San Francisco Chronicle
"Too Young To Die"
Too Young to Die, is a documentary project detailing the epidemic of black youth dying violently in Oakland, Calif., as seen through three generations of the Price family.
On February 16, 2012, seventeen year old Lamont DeShawn Price was shot to death in Oakland over a stolen cell phone. The lives of Lamont's father, Ramon, and his sister, Brijjanna, then 16, illustrate many stark themes: the constant cycle of loss and premature death of many African American boys, the constant violence desensitizes their communities and teen pregnancy results in frequent engagement with the foster care system. A sense of hopelessness prevails. Oakland is in a state of emergency with no less than 131 victims of homicide in 2012. Brijjanna, at a first glance, is a victim of the senseless killing that is becoming so typical in Oakland. Yet Brijjanna's story encapsulates some of the underlying cultural roots that drive this cycle of violence. For this young girl, losing her brother, who was her support system, hurled her life off of the tracks, sparking risky behavior and ultimately thrusting her into foster care for the third time. She found herself pregnant a few weeks after Lamont's death and is now raising a child in the midst of a violent and hopeless relationship. These nuances delve past the initial act of violence by asking deeper questions about the loved ones and society left behind.
Sherri Miller, left, comforts Brijjanna Price as she sees her brother Lamont DeShawn Price for the first time in his coffin at February 28, 2012, in Oakland, CA.