The Daily Grind Video

The line had slowly come to a halt.  Stretching around the inside of the church were hundreds of people, who had come to this holy place of worship to pay their respects to the life of a sixteen-year-old young man.  Outside on the street corner, on this cold, crisp autumn day in Chicago, were a group of Muslims from the Nation conversing about the deteriorating conditions of the Southside of the Windy City.  Inside this old, run-down yet beautiful cathedral, I sat ten rows back for hours watching old people, young people, families, wheelchair bound seniors, crying babies, come and go…stop for a moment, some would cross themselves, others unable to even look, but all would at some point, move on.  But, then the line stopped.  Someone wasn’t able to move on.  Someone wasn’t aware that there were hundreds waiting in line.  Someone didn’t care about the Muslims taking their positions for the arrival of the Minister.  Someone needed time.  And no one said a word.  We all just watched.  We watched this precious, beautiful eight-year-old angel stand over her cousin’s open casket and hug him like she may never see him again.  We watched this child gently touch and caress the face of another child, yet one was living and the other had passed.  We watched her father, dressed in a black t-shirt and a Jesus piece gold medallion chain, stand next to her, staring at the ceiling in utter pain, but clutching his precious princess by his side.  We all just sat and watched and pretended that we weren’t in the room, so this child who walks with God could have her one last moment with her hero.  She kissed him on the forehead and clutched her daddy as tight as she knew how, and slowly walked away down the aisle, with tears streaming down her swollen face.  We had run an iconic photograph of her on Global Grind all week long, so in my mind I thought I knew her, but she had never seen me before.  And as I turned around to witness her powerful exit, the young man’s entire family was standing at the front doors of this congressional hall of God awaiting their entrance.  We rose to our feet, with deep respect for their pain and suffering, and stood motionless as they walked down the center aisle, led by some of the most powerful men of faith of our land.  And now, as the mother of this sixteen-year-old young man had told me on the phone on Wednesday, they could “put this baby to rest.”


Rev. Jesse Jackson was approaching the pulpit, when a younger teacher of God, took to the microphone first.  Minister Louis Farrakhan had just delivered one of the most powerful speeches I had heard in my young thirty-one years on this earth.  Father Pfleger had just passionately spoken the words of scripture and questioned the entire congregation about our commitment to be keeper of our brothers.  But, Bishop Tavis Grant wanted to make one acknowledgement before the service continued.  He wanted to make sure that the congregation of over 1,000 people knew about the efforts of a community.  The efforts to spread the story of this young man around the world.  The efforts of a website called GlobalGrind.  The efforts of people like Nas, Reagan Gomez, Bow Wow, Ludacris, Russell Simmons, and the numerous others who did their part.  He spoke of a young man who was committed to making sure that everyone knew the name of this sixteen-year-old whose life we were celebrating today.   And then he said that young man was me and asked me to stand.&nbs