Dantrell Blake grew up in Chicago, surrounded by gun violence and gangs. “Every day you’re either getting shot [or] shot at,” he recalled while talking to Sean Rameswaram for a new episode of Today, Explained. “You see in broad daylight people shooting at each other. It was our lifestyle. We thought it was cool.”
But after surviving a gunshot wound to the leg — where the bullet remains — Blake’s perspective on the issue changed. He joined the March for Our Lives in downtown Washington, DC, on March 24. “I came to be a part of something big,” he explained. “I’m tired of gun violence. There’s gonna be a way to start something, to lead on to another change. I want to be a part of it.”
Blake was further inspired by Trevon Bosley, a 19-year old from Chicago who lost his brother to gun violence, who also attended the march and led a chant: “Everyday shootings are everyday problems.” He underscored the point that the movement has to be about more than just school shootings and should spark a larger conversation that includes places like Chicago, which has seen 487 deaths from gun violence so far this year.
Listen to Blake experience his first march, followed by a conversation between a Parkland survivor and Columbine survivor, on Today, Explained:
- Why the March for Our Lives could win (German Lopez/Vox)
- “I hope you know it’s not that we didn’t try”: a Columbine and Parkland survivor talk (Vox First Person)
- What students really think about school shootings (A.J. Chavar/Vox)
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