1001 Black Men–#609



The Walgreens on the corner of High and Redding has got to be one of the busiest stores of its kind. There is always a long line, and the line always moves slowly. On those days when I have no more emails to read and no more iPhone games that need tending, I pass the time in that line just looking around and absorbing the particular brand of diversity that reveals itself in this little corner of Oakland.

The man in this drawing is one of those folks who comes to Walgreens to buy his groceries. I don’t mean that he drops into the store to pick up a couple of items that he forgot to grab at the local supermarket. For a lot of complicated and not-so-complicated reasons, a number of folks in the neighborhood find Walgreens to be the best place to purchase not only their snacks and soft drinks, but also their staples. This says a lot about the poor selection of foods available at so many of the corner stores in our city. If Walgreens has a better food selection than your corner grocery store, then your local grocer is probably not prioritizing the selling of food … but I’ll bet he sure stocks a wide array of liquors.

Ajuan Mance


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