I recently heard about a documentry that is in the works about 11 year old Robert "Yummy" Sandifer. For those of you who may not know or never heard the story Robert "Yummy" Sandifer was an 11 year gang member who was responsible for killing 14 year old Shavon Dean in 1994. This lead to a three day man hunt through Chicago as the police searched for young Yummy. But before the police could find Yummy his own gang decided to take things into their own hands. The Black Disciples decided that they would then killed Yummy to prevent him from "snitching" or telling on any of them. Yummy was found dead September 1, 1994 under a viaduct with two gun shots to the head. It was later discovered that he was shot by 14 and 16 year old brothers Derrick and Cragg Hardaway. Much like Chicago murders today it received much media attention, reaching the cover of Time Magazne. It started conversation that unfortunately we are still having today in Chicago and other inner cities around the country.
Below you'll find a video from the director of the documentry Cordaryell Ward explaining the documentry and asking for donations to his Kick Starters to help fund the documentary.
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As person who likes to have this type of conversation if I feel like it helps to improve and better the current situation within Chicago I feel like this documentary could do some good for a lot of youth around the city. Young people would be able to see how this young boy was mislead into believing what he was doing was ok and that the people that were guiding him would be there for him after doing what he was told. Often people that live in that situation only react and understand when the conversation is being had from a perspective that is similar to theirs, which this documentary will do.
They released the first single from the soundtrack to the documentary "Yummy Tribute" by Chicago rapper Lil Mouse. 13 year old Lil Mouse has been in the news before for his music and most recently for threatening an 8 year old class mate. This though is the one thing about the documentary that I don't agree with. I understand wanting to have music that fits the film, but this particular songs seems to glorify more than it condemns that lifestyle that the film is trying to combat. Another thought that comes to mind as a result of this song is how many common denominators there are between the current situation of Lil Mouse and what happened with Yummy. In both situations there seems to be older people behind them pulling the strings that are leading to the bad decision that we are seeing play out. Obviously whats going on with Lil Mouse isn't to the extent of Yummy but some adult is behind him allowing him to live and portray a lifestyle that is far beyond his years. Check out the video for yourselves below.
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En light of everything that has happen in the African Amercian community with Trayvon Martin, and how it has resulted in new conversations about violence in our communities I feel like we need to take a long hard look at the imagery that we a showing to our youth as well as the way we treat our youth. Someone behind Lil Mouse is comfortable letting him rap about shooting guns, killing people, doing drugs, and glorifying the "gangsta" lifestyle just as someone did to Yummy.
As I mentioned before all of this to me serves as a starter to conversations that desperatly needs to happen, and I hope this helps start them.