Thanksgiving gift to Turkey honors murdered rapper Young Dolph
Memphis, Tenn. The friends and partners of murdered rapper Young Dolph distributed Thanksgiving turkeys at a nearby church Friday in Memphis, Tennessee, two days after he was murdered in broad daylight inside his favorite bakery.
The hip-hop artist and poster owner, known for his philanthropic work in his hometown, organized the event at St James Missionary Baptist Church and was going to participate before he was shot on Wednesday.
Members of his music label, Paper Route Empire, bravely, along with church volunteers and community activists, handed out dozens of turkeys, stuffing mix, and cranberry sauce — and they said “Happy Thanksgiving” — to people driving past the church.
This has been the kind of event that Young Dolph, who grew up in the Castalia neighborhood where the church is located, has organized for years, often without reporters and cameras present on Fridays. Before the event, the volunteers quietly talked amongst themselves or sat in a solemn reflection as his music played outside the church on a sunny afternoon.
BB Jones, a 38-year-old Label employee, helped distribute the food, in honor of his friend of 30 years.
“When I hear his music, I get a meltdown,” said Jones, who spoke with a reporter while sitting on the rear bumper of a U-Haul truck filled with 300 turkeys. “The truth about it all, and where it came from, is what really hits me sometimes. That’s what he wants us to do here, we still keep giving. He came from nothing, but he wanted to make sure everyone got some.”
Police on Friday continued their search for suspects in the murder that rocked Memphis and shocked the entertainment world. Police released images from surveillance video showing two men getting out of a white Mercedes and shooting Young Dolph before fleeing.
The murder of Young Dolph, whose real name is Adolph Thornton Jr., has intensified the outcry against violence in the Memphis area, which has seen high-profile shootings at a K-8 school, post office and grocery store in the past two months. .
The Memphis Police Department reports that 255 homicides have been committed this year in the city of Memphis, already surpassing the 244 homicides last year. This is in addition to the thousands of weapons-related incidents reported during the month of September.
In a statement about the murder of Young Dolph, Shelby County Health Department Director Dr. Michael Taylor called gun violence in Memphis an epidemic.
“The key to addressing the endless cycle of shootings and revenge shootings in our society is healing the intergenerational trauma that makes violence seem to be the only solution to conflict,” Taylor said.
Some community leaders expressed frustration that many attempts to address firearm-related crime—community meetings, efforts to add police officers, increase crime prevention funding, days to memorialize murder victims, and work with former gang members to intervene in disputes—did not. a job.
Van Turner, president of the local NAACP chapter and a father of two, said he’s talked to his children about the shooting. Turner plans to host a forum next week to discuss strategies for reducing gun violence.
“I’m kind of torn, because people say we always do these things and nothing happens,” Turner said. “But then, if we don’t do anything, what happens? Nothing. But that doesn’t mean we stop. If we don’t do anything, we give up.”
Reverend Jason Lawrence Turner, senior chaplain at Historic Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, works to address gun crime and mentor youth in Memphis. He said it was time to “correct course”.
The pastor said: “It will take the cooperation of government agencies, and certainly churches and citizens, to do our part in diverting these instances of violence. Also, to inculcate greater responsibility in the community so that, when there are instances like this, it is not the responsibility of the members of the community to bring justice into their own hands.”
His church, which this year celebrates its centenary, has set up mentorship programs for girls and boys in middle and high schools. The church has also adopted three schools to provide a way for children to talk about their problems and deal with bullying and other threats.
“It’s not all about law enforcement,” Turner said. Law enforcement appears after a crime has been committed. We have a responsibility to prevent these crimes from being committed.”
Like Jones – a fellow record company – and other longtime friends, Sheena Crawford called Young Dolph by his childhood nickname, Manny Manny.
She fondly remembers playing with him and his sisters in the neighborhood where their grandparents used to live, near St James’ Church. Crawford said he loved to play basketball and was a relatively calm kid.
As sad as she is, Crawford remains frustrated by the lack of progress in combating gun violence.
“My anxiety has surfaced,” she said. “When I leave my door, I am afraid that something will happen to me, or that something will happen to my children. It makes no sense.”
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