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Birmingham Teens Use Poetry to Speak Against Gun Violence During CBS42 Special

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Sharaiah Canady, sophomore, A.H. Parker High School reads from her poem "Utopia." (CBS42 screengrab)

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This is another installment in The Birmingham Times/AL.com/CBS42 joint series “Beyond the Violence: What can be done to address Birmingham’s rising homicide rate.” Sign up for the newsletter here.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — CBS 42 hosted a “Community Conversation” on gun violence and its impact on youth.

High school students with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s Legacy Youth Leadership Program and the A.H. Parker High School Creative Minds Club agreed to write and share poetry about the effect of gun violence.

Their expressions give us all something to think about. Teens sharing their emotion about losing classmates to gun violence and asking the question, what is happening in our society that people would rather settle disputes with a gun, than talk it out. Their words are poignant and sobering.

“I think its them beginning to find and express their voice,” said Barry McNealy. He is a BCRI Historian and Social Studies teacher at A.H. Parker High School. He came to the CBS 42 with the students and their parents the night the students recorded their poems to be included in the “CBS 42 Community Conversation on Gun Violence: The Youth” which streamed on CBS 42.com on February 21.


You can listen to the poems from the students listening to the video players above. More videos here.