by Michael Salisbury
13 people were shot last night in a South Side Chicago park. There are no fatalities, but the youngest victim, a 3 year old boy, remains in critical condition. The event appears to be gang-related.
It’s no secret that Chicago is the deadliest city in America in terms of gun crimes. The question becomes, how can we prevent these kinds of horrific events? Beyond gun control laws, what kinds of measures are being taken? What can communities do?
In Chicago there is CeaseFire, a group that has former gang members intervene before violence breaks out by establishing relationships with people affected by violence. Their violent past gives “The Interrupters” credibility in the community. Fresh Air interviewed the director of the documentary on their work (Steve James) and “interrupter” Ameena Matthews.
North Philadelphia struggles with very similar violence issues. A few weeks ago we interviewed Dr. Amy Goldberg and Scott Charles who started the Cradle to Grave program. Cradle to Grave gives at-risk teens an up-close look at a trauma center in an effort to take away the “bravado” of gun violence and demonstrate its real consequences.
A spooky picture of the University of Chicago with the skyline looming behind.
photo cred: Paul Hsu, via Flickr
Our evening photo break:
If you’ve ever said “form follows function” then you’ve been quoting 19th c. architect Louis Sullivan. He was known for his intricate ornamentation that channeled the power and humble beauty of the seed germ.
"It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.”
These are the gates to the Getty Tomb that he designed for a mausoleum in Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery.
Alinea Revisited – A Life Worth Eating “The dish never got boring. Since this was a shared dessert for three people, each person picked and played with different combinations of ingredients making every bite taste different. This is the most memorable dessert I have ever had.”
Grant Achatz: The Chef Who Couldn’t Taste [Fresh Air interview]
Meanwhile, in the Midwest…Things recently got extremely tense at a public radio softball game in Chicago…..
On today’s Fresh Air, the rise and fall of legendary gangster Al Capone: “Businessmen, in particular, in the ’20s really believed that to be a success, an entrepreneur needed to have a personality, a sense that you were a success. That’s why I think Capone dressed the way he did. And that’s why he entertained the press — because he wanted to be perceived as a successful American. Dale Carnegie … would later cite Capone as a model for creating the public image. Obviously, it went bad in many ways for Capone, but that’s the image he was going for.” — Jonathan Eig
Tomorrow: the story of Al Capone. Guest: writer Jonathan Eig.
Eastern State Penitentiary - Al Capone’s Cell (by Prof. Jas. Mundie)
Audio’s up for Terry’s interviews with Ameena Matthews and Steve James.
Ameena Matthews is a former gang member who now enters Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods and mediates disputes before they erupt into violence. When Matthews was heavily involved in gang activities, it was her Muslim faith, her children and grandmother who served as her own violence interrupters: "[My grandmother] would step in the middle of raids, asking, ‘Where’s Ameena?’ Guns were drawn and she’s not even looking at the guns or the gas that was thrown in the building to smoke us out, she’s yelling my name and telling me to get my behind out. … She was there."