Tajon is sixteen and black. He's tall and skinny, and he has dreadlocks. Tajon works hard and tries his best to be good. He does O.K. in school. He has plans. He's determined.
Tajon is the kind of son who cares about his family. He's the kind of brother who stands up for his sister. He's the kind of kid who dreams big dreams to get himself and those he loves up and out of the hood.
Tajon is the one who gets shot.
Meet the Authors
In March 2015, ten teen girls from Beacon House in Washington, DC started writing a novel during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. They began with one central question: What really happens in a community when a black youth is the victim of violence by police? How are those lives affected? Each writer takes on the perspective of a central character - the victim, the police officer, the witness, the parent, the friend, the officer's kids - and examines how it feels to be a human being on all sides of this event. Their stories thoughtfully explore issues of race, violence, loyalty, and justice in a community torn apart but seeking connection.
Ten teenage girls from Beacon House (beaconhousedc.org) in Washington, DC authored this book: J'yona, T'Asia, Makiya, Najae, Rose, Temil, Jonae, Jeanet, Serenity, and Reiyanna. They wrote and revised their work over the course of two years during workshops with Shout Mouse Press (shoutmousepress.org).
All artwork is original by the authors. Some photography taken by the authors and produced in collaboration with Shootback (shootbackproject.org). Photography of protests and riots in Baltimore 2015 taken by DC teen Amir Price in conjunction with Critical Exposure (criticalexposure.org/news-and-events/press.)
Learn more about the project, including author interviews, at ShoutMousePress.org.