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For Your Immediate Attention: Their Stories Are Our Business!



Unfortunately, every time I open my social media, we lose another person who has impacted our society.


In the last two weeks, we have seen constant R.I.P.s up and down our social media timelines, heartfelt messages, and felt the pain that has been caused due to individuals' losses.


We have lost P.N.B. Rock and Takeoff. But even further, it is the anniversary of the untimely deaths of King Von and Young Dolph.


Tragedy has seemed to hit our community in a way that I don't think anyone could have imagined and has left a stain on our hearts, making us confused about what we should do differently to make a change.


But it hasn't only been celebrities who have lost their lives in the past few weeks. I would be remised if I did not honor the lives of Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and DeSean Perry, three young African American men who lost their lives in the University of Virginia shooting.


When death strikes a community, one can only imagine how not only the lives of the individuals who have been impacted feel, but I automatically think of their family members.


But more importantly, my automatic thought goes to the mother or father who raised them to be the individuals we have learned to love, care for, and support.


It's the mother and father's cries that echo throughout my ears when I hear another announcement of someone who has lost their life to violence.


Violence! I don't have to define the word, as well all know what it is. But more importantly, we all know the effect it leaves when one of our people dies.


Emmett Till's mother, Mamie Till, once said, "If anything happens to one of us, it better be the business of all of us" (Chukwu, 2022).


Therefore, today my mission and assignment, "For Your Immediate attention," is to bring awareness and to make the losses we have seen in the recent weeks our business because when something happens to one of us, it happens to all of us!


I have named countless names above and could continue to name names, but I probably would lose space. The number of African American men and women we have lost in the United States to the hands of violence is astronomical.


And, while we move on in life, family members of these individuals remember every year the horror they experienced years prior.


I don't want this to become a conversation that triggers any of our readers, but I want to raise our room's consciousness today "For Your Immediate Attention".


I know we get busy as the days go on, worrying about our families and domestic issues. But, if we could take a few moments to pause and reflect on the individuals we have lost just in the two weeks, we can honor the individuals who have left this physical earth.


But more importantly, we can take the time to share social media stories, news articles, and featured stories that shed light on stories that may not get as much news coverage beyond our community.


After watching the movie TILL and learning about Emmett Till's story as a child, I realized Mamie Till did something triumphant even amid a tragic storm. She never stopped sharing her son's story. No one was going to forget her son's name.


And we have seen countless mother's not let the world forget their children's stories since Till's death, and one more mother is asking for our support.


Salamondra Robinson


Shanquella Robinson. A North Carolina native died while vacationing with her "friends" in Mexico. But, there seems to be some confusion on what occurred, as a sickening video floated around social media this week that showed there might be another story that happened than what her "friends" told Salamondra.


While Robinson's mother was told her daughter died of alcohol poisoning originally, the autopsy says otherwise. The document states Shanquella passed from a "severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation" (King, 2022).


But more importantly, there was no suggestion after the autopsy was completed that alcohol was the cause of this young lady's death.


Therefore, something is not adding up! Something is missing. But more importantly, this death does not seem as black and white as her "friends" told Shanquella's mother when they returned to Charlotte.


But even further, it seems even more likely that this young woman died at the hands of violence.


While the internet has sent forewarnings about the friends we choose, even I am guilty of this sentiment. This afternoon, I had to remind myself that while we are learning lessons from the actions that occurred, a mother is looking for answers to what happened to her baby girl.


A mother wants to understand why, how, when, and who.


A mother is looking for the answer to a case that makes no sense. A mother is trying to understand how a young woman she spoke to earlier was fine, and in the blink of an eye, this young woman has passed.


When I heard this story, I was instantly transported to my sophomore year of College, where I became aware of the death of Kenneka Jenkins in 2017.


If you don't remember Kenneka Jenkins, please complete a google search or even type her name into Instagram.


Like Shanquella, her story made no sense, and "friends" weren't answering questions. But more importantly, I can never forget the face of her mother and sister begging and pleading for someone to help them understand what happened to their baby girl.


And, ladies and gentlemen, there have been endless stories like this before 2017 and since. So, in the same way, we will share stories about celebrities, I ask that you share an article or news clip on the life of Shanquella.


Can we honor Mamie Till by making this young lady's story our business? Can we write on Twitter? Can we write on Instagram? Can we report on our public pages to support this mother in her effort to get answers to understand what has happened to her beautiful daughter?


I am not a mother myself. But, to imagine my mother in the shoes of Shanquella's mother, I would hope someone would share, so we could get answers to what happened to me.


Therefore, I ask that you honor this young lady's legacy and share.


It takes less than 5 seconds.


To Share


To Spread the Word


Because if we don't, her story will go away!


To any of my readers who have recently lost family members, please accept my deepest condolences. I pray that you find peace during this time.


To any of my readers who will experience their first holiday next week without a loved one, please take care of yourself and offer yourself grace.


To any of my readers who will experience a holiday without a loved one, no matter how much time has passed, I ask that you be kind to yourself. But more importantly, I ask that you surround yourself with the support you will need during this time.


Any tragedy is not easy! It is heartbreaking!


But I pray that we will all make it our business that if one of us goes missing, dies, or even accomplishes a milestone, we will share it! We will keep their stories alive!


To all of my readers, I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. I will see you after the Holiday break.


Peace and Prosperity,


Jadis DeShong-Venay


References:

King, E. (November, 18 2022). Mom of woman who died in Mexico says she didn't believe it was alcohol poisoning. ABC NEWS. https://abcnews.go.com/International/shanquella-robinsons-mom-died-alcohol-poisoning/story?id=93518694

Chukwu, C. (Director). (2022). Till. [Film]. Orion Pictures.




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