Miami Families Of Gun-Violence Victims Find Hope Through The Arts
Veteran Miami-Dade County schoolteacher and dance instructor Tawana Akins is no stranger to the agony of gun violence.
She has lost four relatives to gunshot wounds including her 6-year-old great-nephew King Carter, who was slain while walking to the candy store in February 2016.
Akins uses music, dance and poetry to cope with her pain. “There is so much violence. We need to save our kids,” she said.
She also wants to help her community. To promote peace, Akins hosted her 13th annual dance recital, “Save Our Youth Part 4”, on June 24 in Miami Northwestern Senior High School’s auditorium.
Ten girls, ages 4 to 16 from Akins’ Pretty Girlz Rock Dance Company, sailed across the stage in a dozen different costumes performing inspirational, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop routines for the cause.
During the past three years, gun violence has killed 94 teens and children in Miami, according to data from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office.
The deaths have scourged the black community.
During the opening of the show, Akins asked those in the audience who had family members killed by gun violence to stand.
Ten out of about 100 audience members stood in silence.