4/27/2010, 7:06 p.m.
The concert attracted a large crowd of mostly Bromley-Heath residents who responded enthusiastically to the music, particularly toward the end of the show, when the performers filled the stage.
The audience laughed together at inside jokes and members alternately chanted “Old Side,” referring to the original Heath Street development, built in 1941-42, or “New Side,” referring to Bromley Park, built in 1953-54.
In an interview after the concert, Barksdale said he thought it had gone beautifully. “I wanted to see unity,” he said. “I wanted to see everybody get together and have a positive, peaceful time, and that’s what happened.”
Barksdale was especially honored that the TMC’s co-founder and executive director, Mildred Hailey, who has been recovering from an illness, came to the show and stayed well into the evening. “She came out there to support us; I think she stayed the whole night,” he said.
Furtado was also pleased with the concert. “It was very nice,” she said. “I do hope to help them plan more of these in the future. … I thought it went very well for the first one.”
Barksdale was “very comfortable, very satisfied” with the proceeds from the show. He plans to use half to help support a DVD project and half to throw a cookout for the children of the development to celebrate the first day of summer vacation.
He said his only disappointment was in the number of police — a dozen or more, including some from the gang unit — who came to the show and behaved in ways that intimidated some in the audience. Barksdale said police harassment isn’t unusual at Bromley-Heath, especially for young African American men, but he tries not to let it bother him.
“When they harass us,” he said, “that’s just made me stronger to show them that my projects are more than what everybody wants to think.”
Barksdale’s projects appear to be gaining steam. In addition to airplay on TOUCH 106.1 FM’s “Funky Fresh Radio,” he has a downloadable “Born and Raised” mix tape featured on DatPiff.com and a CD for sale at the Camilo Market across the street from Bromley-Heath.
“That CD’s up there for my community to show them you can go beyond what people say” about you, Barksdale explained. Barksdale’s CD has been out since February — and, of the initial 200 copies, he says he’s now sold all but 15.