The Toronto Star
November 29, 2005
Build self-esteem through art
City lacks accessible programs to engage youth, says Lola Rasminsky
Ten days ago, I attended the funeral of Jamal Hemmings, a youth who was shot down on Eglinton Ave. earlier this month. I was there to support my many friends who live in York Square, where Jamal lived with his mother and sister.
Jamal’s best friend, Amon Beckles, was gunned down on the steps of the church. He had come to pay his final respects, despite warnings that it was not safe for him.
Until the funeral was so shockingly interrupted, it was a beautiful event. Not only was there a heartfelt, moving and articulate outpouring of sorrow and love for this loveable young man, but there was an inspiring display of talent from his many friends who had prepared tributes in song and verse.