Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Some New News on Old Subjects

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Some New News on Old Subjects

Article excerpt

FROM TIME to time I hear from those of you who ask me for the latest about someone or something that's appeared in my column.

So today's column is devoted exclusively to updates.

After rap singer Eazy-E - whose real name was Eric Wright - died of complications from AIDS, there was a flurry of interest, particularly by teen-agers, in the disease and methods of prevention.

Wright, who had admitted to being the father of seven children by six women, was a rapper who glorified sexual conquests. Like many rappers, his music and videos often spoke of sex with multiple partners and exploitation of women.

His death affected many teen-agers who had been influenced by Wright. But in a column, Erise Williams Jr., executive director of the St. Louis-based Blacks Assisting Blacks Against AIDS, said he was concerned by the general lack of interest in the issue by young people, and predicted that teen interest would fall off.

Turns out he was right. "There was a lot of interest around the time that Eazy-E died, but a lot of that's gone again," Williams said. "I'm afraid there probably won't be a lot of concern by some people until something else comes along or someone else dies."

A few months ago, I wrote a column about the residents of the 5800 block of Maffitt Avenue, who have been battling - with some success - to rid their neighborhood of crime and bring it back.

For some years, residents had been forced to put up with drug houses, gang violence, loud music and rowdy people. While some residents chose to leave, others decided to stay and fight. By working together, those residents used a combination of sources - private, police, City Hall and others - to push out many of the troublemakers and to help improve their block's appearance.

A tree farmer read the column and donated several trees to help beautify the block. The neighborhood continues in its upward climb, and is now being looked at by other neighborhood groups that are refusing to give up.

Back in March I wrote a column about how I had witnessed a mother cursing abusively and beating - it went beyond a spanking - a toddler on the parking lot of a grocery store. In that column, I asked you to respond. …

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