on April 30, 2013
D’Neise Robinson has something to say.
Tornadoes ain’t got sh*t on me.
Her peers snap their fingers to show they’re impressed by her skills. In the front row are some of her closest girlfriends, ready to perform their poetry at the RAW Talent slam. A few days earlier, a fellow slam student named Dimarea Young was gunned down close by. Police crowded his neighborhood, middle-aged men openly regretted their involvement in the crack epidemic, and Young’s girlfriend shrieked with rage and mourning.
Robinson keeps going.
Do you not see the damage he has caused to our family?
Drug epidemic, gun violence, my twin baby brothers locked behind bars
For life, to the system of greed.
Mommy, stand up.
Her voice sounds like it should belong to an older woman, a woman who’s finally learned to trust her instincts and speak from her core after years of being told not to. But D’Neise is just a month away from her 18th birthday, not technically an adult.
These photos are the story of D’Neise Robinson: A slam poetry queen, a friend who roots the loudest for her girls, the actress playing Harmony in “Te’s Harmony,” a child who’s grown up amidst tremendous violence. A success. This is the story of how a community invests in its young people; to build them up when everything around seems bent on tearing them down.
Richmond Confidential welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Richmond Confidential assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.
Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.
Please send news tips to email@example.com.