Xavier Joy: Gone Too Soon
I had to step away for a moment from my work on Evanston Live TV, as I couldn’t concentrate after my nephew Xavier Joy was gunned down June 8th at 10PM. I have not been able to even turn on the television without seeing his face on every news channel. Trauma is something I have yet to learn how to really cope with. I learned to just keep going as if the tragedy never really happened. The body retains the blow, but the spirit keeps going with everyday routines never really acknowledging the hole in the soul left from the blow.
At the age of nine, I survived my father being gunned down when he was only 29 years old and then two years later my stepfather was murdered. I’ve been to the funerals of several friends growing up who were violently murdered. A teenager held a gun to my head and, by the grace of God, I am still here. I went to work immediately after that unfortunate situation, in shock. But I kept moving, as if it was all normal. It is believed that the Black community suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder dating back to persevering through the daily, routine of violence, rape, and death during slavery. We just keep going, no matter what. Receiving the news of my nephew’s violent murder, I told myself to slow down for a minute, breathe, deal, cope, feel it, mourn, grieve, take a few sips of wine, pray, and then back to work.
I’ve been shedding tears for Xavier, my daddy, my stepfather, deceased friends, and the countless numbers of young Black men and women, boys and girls who are gunned down everyday in cities like Chicago. Wishing that I had actual wings to go out there and protect them all, the best I can do is continue to celebrate and inspire the youth through my work here on Evanston Live TV. Who knows? Maybe one of the videos published on Evanston Live TV just might inspire a young man to put the gun down.
Thank you to family, both near and far, friends, associates, Mayor Steve Hagerty, Alderman Peter Braithwaite, Pastor Michael Nabors, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Representative Robyn Gabel, Jesse Jackson, and Congressman Bobby Rush for reaching out with love and support. It has been hard to grasp that Xavier is gone. My heart goes out to his mother Nykea Pippion McGriff. I still see Xavier as a kid in his little pajamas running around my house laughing and playing football with his dad Ra Joy in that little field area off of Grey Street. That’s how I will always remember him…love you, X-man…
Funeral services for my nephew Xavier Joy are as follows:
Friday, June 16th
12:00PM Memorial service
Burial to immediately follow
University of Chicago
5850 S Woodlawn
By: Meleika Gardner
Evanston Live TV
The CBS video clip stated Xavier would be celebrating his 24th birthday in June. This is incorrect. He was born December.