Thursday, May 23, 2013

Too Many in New Orleans Know Victims of Gun Violence

Mother's Day front page of Times Picayune, New Orleans
Front page of the New Orleans
Times Picayune, Mother's Day 2013,
featuring mothers who've lost children
to gun violence.
On Mother's Day morning, I found the Sunday edition of the New Orleans Times Picayune on my lawn. The picture here shows that day's front page. The headline of the feature story on the left reads, "Mothers talk about losing a child to violence." For many readers this is already yesterday's news, overshadowed later that Mother's Day by another mass shooting injuring 20 people, but as a resident of New Orleans, I can't simply shelve it away and move on.

The woman in the upper right corner of the graphic holding a picture of her daughter is Margaret Washington. Margaret is one of my church members and an hour before I saw the front page, I had hugged her tightly after our Mother's Day church service. She is one of the few non-relatives I come in contact with who knew my mother who passed away in 2008. My mother was almost old enough to have been Margaret's mother, but they knew each other as Dillard University alumni and as members of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

I knew Mother's Day had to be difficult for Margaret. On October 1, her daughter Marguerite, a student at Dillard, was shot to death while visiting her boyfriend in New Orleans East. I still remember getting the phone call from my aunt, telling me what happened. Someone out to murder the boyfriend, Justin Alexander, shot through his window, wounding him and killing Marguerite.  Read the full post at

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