Romeo is Bleeding

What: Aspirational capital: One of the biggest challenges I think this group of youth faces is the ability to forgive. For example, Donte has numerous friends and family members killed in gang violence and had to face a choice of retaliating or letting it go to keep chasing his dreams. Donte knew who killed two of his closest friends and family, but if he were to have gone and gotten revenge, it wouldn’t have solved anything. Donte may have felt a temporary sense of relief, but those same people wouldve gone after him, and the cycle would continue, thus solving nothing. Instead, Donte chose to take that all the built up anger and aggression and transform it into art. This was his outlet into expressing his feelings as well as looking to solve the problem in a long term manner instead of a short term fix. These youth must look to find something to channel their feelings into and strive for better instead of following the path of those who result to violence and aid in the problem.

Navigational capital: When children are born, they dont get to decide who their parents are, what kind of people they will grow up around, or what kind of life they will be born into. The kids born in the Northern part of Richmond are no different except that unlike most kids, these kids will grow up with a different definition of what is normal for their childhood. In the area that I grew up in down in Southern Califronia, it was “normal” to spend my day at school and then come home and play outside with my neighbors. However, for these kids, they grow up with either fear installed in them or anger. They face a fight or flight response to either spend their life worried of whats outside, or they grow up ready to fight whatever comes at them. They are taught that certain people are the enemies and will always be the enemy. They are taught that its kill or be killed. Yet with all this negativity, they must differentiate between what is “right” and what is “wrong” in their own definitions. However, these kids have a choice to have the perspective that Donte had and to be able to channel their feelings into something bigger.

So What: Growing up in Orange County, gun violence and gangs arent talked about much because it is such a nice area. However, I’ve heard stories of gangs and learned about it through seeing it on the news or learning in school so to watch the movie and see how real it is, it was almost overwhelming. To see all the death cerificates be filled out was very powerful and really made it hit home. Although my home town doesnt face such extreme troubles, being in such a wealthy area, the kids grew up with alot of lenience. Kids had unlimted amounts of money from their parents and some chose to invest at a young age and save it, but some decided to follow the “cool kids” and go to parties and get caught up in drugs and alcohol to the point where they couldnt get up to go to school and ended up failing out. No matter where you grow up, everyone has a choice and that choice can determine where your life takes you. Something that I admire that Donte did was channel his hurt and his anger into something bigger. Personally, I shut down when I feel sad or upset but Donte was able to turn it into such beautiful artwork that not only gave him a release but brought light to the subject of gang violence and what really goes on.

Now what: When documentaries like this spark alot of talk and become a topic of discussion, it allows for more opinions and more ideas to be shared in order to fix the problem. The more voices there are, the more chances there are to reach out to more people. The more people involved, the easier it is to finally put a stop to the problem. One person cant save the world, but a group of people can.

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