June 27, 2013
By Barbara Grady, Irene and Jon Leckie
Kahmaria Adams, 15, listens to gospel music on her commute to school through the harrowing streets of East Oakland. She takes two city buses to get from home to Piedmont High School. She’s got the hour-long routine down, but there’s one stretch of the bus ride that gets to her.
“I always have the feeling that something will happen. On the bus I feel like I need to stay alert and watch out for troublesome people around me,” she said.
Jordan Williams, 15, always carries mace with him wherever he goes. “I don’t really feel any danger,” he starts when asked to describe his daily commute. “But, you know, the kidnappings and things like that. That’s kind of scary. So, you know, I keep an eye out, looking back every couple times to make sure, like, nothing strange is going on around me.”
He travels from his home on Seminary Avenue in East Oakland to Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo.
“I keep my mace just in case something happens, like someone tries to come up and do a sneak attack.”