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Garnette Cadogan uses the word pilgrimages in the other assigned essay, “Love Your Crooked Neighbor / With Your Crooked Heart,” but religious undertones and themes are present in both essays. He states, “Seen theologically, then, walking is an act of faith. Walking is, after all, interrupted falling. We see, we listen, we speak, and we trust that each step we take won’t be our last, but will lead us into a richer understanding of the self and the world.” Cadogan writes of the all-too-familiar narrative of racism, police brutality, and hyperawareness caused by these realities. The reality he describes turns his enjoyment of exploration and immersion into a laundry list of actions for survival when he goes to the U.S. for college. The flow of this personal essay moves the audience to visualize each location, whether in Kingston, Jamaica, or in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and to not only hear but also smell the food cooking in these places.

The description of Cadogan being stopped on the street in New York City and threatened with being shot by a man in a wheelchair whom he was helping was heartbreaking, but each scene is described with a fast-paced subtly that caused me go back and read the scene over. The city streets, he states, “has made it closer to home to me, the city also withholds itself from me via those very streets” and this shrouding of knowledge and knowing is the reverse of his experiences in Jamaica, where those who wandered the streets at night were his “nighttime instructors.” It is an interesting combination of craving for greater knowledge and knowing too much for the streets to become this church, school, and home.

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