By Jasmine Minor
Debra McDonald, a mother of five, lost her youngest son in a traumatic backyard accident nine years ago. She reflects back on the experience and how far she has come in her healing process. In preparation for the holidays, she leans on her family, friends and faith for strength.
Photo at top:Javaun McDonald with his mother Debra McDonald at his middle school football game. (Provided by Debra McDonald)
By Christen Gall and Jasmine Minor
GREEEN BAY, Wisc. – She jabbed me hard enough to make me drop my phone. A teenager, she was making it clear I was in her space. She gave me a second jab to the shoulder as her mother appeared at her side.
“You are not welcome here,” the mother said as the daughter shoved me again. “Go back to where you came from.”
I’m a Chicago journalist, and I wanted to see the lingering effects Donald Trump’s supporters would have past election day. I had heard a Green Bay rally would be like walking into the devil’s playground; hell for a black woman like me. It was a lesson my white colleague, Christen, and I would soon learn.
This was their playground.
By Jasmine Minor
“I forgave the man who murdered my daughter,” says Samantha Kendall, creator of Sam’s Gourmet Lasagna, one of several local businesses that is being featured in the newly opened Whole Foods Market. It is an initiative that is trying to change the image and trajectory of Englewood, a neighborhood that tends to be more known for violence than the enterprise of entrepreneurs like Kendall.
Kendall’s daughter, 18-year-old Amanda Gallon, was shot and killed in 2006. The shooter, Antonio Quinn, fired into Amanda’s car on Valentine’s Day as she and three friends were heading out for a double date. He had mistaken the group for a rival gang. Amanda was the only one killed. Quinn is serving 60 years in prison.
Though devastated, Kendall pulled inspiration from her daughter’s death by cooking her own specialty lasagnas, first for family and friends, then turning that pastime into a full-fledged business. Healing came between layers of noodles and cheese.