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A plea to young sisters: Let’s Stop The Madness!

I am making the case that our heritage is so much more powerful than the pettiness of senseless violence that we are now heaping upon one another.
 Brianna Smith

In the past few weeks, there have been numerous tragedies occurring within the African-American community. Senseless violence is stalking young lives. As an African-American female and a senior in high school, these unfortunate situations have really had an arousing and significant impact on my outlook on life and our community.

I was sitting in front of my computer on Sept. 15 when – on Twitter – my timeline quickly updated to a young woman that had been stabbed to death by her roommate.  Curious, I read into the shocking circumstances and found out that Dominique Frazier, an 18-year-old freshman, was stabbed to death by her roommate over loud music playing on an iPod. She died three days before her birthday. Dominique attended Bowie State University and was majoring in Business Administration on a full scholarship.

A few weeks before Dominique’s death, another young woman, Shannon, Washington was stabbed to death on Sept. 4.  Shannon was 20 years old and played college basketball at Florida A & M University. Sandwiched between the deaths of Dominque and Shannon was the brutal slaying of Tayshana “Chicken” Murphy on Sept. 11. Tayshana was an 18-year-old high school athlete ranked by ESPN as the nation’s 16th best point guard in the 2012 class. She was shot in the chest, hip and hand over a meaningless dispute.

I did not know Dominique, Shannon or Tayshana, however their appalling deaths affected not only me, but many people across the world, including their families, friends and those that will never get to know their worth or potential contributions to the world. Violence is taking an unnecessary toll on the brilliant and talented upcoming African-American next generation. I must encourage my friends and comrades to take a stand.

I write to inspire and encourage young adults, particularly African-American young women. I am making the case that our heritage is so much more powerful than the pettiness of senseless violence that we are now heaping upon one another.

We can move – and must move – to truly understand that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words of nonviolence were meant not just for “white folks,” but to be internalized by our community as a guide for our actions and moral compasses.

Maybe when we understand and embrace this truth we can be about the business of doing what Dr. King said must be done when he said, “Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”  

Please take a stand and stop the violence!

(Brianna Smith is a senior at DeSoto Central High School.)

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