On Saturday night, Antwand Covington headed to a Sweet 16 party on Wesleyville Street in Nashville. At 17, the black teenager, like millions of other teens across the nation, was just going out for some weekend fun.
Antwand got to the party, but he didn’t get to have a good time. Almost as soon as he got there, someone pulled a gun. A bullet hit Antwand. Friends took him to the hospital, but he didn’t survive.
The best the suspect could do after the cops rounded him up was to tell them he didn’t mean to shoot Antwand—the actual target was someone else.
Two 18 year old men who are also black face criminal homicide charges.
MSNBC didn’t cover Covington’s death. Nor did USA Today, The New York Times or any other major outlet. Al Sharpton didn’t show up to level race-based accusations. The New Black Panther Party didn’t make a hate speech.
President Barack Obama didn’t take to the podium to tell the nation that if he’d had a son, he would’ve looked like Antwand.
Advocates for good nutrition and exercise for youth won’t show up to talk about what happened to the Nashville teen.
An article published in 2010 at New American Media addressed a crisis that has grown worse with time, quoting an editorial written by Chicago Sun-Times columnist John W. Fountain who said, “[Y]oung black men have become their own worst enemy.”
“The Tuskegee Institute in Alabama recorded 3,446 lynchings of blacks from 1882 to 1968 — the toll of 86 years…The toll of Blacks murdered in Chicago alone over 18 years, from 1991 to 2009: nearly 9,500, and counting.”
The NAM article also said, “In Philadelphia from 2006 to 2009 there were 1,196 Black men killed by other Black men, according to Police Department statistics.”
Antwand had a Facebook page listing more than 1,200 ‘friends.’ He liked the TV show Family Guy, the L.A. Lakers Basketball team, and cooking and fishing. He was a recent graduate of Hillsboro High School. At a vigil where friends and family gathered on Monday, they said Antwand was “well-liked.”
His nickname was “Twan.”
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/June 15, 2012)