African-American children are dying DAILY and it has to stop!
Violence is the second leading cause of death among children and the youth in the United States today, a statistic Chicago-raised photographer Carlos Javier says he doesn’t need to be told to know.
In a moving photo documentary, the horrific violence that has plagued the streets of his city and Philadelphia is fully exposed – from a mother emotionally collapsing to word of her son’s death, to the pavement seen scrubbed of a 16-year-old’s blood.
‘In Chicago in 2012, more than 700 children and youth were struck by gunfire, an average of almost two a day,’ Mr Ortiz writes with his collection titled, Too Young to Die: Examining a Lost Generation in America.
And he’s long seen it himself as he shows, prompting an emotional tell-all photo diary as the end result.
‘Some victims are gang members; some are elementary school children, innocent bystanders walking down the street; while others are the intended victims,’ he says of the city’s slain residents.
‘This undeclared war stems from a long history of social despair, inequality, poverty, gun violence, and the War on Drugs,’ he explains.
In one photo a mother is seen crumpled in the middle of a crime scene that until that horrific day was the business she ran with her son’s help – before he was found bound by duct tape in the back and shot in the head.
In another the funeral of an 18-year-old who was beaten to death with a baseball bat is seen taking place as a woman gently presses her hand to his head in his casket. Others tear up around her.
It’s sad that it took such tragedies have create beautiful art, but hopefully these pics bring a sense of how devastating these shootings are to families and communities.
See more of Carlos’ amazing photography after the flip.
Images via Carlos Javier Ortiz