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Alexis Hamilton, Tallahassee, Florida
Hamilton is a graduate student and the mother of a 7-year-old daughter.
Last year, there were over 70 shootings in Tallahassee — just in 2020 alone. So I don’t know if that was due to the pandemic. I don’t know what to attribute the increase in gun violence to, but it’s definitely noticeable.
When you go to a specific city — for example, like Miami or St. Petersburg — it just seems more gang-related, but here, sometimes it’s just so random. Some people are just upset or angry. When I dig deeper into it, it’s so much more complicated.
It just seems like in Tallahassee, the only time you see people coming out and protesting and doing community work is when it is a race-involved situation, so I think just taking further steps beyond what we’re doing now would help.
Oddly enough, I don’t feel safe. If I don’t feel safe in my own community, and I don’t feel like the police here or the sheriffs here are necessarily helping with the safety here, then I don’t necessarily feel safe all around.
As a Black person, as a Black woman, we face different sides of what you would call danger. When you come into a part of a town where it’s mostly a white demographic, you kind of feel that sense of danger, in the sense of underlying racism. You know, if there was a crime to happen, I wholeheartedly believe that I would be treated differently than if it was someone else, if there was a white counterpart involved.
Janelle Scott, Oakland, California
Scott has a 12-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter.
The idea that we can’t keep our children safe just makes me really feel a deep connection with my parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents, and an overall connection with other Black parents. The idea that we can’t keep our children safe, the futility of feeling like you have it under control but there are these things that might happen, despite your best efforts, despite doing everything you can.