photo: There’s work at the Post Office!
A line most will remember from the Robert Townsend stereotype-acknowledging–and defying–1987 flick Hollywood Shuffle. Spoken by the main character’s grandmother as she disapproves of the stereotypical black roles he feels forced to take to make it as an actor, it’s a strong reminder that there’s always a job somewhere else. Maybe not a better job, but perhaps one you can at least be proud of.
While out and about yesterday enjoying the briefly nice weather, we emerged from Gallery Place/Chinatown at the 7th & F exit and my eye immediately noticed a young black man in an orange prison-style jumpsuit. Considering that it was still a little overcast out, it was impossible not to notice him, really. He was handing out flyers to passersby for The National Museum of Crime & Punishment.*
He was polite and while one or two people seemed startled, most walked past clearly immune to the usual array of DC hawkers and buskers.** My companion remarked that he’d think a young black man would turn such a job down. I agreed. As we headed towards the National Building Museum, I was more than a little tempted to walk back and tell him, “My good man, there’s work at the Post Office…”
† I am certain that the young man was well aware of what the job might entail and had no problem with it himself. It was an easy day’s work with a pleasant day’s weather. It’s just one more thing that makes me question the Museum’s advertising choices.
* They’re still kinda on my no-go list for equating crimes of passion with romance–by making it a Valentine’s Day event–so I’m not really surprised what kinds of shocking or outrageous advertising they employ.
** During my travels in DC, that corner has played host to pandas (both statue and costumed), terra cotta warriors, and the Nationals Park presidents to say the least. It’s not out of the ordinary that people wouldn’t take notice.