With My Father Again

by Jabarria

This week, my dad came home.   I missed him so much because he was gone for two years.  That’s a long time to be without someone you love.


I am so happy that I finally got to hug him and touch him!  He was just as excited as I was.  He hugged me and lifted me in the air.  I felt like a little girl again.

As happy as I am that my dad is home, I am also very worried.  There is a lot of gang violence in Chicago, and he knows and hangs around people who are involved in that lifestyle.  I am afraid that he might decide to visit friends in our old neighborhood, and he might get shot in the process.

At the same time, my dad is just as worried about me.  I try to stay on the positive side of things and not get involved with negativity, but it is hard.

On July 25, I was walking on 57th and Halsted.  I had on a shirt with a picture of my friend Endia Martin on it.  A teenage boy got out of the car and  stared at me.   He yelled, “Bitch, what do your shirt say?  F– Endia! If I had my gun, I would killed you!”  He ran back to his car, and I took off running the other way.  Later, I saw the car circling the block.


When my dad found out about this, he told me that I could not wear my shirt again.  On one hand, I feel happy that he is here trying to look out for me again, but I still want to honor my friend.  Actually, I am going to design another shirt to commemorate Endia and our friendship.

I guess we just have to live day by day and see what happens next.

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  1. Dr Camilla Larsen

    July 31, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Jabbaria – it doesn’t make any sense that you can’t celebrate/honor your friendship with Endia or feel safe now that your dad is home. Unfortunately, you know the risks of just being you in your neighborhood. I’m glad you are writing and designing shirts to help you express who you are! As you become a smarter, stronger, wiser young woman, I know your neighborhood and the world will be improved. Each person that cares is important! The more you know, the more you can do something to fix it.


  2. Mindy

    August 1, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    It makes me really sad and angry that this happened to you. I love your response though, to make another shirt in her honor. You are a really strong person and i appreciate your story very much.


  3. LEO

    January 30, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    It must have been extremely exciting for you to see the man who brought you into this world, after you haven’t for two whole years! Also, it is very nice of you to honor your friends death. I am sorry that you had to be called a vulgar word.


  4. Olivia R

    January 30, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Jabbaria, it’s an awful thought to think that when you are grieving for a loved you can be threatened by people who don’t even know you. It’s really awesome to see that you’re such a resilient person and even though you have a lot on your mind, like worrying about your dad, you’re able to stay strong.


  5. Landon Kerouac

    January 30, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    The amount of power and confidence you have, Jabarria, is amazing. It is truly heartbreaking what happened to your friend, but reacting the way you did to it will continue her legacy at Tilden Career Academy. Make more shirts, make hundreds, thousands more shirts until everyone stands in unity and remembers who she was.
    My condolences to you and your friends,


  6. John

    January 30, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I have a feeling that in the end you made the right decision in making another shirt and standing up for something you hold dear to your heart.


  7. vanessa

    January 30, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I’m so sorry to read about what had happened on the street about you and your shirt. But it is great news that your father is back in your life and he seems like he is really caring about you and your safety.


  8. Brian S

    January 30, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    It takes a really strong and confident person to be able to wear a tshirt that is basically outlawed in your city. Also to make another tshirt that is commemorating her is awesome. Continue to do what you are doing and hopefully it will pay off!


  9. Ellie

    February 18, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    You are clearly a strong woman. I am so happy for you that you get to be back with your dad. I am sorry that you can’t wear a shirt honoring your friend without something scary happening. Your idea to make another shirt shows how much you care about your friend and what little you are letting get in the way. I commend you Jabarria for that.


  10. Giselle

    February 18, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    I’m happy to hear that your father is back home and that everything is going well. I’m sorry about what happened with your shirt. It wasn’t right for that boy to treat you like that but luckily you were able to return home and have your father be there to make you feel safe again. I know you can’t wear that shirt again but I think its great that you decided to design another shirt to commemorate Endia and your friendship. It really shows how powerful you are.


  11. Brad

    February 19, 2015 at 1:19 am

    I’m sorry that you couldn’t wear that shirt to honor your friend, but it’s great to hear that you got to see your dad!


  12. Jonathan

    February 19, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Seeing your father for the first time must have been incredible. My father has made a huge mark in my life, and not seeing him for two years could have negatively impacted my life. Also, wearing that shirt was extremely courageous of you.


  13. Jerry

    February 20, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Family is the #1 priority. I love my family and I love how your dad is trying to be dad again.


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