LISTEN TO ARTS & COMMUNITY: MUSICIANS AGAINST VIOLENCE 2012
Death is never easy to take. What is easier - knowing its coming, or the sudden shock of it all? Neither if you ask the loved ones left behind.
Woodlands tavern hosted the first of what will be an annual memorial event for Leigh L. Belyn; a fresh faced, happy 18 year old whose life was cut short by tragedy. Leigh, a 2011 New Albany High School graduate on her way to The Ohio State University to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse was murdered at her home August 2011 by her boyfriend Juvon Williams, who was later killed by gunfire by police. Leigh and Juvon had a fight the night before the murder after she declined a marriage proposal and ended their relationship. Williams was being deployed to Afghanistan and wanted to take Leigh with him as his wife. Instead Leigh decided she would take a different path and he ended her life over it.
Reggae music brings people of all walks of life together. So when tragedy struck one of their family members the community rallied around the family and decided to do something about it. It wasn’t just about musicians against violence, but more about people for peace and the promotion of nonviolence. Terri Bob, Leigh’s father is one of the founders of the strong Reggae community in Columbus. As a drummer for the oldest Reggae group in Ohio, The Ark Band, Terri told me that while it was such a beautiful night, filled with such sense of support and family it is merely a temporary band aid for the pain that he feels over his daughter’s death.
Little boys are brought, taught and encouraged to play with guns and swords while we dress our daughters up in pink, buy them kitchen sets and baby dolls. Then we wonder why a boy, trained to kill at a fragile developmental stage of growth, could possess the capacity to kill after he spent years manipulating a young girl whose “real dream” of cooking and babies could come true if only she’d marry him. Two young lives full of promise simply cut short.
But at this moment, without looking for blame we move on. At this moment and united as a community, we must educate future generations about the negative effects media can have on them and strive for more productive, positive and proactive ways in dealing with their problems.
Death is hard and life is short. But while we are here on earth, let us spend our time loving each other and working together to create a community that we will be proud to leave the future generations.
Staff Writer, BusTown Music
Pamela Bennington & LPI Entertainment for organizing the 'Musicians Against Violence' Benefit Concert
|Photo courtesy of Angie Leonard|