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February 5, 2013

In One Photo, a Lost Generation

It’s a stunning photo of grief, loss and gun violence, this story animating the media almost daily now in the most tragic way. (This article at HuffPo, posted 3 days ago, cites 1,280 U.S. gun deaths since Sandy Hook.)

The caption:

Ronnie Chambers Jr. looks at his mother Tahitah Myles (obscured) as she collapses during the funeral for his father Ronnie Chambers, 33, a victim of gun violence, in Chicago Feb.4. Shirley Chambers of Chicago had four children – three boys and a girl. Now they’re all gone. Her son, Ronnie Chambers, was the last of the single mother’s children – all victims of gun violence in Chicago over a period of 18 years.

It’s quite the photo when the main subject of such an anonymous story isn’t even in it. Most significantly though, what the photographer captures is the rippling effect of a culture of gun violence. In Ronnie’s downward gaze hangs the incalculable impact of not just his lost father and inconsolable mother, but three lost uncles and an aunt. A lost generation.

(photo: John Gress/Reuters)

  • Jim Johnson

    This is an especially good post, Michael. Thanks.

  • Stifledgenius

    Another poignant post Michael. I almost want to call this generation of black American’s the “Lost Generation.” There have been so many murders in Chicago that even people I know who live there don’t talk about it anymore. It’s as bad or worse as some third world countries yet there’s barely any coverage on TV or fight left in these people. What frustrated me even more was the outcry of Treyvon’s murder because it wasn’t at the hands of another black man. All murder is horrendous, but it almost comes across that black on black crime is invisible and acceptable in America now. Photos of these events have lost their impact on me because of the sheer volume, my brain has become disoriented as to whether this could be a true reality in America in 2013. I pray Chicago reaches it’s tipping point soon.

    • stifledgenius

      Sorry, I meant to say “Invisible Generation.” Your title was in my dyslexic head :P

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