Powerful! Army Of Moms Take Back Chicago Streets
We always hear the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” But in a society filled with an “I gotta get mine” mentality, few are actually building those villages. And with that, many children become fatherless, families are broken apart and mothers are forced to become motherless.
But one group is bringing back the “old way” of raising children in the African-American community. According to founder Tamar Manasseh, Mother’s Against Senseless Killing or M.A.S.K. is “bringing back the village concept. We’re bringing back the time when grandma and mother sat on the front porch to watch the kids play and made sure didn’t nothing happen.”
M.A.S.K. has chapters in Staten Island and in Evansville, Indiana and the network of mothers is continuing to grow steadily.
The tactics they employ on the streets of troubled urban communities are “practical and something easy that people can do.”
The mothers “sit on the corner, sit on the block;” they also walk around, patrol, are seen and are being seen by the community. “It’s that watchful eye that kind of cuts off any opportunity for a lot of the violent crime to occur.”
Manasseh called the M.A.S.K. initiative one of the most “intensive community-policing strategies that we’ve seen in Chicago” or around the United States.
“In a place where murders and shootings were pretty much an everyday occurrence, there hasn’t been a shooting or murder on that block or within a one-mile radius in over a year.”
In the video explaining the origin of M.A.S.K., Manasseh says she knew she had to do something when a young lady, Lucille Barnes, a 34-year-old mom, was killed in a drive by after just trying to break up a fight.
“I didn’t know her, but I was outraged. And I felt, at this point, if mothers are being murdered, something has to be done.”
And that’s exactly what she did. She did something. No hashtags, no boycotts, just mothers. Mothers who had the time and the passion for it, took time out and literally sat on the corner, played with children, fed people, and gave out a lot of hugs.
And it worked. “Ever since we were on that block, no shooting, no death, not even anything as much as a fist fight has happened, because we are mothers.”
On M.A.S.K.’s website, it gives a frame of reference of how deep this kind of village mentality actually goes.
“In the very famous bible story of the Exodus, we learn about Jochebed. She put her newborn son, Moses, into a basket and sent him down the river to find safety in the arms of Pharoahs daughter. I am certain her heart and her…