For years, Chicago has built a reputation around gun violence, leading people to make many assumptions and have ideas that are far from positive. However, in the midst of that many have become change makers and already were. In this collection, I want to show off these people, who range from old to young, white to Black, men to women. It's important to show Chicago in this light, and activists especially. It's important to show Chicagoans taking back our streets in hope of changing the story.
This collection is really personal to me and my childhood on the Southside, being apart of The Faith Community of Saint Sabina. If you know Fr. Mike, you'd know why.Regardless of that, anyone going through their doors learns and understands the importance of making a difference, loving your identity as a Black man/woman/etc. Furthermore, I was always told to make a change, be a peacemaker and so much more. So, marches, rallies, sit-ins and more are part of my childhood memories.
While I am no professor, Econ major, or complete genius, I could not post this collection without voicing my perspective on this heavy topic. For over five years, I have been an activist and stayed involved with my community on the Southside of Chicago, so I think I have a good understanding of the problem we're having.Two words, Racism and Poverty. And, while I absolutely love Chicago, I can't help but point out how segregated our city is. Everyday leaving my private predominantly white high school in South Loop, riding the Red Line to 79th, seeing the differences, made that obvious.
North, you see stunning architecture, fresh restaurants, high-end stores, and so much more. South, you see storefront churches, apartments either abandoned or far from modern, corner stores, and deserted lots. Without going into detail, you can imagine who lives where, and the money going into either direction. In Chicago, the South and Westside are full of Black and Brown communities with higher unemployment rates, underfunded schools, and more, leaving almost no resources or opportunities to turn your life completely around. However, gang activity, and drug used are at high, leaving those to be some peoples' only opportunities to provide for themselves, their families, and/or make a good salary.
I am in no way excusing gang activity or drug use, but how else can people change their life in the "hood"? Especially without good role models and gateways to opportunity.
Honestly, I think that gun violence (especially in Chicago) could be prevented with funding, resources, and good education. Until that occurs, people like us will continue to do what we can, marching, protesting, and doing community work. In conclusion, pray for Chicago and do what you can to make a change.