by Emon Johnson
Compton Lives Matter, a movement started by Michael Richardson, met February 27, 2021, near the Dollarhide Community Center, located near Compton Blvd and Alameda.
The group passed out flyers and pamphlets with information on how residents of the city could find employment, empower themselves and their neighbors, and promote open communication and healing within the community. They also spoke with locals and store owners promoting the phrase “Stop the violence in Compton.”
Within Compton Lives Matter exists several subgroups such as: Plenty Unlimited Inc, an indoor vertical farming company, and Outreach 360, a gang interventions organization. Members of the movement also work in the Compton Unified School District and other systems of higher education.
“Compton Lives Matter to me is, ‘We have to work together,’ ” Michael states during the interview outside of Target on Alameda. “We have to come out of our homes, and do something. We have to provide our children with resources.”
By providing resources and more practical, yet applicable methods of acquiring money, such as working as a carpenter, Michael states, “You could make real money and sleep good at night.” He believes that the violence in the city stems from a lack of resources and knowledge of how to make a living, and the desensitization people have in regards to Compton’s violence.
Two high school students, Jeremiah and Bryan, spoke on what they felt about Compton Lives Matter’s movement and acts of violence they’ve personally experienced.
While leaving from a skatepark, Jeremiah and his friends were approached by 4 older men. The men “banged on [them],” he states, despite the fact that “We told them that we didn’t gang bang,” and took their belongings.
Instead of feeling scared or sad from the interaction, Jeremiah states that, “It didn’t make me feel any type of way. I just learned not to be too flashy in the wrong area”
Though he hadn’t directly experienced a situation similar to Jerimiah’s, Bryan did have solutions for promoting peace within his community. He states, in order to uplift the community, the people of Compton must “Come together, see what’s wrong, see how we can help and what we can do to stop all this violence and make it safer for the next generation.”
Compton Lives Matter plans to continue to spread awareness of the multitude of options residents have to gain wealth, and of the violence within the community.
Their email: firstname.lastname@example.org