A Miracle On 87th Street.
By Marcus Robinson, CCNM Photojournalist
On November 28 2016 Charles R.R Johnson Sr. was beat to death
on 63rd and Ashland by another guy for no real apparent reason. Charles sold cigarettes to earn money to help support his family. On that very night, Activist met at a church down the street to talk about the recent Police shooting of Kjuan Raye that took place on 65th Marshfield just the night before Thanksgiving. While Charles was being beating to death with a bottle in view of several onlookers who did nothing but videotape the tragic assault as some were heard laughing in the background.
The Police eventually caught the guy who did it. Charles was well known in the neighborhood by many. One community Activist was touched by this story to the point she decided to do something for the family. On Christmas Eve Activist Aleta Clark reached out to Charles Wife Khisha Griffin and took Charles Johnson Jr. age 15 on a shopping spree to his favorite store, Exclusive located on 87 and Vincennes. I could see the pain in this young boy’s eyes. Charles Jr. will spend his first Christmas without his father. It’s just like the sun peeping through a thick cloud on a stormy day. I briefly saw this young boy smile, it was quick and didn’t last long. Charles Johnson Jr. will graduate from the 8th Grade this coming year. His mother said that she will make sure he is successful and not associated with any gangs.
Activist Ja’Mal D Green also made an appearance and greeted the young man who is a spitting image of his father. All too often we focus on the victims but forget the families they leave behind. The Johnson family is forever changed and there is an empty spot in the family that can never be filled or patched up. This Young manhas strong support system behind him and it will take every bit of that to sustain him. Englewood doesn’t have to be the way it is, it’s the few who don’t aspire to aspire for anything that make it bad.
Exclusive isn’t just a store in the community that milks the black community for every dime it can get and they have given back to the black community. Steve is the manager at the store on Vincennes. He and his staff were very kind and helpful. They didn’t follow the boy around the store like other stores have done, they simply let him roam and pick out what he wants. They also allow me to use my camera in the store with no problem.