, be polite, don’t fight, aight?” originated in the East Tremont section of the Bronx in New York in 1985 and was first coined by Uchi who was 20 years old at the time.  Writing this blog I reached out to Uchi to ask how those words really started.  He replied:”when I was telling a friend (Rom) who had just been released from prison for him to just chill in the streets and keep out of beef.  Since then the words flowed naturally.  I’ve been using it as a motto ever since.”

Uchi is now 57 years old.  Although he still bears the marks of a ghetto style of living, it is fair to say that for nearly 3 decades now, Uchi is retired of street life.  In the more recent years, the same is true with most of his found random family in the streets of the Bronx in New York. 

For someone who had been in many street gang troubles early in his life, Uchi had come out a learner of life.  This t-shirt design is to recognize pieces of wisdom hard earned growing up in a ghetto neighborhood.

From and by Uchi:





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