Sumayya had left the house for a walk. She thought she heard firecrackers.
“I didn’t think nothing of it,” she says. “Then [friends] Robert and Julie came running around the corner and said, ‘Boo just got shot!’”
She ran toward the noise.
“When I made it there, he was on the ground. He wasn’t responsive so I was automatically scared,” she says. “There were a lot of people around. It was summertime in broad daylight.”
Sumayya says she cradled her brother’s body and eventually helped get him in the backseat of the squad car that rushed him to the hospital.
“I got a lot of respect,” she says. “[Police] could have been like, pardon my language, but, ‘Let this nigga lay there and let his people come,’ but no, they picked up him and brought him to the hospital and because of that we got to spend another 28, 30 days with Boo.”
Sammi Campbell was arrested for the shooting, but beat the charge. A few months later, he was arrested for shooting another man and given 27 years for attempted murder.
Richards says Boo and Campbell grew up playing basketball together.
“They all used to be friends,” says Richards. She often says it’s crazy that everyone knows each other and this still goes on.
“It’s been like this the last 50 years,” says Richards. “People need to hear the stories and it really needs to stop.”
Sumayya says that since Boo’s murder, “like 14 people died. That kicked it off.”
The family says that before Boo died, he had been getting better. “He was more alert, answering questions,” says Richards.
He had an interview for YouthBuild, a GED program, scheduled in August. His death came as a total shock.
“He started bleeding July 11,” says Richards. By the time he was rushed to surgery, it was too late. He died the next day.
“It didn’t sound right, that all of a sudden he died, he never told me he was in pain,” says Richards. She says the doctor acted weird, saying he didn’t know what happened. And then he stopped returning her calls.
While Boo lay dying, his cousin Robyn was giving birth to a little girl named Zion. Now 4 years old, she dances around the room, saying her god-daddy Uncle Boo is in the sky.
“Does he watch over you?” asks Robyn. “Yeah!” says Zion. “To make sure you’re all right, right?”
While she sings and dances, Boo’s brother Leron studies “Mattress Flip.”
“He looks happy that day,” says Leron. “He looks like he’s looking into the picture. Like he knows someone is there.”
In the last 10 years, “Mattress Flip” has wound its way from the concrete pillar holding up a highway coursing with people speeding to other places to the pillars of the most revered building in the Philadelphia.
Employing massive shifts in scale and proximity, Strauss’ exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art features both modestly sized photographs in the gallery and an expansive installation of billboards that chart an epic voyage throughout the city.
It’s Thursday morning, and a small group of writers and photographers gather at the back entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Zoe Strauss’ first PMA solo show, Zoe Strauss: Ten Years, kicks off with a dance party next Saturday, Jan. 14. We’re here for a mini tour of the Billboard Project, a re-telling of the “Under I-95” narrative across the cityscape. As of yesterday, 54 billboards featuring Strauss’ photographs have been installed on billboards all over the city.
"Linda [right] worked at Sunoco right at I-95 and Allegheny Avenue, and I made the photo of her a few years ago. Kelly [left] was made about a year after in Vegas. When I was traveling it was somethin...
We reported in the beginning of July that Philly’s unofficial photography laureate, Zoe Strauss, was raising some cash to get to the Gulf of Mexico. Her goal? To document the aftermath of BP’s oil spill, which was the result of an explosion on an oil-drilling rig off the southeast Louisiana coast 101 days ago. What follows [...]
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First Person Arts Podcast: I Spy