Stephenine Dixon: Shooting Deaths of Young People Like Samir Ross Must End


AC's Stephenine Dixon at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photo courtesy of Stephenine Dixon.

By Stephenine Dixon | FRNJ Guest Blogger

NOTE: Stephenine Dixon first posted these comments on her Facebook page in connection with the June 7 shooting death of Samir Rashaad Ross, 19, of Atlantic City, her grandson. Ross and two unidentified Atlantic City women, both 21, were shot that evening. There are no suspects and no motive. His obituary can be found under the Ms. Dixon’s comments.

Please, please, talk to your children for this pain is too great to bear.

You can’t wear or preach “Black Lives Matter,” when it’s constantly Black lives being shot across our city, by Black youths vs. Black youths. I had to watch our families lay Samir to rest at 19 years old and to see so many youths at his funeral was so heartbreaking.

To hear, no sooner than I walked in my door from watching Samir go in the ground, that a couple of youths were shot is just unimaginable. Parents, I have seen what it looks like to see your child shot and I have witnessed the pain of losing a grandson to senseless gun violence. It’s a pain you don’t want for anyone.

Black Sons Matter, so now is the time to sit them down and let them know their lives matter, and if they need help to redirect them to the right path, do what’s necessary to get in front of it. It won’t be easy, but at least you will get the chance of them burying you instead of you burying them.

And the first thing we need to do is stop the blame game, because that doesn’t save lives. It agitates the entire situation instead of finding the solution.

I am praying for both of the families. It’s ironic that we are losing black sons at an alarming rate in such a small city and it’s no intervention in place to help save their lives.

From a broken grandmother, I love you, BLACK YOUTHS!!!

Samir Rashaad Ross’s obituary from Echovita:

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of Samir Rashaad Ross (Atlantic City, New Jersey), who passed away on June 7, 2021, at the age of 19, leaving to mourn family and friends. Family and friends can send flowers and/or light a candle as a loving gesture for their loved one. Leave a sympathy message to the family in the guestbook on this memorial page of Samir Rashaad Ross to show support.

He was predeceased by: his uncle Kendal Hudgins. He is survived by: his parents, Lenny R. Ross and Shiara L. Sharpe (Taliaferro); his step-father Teriek Sharpe; his siblings, Sanai, Derry, Saa, Skhai Sharpe, Lenny and Sayheed Ross; his grandparents, Sonta Howze, Derrick Taliaferro, Stephanine Dixon and Lenny Ross; his great-grandparents, Sharon and Lamont Howze; his aunts and uncles, O’Chez Howze, Yamisha, Diona Taliaferro, Dara Woodall, Jayde Hudgins, Shameera, Lennasia, Lennira Ross, Naeemah Hunter, Billy Howze (Sucriya), Lenssy Nixon, Fareed Alexander and Bashir; his great-aunts, Sonya Harvey, Shayonne Howze, Nita, Cheri Spragan and Cheryl Garrett; his godparents, La’Teshia Blakely and Nikkee Nellom; and his close friends, Perry, Bilal, Laquan, Quadir, Quazim, Anirah, Altariq, Kareem, Christian, Wok, Faheem and Shad. He is also survived by cousins; other family and friends.

Visitation was held on Wednesday, June 16th 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Second Baptist Church (110 Rev. Dr. Isaac Cole Plz, Atlantic City, NJ 08401). A funeral service was held on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the same location.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Stephenine Dixon, an Atlantic City native is a nationwide sought-after political organizer and former Atlantic City school board member.

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