A docu-series created by Keon Benton was put together to bring awareness to senseless killing in urban communities, specifically Elizabeth, NJ, Losing my oldest brother Antwan Benton to gun violence in 2006, was devastating to my family and I. We are still affected by his lost today. As the years went by, the rise of gun violence continued to grow in Elizabeth, NJ. Just last year, I received a phone call from my best friend and he told me one of our mutual friends was killed. Everyone knew who he was, we played high school football for two years together. The year after I graduated, he leads the high school to win the state championship. So after hanging up, still commuting home from work, I continued to think about how his children would be affected by the lost. Posing the question to myself as to why there wasn’t anyone who said anything about the gun violence in the city. I then thought to myself, maybe I should document the effect of my brother and display it to the community. Showing a different point of view on a topic that is overlooked in every urban community on a constant basis. It was only natural that I reach to friends to get their take on my idea -it was met with overwhelming support. In the midst of the support, I I thought it would be a great idea to reach out to some families who lost someone to gun violence and were willing to also document the effect gun violence on their family. So I reached out to a few friends, (as ludicrous as that sounds) who have lost someone to gun violence and they were right on board with the idea.
A year later, I present to you the trailer to my Docu-Series called, Dear Elizabeth,. Where I interviewed families who suffered a loss to gun violence, and how it affects them, as well as through narration, give some tips for the adolescents who are growing up in urban communities, that doing, being and thinking different is okay. You don’t have to run to the street life to better your life. There are numerous street stories, and most of them end with a person dead or in jail for the rest of their life. So attempting to better yourself by reading about our African American ancestors and their struggles, and gaining more appreciation for the little things in life, is okay. I also touch base on young parenting, and how being a role model starts at home, and how we as BLACK PEOPLE also must want to do better as a whole. Because if not, the cycle continues.