Twelve-year-old Talayia Richardson wore a lovely flowered sun dress that complimented her milk chocolate-colored skin; her long black hair was perfectly coifed; the sun seemed to burst across her smiling face as DC Attorney General Karl Racine (D) introduced her at a 2018 youth roundtable organized with Ward 6 DC Council member Charles Allen (D). Showcasing local winners of the “Do the Write Thing” essay contest, the event featured voices of students from traditional and charter schools, whose views frequently are drowned out by adults.
“Growing up in Washington, DC, I have seen more violence than any child should,” said Talayia, a student at the Wheatley Education Campus; her serenity belied the gravity of her history. As an infant sitting in a car seat, she was nearly killed by a random bullet that whizzed just past her head. She heard that story from her parents.
The loss of her “Uncle Brock to senseless violence” was her narrative to own. Locked in her memory, it surfaced in her essay. “His murderer was never found. No one answered lingering questions. Why did someone want Uncle Brock dead? Why did no one ever come forward who witnessed this horrific act of violence and tell who did it,” continued Talayia. “As a result, my family was scarred permanently.”
[For more on this story by Jonetta Rose Barras, go to https://hillrag.com/2018/12/03...-of-juvenile-trauma/]