I’m looking for a kid named Larry Davis.
Finding him has been harder than I anticipated.
Larry should be about 15 by now. I say “should be” because in the shooting parts of this city, the teen survival rate is also not what it “should be.”
I last saw Larry in 2010 when he was 11 and I was covering an anti-violence rally in the North Lawndale neighborhood outside of William Penn Elementary School. The same school that was on lockdown this June as a shooting victim lay bleeding in front of it. Nobody wanted little kids walking out of school to witness it.
Larry was a fifth-grader when I met him. He was already an old soul, serious as a heart attack about his diminished prospects of reaching adulthood.
When he hears gunfire?
“I either duck or when I duck, I just pray to God that this just stops,” he said. “Every day our teacher talks to us about . . . how do we feel about Holy City, how do we feel about the violence?”