A mother’s mission to fight gun violence in remembrance of here dead sons.
Gun violence is rising in Harlem. The past months dozens of kids were getting killed or hurt in gun violence. Mothers who are getting sick and tired of their kids getting killed united themselves in Harlem Mothers Save. Harlem Mothers Save was founded by both Jean Corbett-Parker, who lost her son LaTraun, killed outside a nightclub and Jackie Rowe-Adams, who lost two sons in gang violence.
In ‘A Harlem Mother’, Ms Rowe-Adams, 63, talks about her pain en her hope for the future. Because Harlem Mother Save is more than a support group. Trough prevention and education Ms Rowe-Adams wants to make young children aware of the dangers on the street. She goes to schools and hold rally’s to raise awareness, not only by young children, but people in Harlem in general. Like she says in her own words: ‘It know I cannot bring my own children back, that’s why someone has to go out there and advocate and do prevention. Maybe we cannot win this war, but we can certainly slow it down.’
Ms Rowe-Adams lives on 680 Riverside Drive, up in Harlem. She and Ms Corbett-Parker located their office on Frederick Douglas blvd between 132nd and 133rd street.
It is a war out here in Harlem. We are losing our young children.
I woke up one morning, four years ago. Screaming and howling, it was like a nightmare, and said: ‘I can’t take it no more, I can’t take it no more. Too many of our kids getting killed and who is doing anything about it?’
I lost two sons to gun violence. The first son was seventeen. He got killed while he was om 122nd street in Harlem. He was going to my mothers house, but he stopped in a grocery store.
Three fellows were in the store and they said: ‘Look at that nigger keep looking at us. Why does he keep looking at us for?’
And then one said: ‘We should kill him’.
They actually followed him out of the store. Followed him to 122nd street and shot him.
He was going up the steps where my parents live and shot him.
Ten years later, who would think that I loose another one… His name was Tyrone. He was 28. A 13 year old killed him.
A pain goes trough my stomach and my heart a lot when I hear another mother lost her child. That is a pain, but because I know I cannot bring mine back, someone has to go out there and advocate.
What gives me my strength and hope is when I go out there and advocate and do prevention. That gives me hope, that strengthens me.
Now on an average week you hear that 10 or 15 kids are getting killed. I think I will be satisfied when you hear maybe one or two. Then you know it is a change.
When you know another mother is not crying. When you know another child’ life is not gone.
We can not win it totally, but we can certainly continue to fight this war and slow it down a little.
Jackie Rowe-Adams is co-founder of the Harlem Mothers Save. Ms Rowe-Adams lost two of her sons in gun violence. With Harlem Mothers Save, she unites mothers who lost their kids in gang or gun violence and trough prevention, education and support they try to fight violence in Harlem.
Website of Harlem Mothers SAVE
One of the latest tragic stories about gun violence in Harlem:
To find an office for the Harlem Mothers:
Ms. Jackie Rowe-Adams on recent shooting in Brooklyn (oct 2011)
Behind the scenes:
Recently I moved to Harlem. In the first weeks I lives here, I heard one story after another about gun violence and people are getting killed. All of a sudden there was a rise of violence in Brooklyn too. Reading about the violence I suddenly came across the story of Jackie Rowe-Adams. I went by her office, but it was always closed. I searched days for her number, finally I found it trough reverend Williams and finally Jackie called me back. I went by her office and immediately I was struck by her passion to fight violence in Harlem and the other boroughs. She speaks with such a conviction and determination, although she is aware that this is not an easy battle.