Monday, September 14, 2009

NaNa Boo - shrine to Tyli'a Mack - Q Street NW

In front of 209 Q Street NW, Washington DC, I found this unusual shrine to Joshua Mack.

According to a report in the Washington Blade, police said they found Joshua Mack, who used the name Tyli'a "NaNa Boo" Mack, and another transgender woman suffering from stab wounds about 2:30 pm on August 26, 2009 on the sidewalk in front of 209 Q St NW.

Mack was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later at Howard University Hospital. The second victim, whom police did not identify, was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to survive her injuries.

Friends and family members of Tyli'a Mack held a candlelight vigil to commemorate her life on August 28th, at the site of the murder.

Acting Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the DC police's Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit, said homicide investigators working on the case listed the incident as a "possible" hate crime.

D.C. Police say the attacker is an unknown man in his early 30s. He was last seen wearing all black and running in the opposite direction on Q Street.

Neighbors say the street is normally a quiet one.

Flowers, a pink piglet toy, and a big red Gumby. And more hearts broken without reason or recourse. Vogue on, wherever you are now Ms. Mack.

Charles Williams AKA Lil Gus

This complex shrine is in the 2300 block of Calvin Woodland Sr. Place SE, Washington DC.
Charles Williams, 19 years old, AKA Lil Gus, was shot multiple times in the head on August 12, 2009 at 12:15 am.

A second man was shot in the leg. Mr Williams was taken to a hospital where he died from his wounds about 3:30 AM. The other shooting victim survived.

Mr. Williams lived in 2600 block of Kethen Street, Oxon Hill, Maryland.

The shrine is actually located in the 3000 block of 24th SE DC, around the corner from where the shooting occurred. No further information was available online. A number of people observed me while making these photographs, and asked a few guarded questions, but nobody spoke to me about either the shrine or Lil Gus.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A purpose and a heart to help others- Moriba Salim Hylton

This small graceful memorial shrine to Moriba Salim Hylton is in the courtyard of the 1300 block of 5th St NW, Washington DC.

Partly adapted from the Washington Post, 9/5/09:
Mr. Hylton, 27, was killed August 29, 2009, while celebrating a new job with friends. He was to start a job as an art teacher at a DC middle school the next week. A graduate of the Duke Ellington High School for the Performing Arts and Virginia Commonwealth University, "Sal" had commissioned murals and numerous art awards to his credit. No motive has been found for his murder. His sister said at his vigil at the site where he was gunned down "he is not just another young black man taken... he had a purpose and a heart to help others."

Flowers in a vase filled with red water, and the remnants of melted candle wax, under the pine tree where his life ended, his blood and time ran out.

It makes no sense. None.

May his work and memory be a blessing for his friends and family.

update 9/24/09
I found this shrine to Mr. Hylton in the 400 block of 4th St NW, Washington DC. This is the site listed in police reports for the murder. Note that the family has posted that out of respect they hope the shrine is left in place