The bullet-riddled teenager crumpled on the sidewalk shows us that “We the People” is a work in progress. Blocks from revitalized downtown Durham, North Carolina, young men hustle in the evening heat and kill each other to enforce an economy of self-medication. Tomorrow the headline reads “Man Dies From Gunshot Wound In Durham,” but his poverty diminishes any intrigue. Homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American males age 20-39 in this Durham. It grinds away the nuclear family like slavery did. But in Durham, “We the People” isn’t out of reach. Here mothers, ministers, teachers and neighbors will no longer wait on time. They gather in grief and solidarity, forming new communities of hope from the violence. They see the malaise in Durham’s repackaged facade. They improvise their own solutions to deliver the next generation from the urban wilderness to The Promised Land. Their resolve is an American story made in Durham.
Civil Rights & Social Justice