Monday, January 21, 2008

Shrine for four murdered daughters

Earlier this month, four sisters - Aja Fogle, 5, N’Kiah Fogle, 6, Tatianna Jacks, 11, and Brittany Jacks, 17 - were found dead, all allegedly killed by their mother, Banita Jacks. Authorities believe they had been dead for months, their bodies decaying in the home where they were slain, 4249 6th St SE Washington DC.

This shrine, the second-largest I have encountered, was still in the process of being erected by shocked and grieving neighbors. A candle-light vigil was being organized for Jan. 17th 2008, to be held among the amassed toys, balloons, written prayers, and tributes, all cordoned within the yellow police tape marking the site as a crime scene.

I met neighbor Lavon Lyles adding bears to the shrine. She told me that her kids were in a state of shock.

She and another neighborhood mother, Ms. Young, expressed their distress at the city's government's admitted failures in the case, and for the safety and welfare of thei own and others' children. (Mayor Fenty has since fired several social workers who his administration deemed negligent.

Madness. And a visible outpouring of grief, memory, and hope.

For more details see:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Washington Monuments - Anacostia in the New Year

These four shrines are all in the Anacostia section of Washington DC. The small sad bear, near the corner of 8th & Yuma streets SE, is the only marker there. It is in the Condon Terrace complex, one block from Deonte' Rawlings memorial and Hope Elementary School. The two shrines with the Christmas theme, in memory of "Mike," are erected on adjacent trees along busy South Capitol Street SE. Half a block away, in front of a city emplyment office, is a weathered shrine to a teenageer killed in a hit and run incident.

Happy New Year.

More New Carver Terrace Monuments

These four memorials, all erected very recently, are within just a block or two of one another. The RIP grafitti on the surveillance sign is immediately adjacent to the shrine for Ashely. I was told that another shrine, to a teenage boy shot outside a nearby elementary school last week, is likely to go up soon. The shoes tossed over the wire, while not the same mode of memorial, are often a marker and memory to young slaying victims in DC.

Yitgadal v'yitgadash sh'mei rabah.

Revisiting monuments

I returned to the site of three previously documented shrines: to Deonte' Rawlings in Anacostia, to Boyd King in the Carver Terrace neighborhood of the District, and to Tayon Glover at 14th & Girard St NW.

Evidence. Preservation. Change.

See also Patrice Gaine's article on the shrines for the Washington Informer newspaper at:

Christmas Shrine to a young girl / Sherman Avenue NW

While volunteering on Christmas Day in DC, I documented this shrine to a young girl at the corner of Sherman Ave and Columbia Rd. NW. I was first alerted to its presence by Ms. Jeanie Porter.

Despite the merry trappings, it hardly conveyed tidings of comfort and joy.

It's a cruel world we inhabit, mixed with very real measures of righteousness and caring. Here's to peace.

Update: March 1, 2011
This shrine has been kept up. I have seen replacement mementos placed on this particular light-pole on and off over the years... a child is still in her loved one's hearts and memories.
This small remnant was photographed on 3/1/11, less than a block away from a shrine to Lucki Nancy Pannell, 18, who was shot in front of her residence at front of a residence in the 3000 block of Sherman Avenue NW, in February 2011.