In her award-winning 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay, 13-year-old shooting victim Sandra Parks hoped for a more empathetic world, one with less senseless violence -- the same violence that took her own life.
Monday night while Parks sat in her room, bullets ripped through the windows near 13th and Hopkins, killing the 13-year-old girl.
A tragic scenario Parks described in her essay.
"In the city in which I live, I hear and see examples of chaos almost every day," she wrote. "Little children are victims of senseless gun violence."
Parks' mother described her as smart, making everyone around her happy.
"She loved basketball, writing and making her friends laugh," MPS said in a statement.
Parks spoke of two truths in her essay: caring for others and having purpose.
"We shall overcome, when we love ourselves and the people around us."
Now the communities that loved her most are grieving the loss of a young girl that spoke of so much of a world that worked to make life better for generations to come.
"Instead of passing each other like ships in the night, we must fight until our truths stretch to the ends of the world," Parks wrote.
Read her full essay below:
Sometimes, I sit back and I have to escape from what I see and hear every day. I put my headphones on and let the music take me away. I move to the beat and try to think about life and what everything means. When I do; I come to the same conclusion … we are in a state of chaos. In the city in which I live, I hear and see examples of chaos almost everyday. Little children are victims of senseless gun violence. There is too much black on black crime. As an African-American, that makes me feel depressed. Many people have Lost faith in America and its ability to be a living example of Dr. King’s dream!
The truth is faith and hope in what people can do, has been lost in the poor choices we make. We shall overcome has been lost in the lie of who we have become! So now, the real truth is, we need to rewrite our story so that faith and hope for a better tomorrow, is not only within us, but we believe it and we put it into actions.
Our first truth is that we must start caring about each other. We need to be empathetic and try to walk in each other’s shoes. We shall overcome when we eliminate the negative and nasty comments people make about each other. We shall overcome, when we love ourselves and the people around us. Then, we become our brothers keeper.
Our second truth is that we need to have purpose. We are the future generation, therefore we must have an education to make a positive difference in the world. We are the future leaders, but if we don’t have an education, we will accomplish nothing. We will overcome, when we use our education to make the world a better place. We will become the next President, law enforcement officers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and law makers. We cannot continue to put the responsibility on other people. It is our responsibility as future leaders!
We must not allow the lies of violence, racism, and prejudice to be our truth. The truth begins with us. Instead of passing each other like ships in the night, we must fight until our truths stretch to the ends of the world.