Joe Parent writes about the life and untimely death of Marquis Sams, a young man Parent met through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Earlier this month in Miami, Marquis Sams was gunned down in a drive-by shooting. You know the story, right? Chances are you’ve already assumed that the victim was young (correct) and Black (correct). You may also have assumed that the murder didn’t take place in a quiet residential neighborhood (incorrect), and that Marquis was in a gang (also incorrect). It’s a comforting shortcut to pigeonhole the victims of the thousands of gun murders that take place in American cities every year. But in telling the story of my friend Marquis, I hope to flesh out how we often don’t understand the holes these victims leave behind, because we never had a sense of the spaces they filled.