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July 14. WASHINGTON, DC—When it comes to gun violence in some major urban communities in cities like Chicago, Newark, NJ, New Orleans, Detroit & Baltimore, everyone has something to say about it from police officers, political pundits, politicians, to community activists. But how many have asked the ones affected the most by the murders–the mothers who are left with holes in their hearts after losing their children. In the documentary MOM INTERRUPTED, journalist and filmmaker DeShuna Spencer did just that.
MOM INTERRUPTED tells the story of seven mothers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area who lost their children — all under the age of 30 – to gun violence.
In the fall of 2013, filmmaker DeShuna Spencer interviewed the moms after meeting them during a Mother’s Tea, a free annual brunch held in the District for parents whose children were murdered. In MOM INTERRUPTED, the mothers speak raw and candidly about of losing their children.
“Last September, Diane Latiker, founder of Kids off the Block in Chicago, gave a tearful plea to the guests attending her panel to do more than just sit in on a discussion about how to combat gun violence in the black community, but also be a part of the solution,” said Spencer, founder/publisher of emPowermagazine.com. “She said that if we could listen to some of the stories that she heard from mothers who lost their children, the violence would stop. Right there, sitting at that panel discussion, I came up with the idea for the documentary.”
Although many boast that homicide is down overall in many major cities, that does not mean that the issue of violence in some communities should not be discussed. Even with gun violence being lower than it was in the 90s, the fact is that:
- Homicides involving firearms have been the leading cause of death for African- American males ages 15 to 34 since 1969, with 91 percent of the deaths were due to firearms.
- Black males ages 15-19 were eight times as likely as White males of the same age and two-and-a-half times as likely as their Hispanic peers to be killed in a gun related homicides.
- African American children and teens accounted for 45 percent of all child and teen gun deaths in 2008 and 2009 but were only 15 percent of the total child population.
- Forty-two percent of African Americans know someone who had been shot–that’s more than double the general population.
With their words and family photos, the mothers share the pain that they felt when getting the news that their child was murdered, the void that never leaves after burying a child, how they are “coping” with the lose of their child. In addition, they offer solutions that the black community and elected leaders should be doing to curb the violence in our urban communities.
To learn more about the film, visit: http://liukarama.com/documentaries/documentary-mom-interrupted.