Photo Essay

A Vicious Cycle

Candles for Andre

Four years ago I stood on the corner of 10th & Broadway to photograph a murder vigil for a slain young father by the name of Timothy D. Barbour (http://jpgmag.com/stories/4325). Yesterday, only two days before Thanksgiving, I returned to Broadway to photograph a very similar murder vigil for another young father.

On the night of Sunday, November 18, 2012, Andre Ballard, a 43 year old father of seven was shot while making his daily trek down several blocks to catch a bus home after getting off from his job at q fast food restaurant at 11th & Broadway. Police say Andre was shot while be robbed.

After being shot, Andre managed to somehow fight his way several blocks back to his work place where help was called. (http://www.wdrb.com/story/20142906/family-searches-for-answers-after-man-is-robbed-and-shot?clienttype=printable) Unfortunately, Andre died in the hospital early this morning after battling through a surgery to save his life.

Today's vigil for Andre was literally directly across the street from Timothy's vigil that was held in the summer of 2008.

I find it striking how similar Andre and Timothy seem to have been. Both were hardworking parents who had to catch the bus late at night unbeknownst to what lurked in the dark. And at a time when unemployment among black males seems to be at an all time high, it is important to note that both Timothy and Andre were shot on their way home from work. Additionally, in a society in which the majority of black males are looked upon as deadbeat fathers who make babies and then split, we cannot ignore the fact that, according to children and relatives from both families, Andre and Timothy were both loving fathers. So why did they have to die?

It always upsets me to see hard working young black males get gunned down in the streets for nothing. I also admit that these two murders scare me. It's scary to know that even though I've tried my hardest to do everything by the book, graduating from college, working everyday, paying my bills, etc, etc, nothing is stopping someone from gunning me down in the streets just because I may have looked at them the wrong way or because I may have something they want. When it comes down to it, I am no different from Andre and Timothy.

Andre would have been proud of the way his children bravely fought through tears at Last night's vigil to pay tribute to their murdered father. I would like to share some of the photos from yesterday's vigil for Andre Ballard. I hope you keep his friends, family and community in your prayers.

A.S.

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1 response

  • Jules or Jane

    Jules or Jane gave props (23 Nov 2012):

    I have friends and relatives who lost their loved ones because of the same reason. Sometimes even stemming from a "classroom feud". This is just plain sad. I wish their families all the best despite the tragedy. And thank you for sharing these two people's stories.

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