What is it like to be 14 years old and living in three of Cincinnati’s roughest neighborhoods? Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Krista Ramsey and photographer Cara Owsley talked to 14 teens to get their perspectives. Here is Jalen Owensby, who has routinely experienced violence in her family:
“My uncle came and picked up my cousin and me at school and took us to the hospital,” the eighth-grader says, remembering back to 2006. “I saw my brother in the room. I went over to hug him, and he didn’t hug me back. And I realized he wasn’t there any more.”
Her 20-year-old brother, Rodney Owensby Turnbow died a day after being shot by an acquaintance. His death came seven years after a cousin, Roger Owensby, died after a struggle with Cincinnati police officers – a death that led up to the 2001 riots. Last summer, another cousin, Justin Owensby, was found shot to death in Westwood.
“To me, it’s a curse, because a lot of my family members are getting killed back to back to back,” she says. “If I got shot and killed, it would be hard on my parents. I’m the only kid in the house and my dad already lost one. I plan on moving to Atlanta. I don’t want to live in Cincinnati because I don’t want to be an innocent female who gets killed.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons