B*tch I’m T’d Up! In a Safe Place Tho!

Springfield Skyline at dusk

The city of Springfield, the home of an estimated population of 155k inhabitants and known to be the 3rd largest city in Massachusetts (U.S. Census, 2017). Springfield is a city home to about 29.2k black residents and about 67.7k latino residents— that’s really a lot of non-white folks! 

Photo credit: Kolin Mendez

With simple human nature, the black and brown people of Springfield love a good time! Specifically for the 21+ age group, this would normally include heading out to bars, lounges, clubs and more. Half of the time, having a great time at a function would normally include attending the white establishments which have been in the city for years on end.

As a Springfield resident, I too have been to some of these white establishments and I would usually have to shake off the feeling of not belonging. Of course, when you’re with your group of trusty homies, any place could really feel like a “vibe”, but when you’re a woke individual like myself, you start to slowly exudate these presages of not belonging in these specific white-establishments. You could argue that it is not that deep or maybe I haven’t had enough to drink, but if you know what I’m talking about then I don’t need to say more— you know. 

Black and brown people deserve to enjoy themselves. 

Stockimage fom Google

We deserve being in a place which celebrates us without onlookers seeing us as wild, unruly, provocative, ratchet, ghetto, noisy, sketchy, troublesome, and loud. As many times as I’ve been to white establishments and have seen white people have the space to get “stupid drunk”, curse everyone and their moms out, and even throw a punch— and still be properly escorted out and safely sent homethe same thing should apply to our black and brown bodies.

Combatting these weird [racist] vibes from these white-establishments, I think it would be more than beneficial if we should just appreciate and attend these black and brown establishments which celebrate us the most. With the help of trusty and talented DJs, I was able to create a candid list of places sought out to be much better to spend hard earned black dollars in. Yes, if you’re a Springfield or surrounding city resident, these places may be more than familiar to you— but, it does not hurt to know your options.

Exchange St. (258 Exchange St, Chicopee, MA 01013) (personal favorite)

You literally have to head underground to walk in, giving the feel that you’re heading into a subway. It nicely balances wanting to stay lowkey but still having fun. It’s personally my favorite, thus far— so if you go, HAVE FUN!

The Russell (103 Pratt St, Hartford, CT 06103)

A two-level Jamaican venue which is the perfect place for partying and eating. Pretty popular amongst the West Indian communities in the surrounding areas. Great for Sunday brunches with a heavy island vibe & two dollar Tuesdays, open for everyone of different backgrounds to come by and have a great time.

Tavola (153 Market St, Hartford, CT 06103)

Another black owned venue! This place is known to host entertaining open mic nights, reggae on Saturday nights, and most importantly Black Queer friendly. 

Smokey Joe’s (95 Dwight St, Springfield, MA 01103)

A cigar club where if you’re a cigar enthusiast, its home to you! With a more mature audience, it is said to promise a chill atmosphere to all its guest. Maybe it the perfect place to tap into your inner “big pimpin” and light you up a cigar, chill, and drink! 

Club Zone (80 Worthington St, Springfield, Massachusetts 01103)

Shadow Lounge (234 Chestnut Street, Springfield, Massachusetts 01103)

Top Shelf (240 Chestnut St, Springfield, Massachusetts 01103)

Though these three final venues listed aren’t black owned, they do avidly invite and host their black party-goers with constant events. Club Zone has five floors all home to different genres of music. Let’s hope you’re not the indecisive type, or you would probably go nuts— but who doesn’t like having options?  

Shadow Lounge and Top Shelf openly cater to you having a great night, with their themed party days and hookah. 

PHOTOGRAPH BY ELEY

A big warm thank you to DJ Prince and DJ Fya of Springfield, Massachusetts for their input. Make sure you follow their instagrams djprince_413 & fyamaddmove to look out for any upcoming events! Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it! You deserve to safely have a great time and see the next day! Never forget that! Happy Black History Month! 

References

http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/springfield-ma-population/

https://datausa.io/profile/geo/springfield-ma/

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