Alexy Irving
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Be easy. Another family has lost a loved one because of the crime’s in St. Louis. My heart goes out to the Thompson family and anyone else affected by the 75 homicide’s this year in our city. We have got to get this community into a better position. The Thompson’s would want it to be something that gets us together.

Ever since knowing the members of the Thompson family, they have always been the reason for getting together. I remember countless: Kickbacks, Underground Art Shows, Concerts and just random late nights at Webster University. No matter what, we would all get together, enjoy each others company, and get the strength and mindset to continue our days of being important in this city and amongst each other.

I remember as soon as I was of age and understood words, my parents spoke it into me that I was important. They informed me that I would be somebody important. Somebody who would make a serious change in this world. I took those words and looked at everybody else in the same light. Give or take a few news and media sources that devalued me, my household built me up. My community built me up. Everybody that I came in contact with, would tell me I’m important and my life is worthy of being lived out. Lives are not being treated as important these to anybody.

Let the media tell you: St. Louis is the number one most dangerous city. Let the media tell you: Our education system is declining. How many times have you felt devalued because you don’t see television tell you that you’re important? How many families’ do you think raised their children without telling them how important they were? Now imagine a whole city where this is repeated over and over again and there isn’t anybody around you telling you, “life is important”. Imagine a whole generation of black men, not hearing the words “You are important”.

Tyrell was a part of the community who believed he was important. He attended a University that felt he was important. He had a full time job in graphic design that felt he was important. He was important to the art community as Rell Finesse. Tyrell was a great man and somebody who I deemed important.

Let this letter to my black men continue the conversation of self-love, community involvement and the importance of your life. Then let each other know how important they are to this world. And PS: to the St. Louis Underground art community, you all need to keep this movement happening. There’s nothing like an art renaissance in your home town.

For: Tyrell, Kayla, Mama. Victoria, Tyrone, former Missouri Rep. Betty Thompson, and STL.