Willie Gilbert lived in this house in West Oakland— his cousin, also a teen, was shot to death just a year ago.
opinion piece by Lee Benson
Students at McClymonds are once again grieving — this time for Willie Gilbert, a former student who liked to shoot hoops and was one of a handful of teens to own a car. Gilbert, who will be buried Friday, died from gunshot wounds 10 days ago at Highland Hospital, with police still trying to determine exactly where the shooting took place.
This is the second murder in 2014 of a student who attended McClymonds. In March, sophomore Denzel Jones was fatally shot in front of the Boys’ and Girls’Club on Market Street,
“It’s a shock because i just seen him not too long ago,” said senior Luckie Lovette. “He was one of the first people I met here, he was a funny dude, he would rap with me and stuff. He was a cool dude. He was a good friend of mine for some years and I’m going to miss him.”
The news of his death spread quickly on Facebook and Instagram. It hit students even harder because of the cumulative effect of the murders of friends in Oakland — including the fatal shooting of a young teenage mother by her brother.
Gilbert was a popular figure. “I knew Willie since middle school,” said Deshawn Nelson, a senior. “It’s just sad to see something like that happen and it’s a shame that he’s gone so soon. He deserved to live life just like the rest of us and someone took his life away from him.”
Lionel Hamilton, a senior at Mack, said, “I was devastated when I heard the news, I didn’t want to believe it but I saw the news and everybody was posting it on Instagram and Facebook. I’ve known him since we were little, he was like a brother to me. I was just with him the other day but it hurts me to know that I will never see him again.”
This shocked me as well. I was asleep when a friend called me with the news early Monday morning. It’s sad because I’ve known him since my freshman year; he was always a goofy person and fun to be around. It’s sad to know that I’m never going to see another one of my friends again.
These situations make you wonder who is going to be next. The entire class of 2014 is dealing with their grieving differently. Some are just letting their emotions show because they can’t help it while others just sit there and try to hold it in. The truth is that we are all hurting from the situation, especially because nobody expected it but you have to allow everyone to grieve in their own way.
“No one expected this at all,” said Lovette. “I guess what they say is true: if you look to your left and look to your right, some of ya’ll ain’t gonna make it. It feels like half my class is already gone.”
Sneakerheads: the seductive appeal of Jordans
by Janaya Andrews
What’s the deal with Jordan shoes: these sneakers are taking over the world and people will do anything to get them, even if it means selling them for money to get a new pair or stealing them when there are other shoes. Lots of other shoes.
You mostly see these shoes more than you see other shoes on people’s feet.
Why this obsession? There are sneakerheads and people are flipping AirJordans and Foamposites at Sneaker Conventions. You must be kidding? Sneaker conventions?
I guess if they don’t have their designer sneakers, then they don’t feel like they belong. Sad state of affairs, when your friends judge you on the brand of sneakers you wear.
Even sadder that people get shot waiting on line to buy those $1,500 Paranorman Foamposites or $185 AirJordan V Bel Airs. In Wilmington, Delaware and in Las Vegas, guys camped out to wait for their release, only to be shot.
It doesn’t make you original, only an OG. You are just following in someone’s footsteps just because you want to be popular or just fit in.
Teens say that they buy Jordans because “they look nice and they’re popular,” in the words of freshman Quaylin Wesley. “They’re expensive and the main topic to talk about in school,” he added.
In West Oakland (and East), they add status. “It says something about how brave you are, how much clout you have, how much nerve you have,”says Yale sociologist Elijah Anderson about the street value of shoes.
But much of the real value is to Nike, and other big brands profiting from the sales of these shoes, turning athletic shoe market into a $21 billion a year industry. New sneakers may sell for up to $270 for a pair, all because Michael Jordan and other basketball stars put their name and logo on the shoes.
Just DON’T do it. Just be you .
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Posted in Basketball, Commentary, cost, fads, fashion, history, hype, opinion, popularity, School News, shooting, sports, stereotype, violence, West Oakland, Youth
Tagged AirJordan, Elijah Anderson, Nike, Paranorman Foamposites, sneakerhead