Editor’s Note: Donovan and I have known each other for nearly two years now, first meeting shortly after I moved into the North Side of Wilmington, Delaware. Our shared community - the small city he grew up in and the neighborhood I was new to - had recently seen an escalation in violent crime. This interview came after a series of conversations on violence in our neighborhoods.
So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” – Initial report of the spies in Canaan, Numbers 13:32-33
I grew up in the suburbs and had never seen or heard a firearm discharged. That changed once I moved into inner city Wilmington. Here, gun violence escalated enough in 2012 to earn the city a top ranking as “worst place to raise your children” by Parenting Magazine.[i] When I first moved in, I regularly listened to gunfire at night. My neighbors, patients, and friends have told me accounts of being shot in the face, pistol-whipped, and threatened at gunpoint. My most reliable and informative witnesses have been children, a fact that continues to disturb me.