Maurice Hobbs, an aspiring rapper, was walking down the road with a friend one day in January of 2017. He was a junior in high school and a musician on the rise in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. A dark-colored car pulled up and shot him in the chest and his friend in the leg. Hobbs died at the scene, and in the wake of gun violence, an entire family has been torn apart and is trying to put together the pieces. Latasha Hobbs has joined in the investigation of her son's murder to find answers in a city that is one of the top homicide hot spots in the United States.
Photos: Katherine Lewin
Words: Jared Olson
Under the cold bluebird skies of Jan. 15, 2018, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, St. Augustine demonstrators gathered in front of the squat brick walls of St. Paul's African Methodist Episcopal church. The purpose: to celebrate the memory of King, a civil rights hero, in a town where he and his followers were hated, abused and jailed.
The fight to remove confederate-era monuments has settled securely into St. Augustine, Fla., the ancient seaside town that also hosted a civil rights movement in the 1960s. The modern movement is led largely by Rev. Ron Rawls. Rawls is the pastor of the St. Paul A.M.E. Church in historic Lincolnville, which was often used as a meeting place in the 1960s for the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his supporters.
On Nov. 18, it was chosen as the starting point for a rally to remove the confederate-era monuments in downtown St. Augustine. Over 100 people marched from St. Paul A.M.E. church to the Plaza de la Constitución.
Connell Crooms is the man in the mural.
It’s nearly impossible to miss him. He is 150 feet tall, depicted in black and white beside a fellow activist, Palestinian-American Sara Mahmoud. They are each painted on their own massive silo, back-to-back, with their giant eyes downcast. They watch over downtown Jacksonville, Florida, situated directly across from Everbank Field, where the Jaguars football team plays.
Before firing a bullet into a group of people at a bus stop in Gainesville, Fla. on October 19, Tyler Tenbrink was verbally and physically harassed by counter protestors of Richard Spencer. Tenbrink was exiting Spencer’s controversial speech at the University of Florida, which he was attending as a supporter of the alt-right white supremacist, when a crowd of around 50 people descended on him.
St. Augustine, Fla., America’s oldest city, was once a battleground for civil rights. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his supporters were harassed, beaten and jailed when they tried to enter segregated downtown restaurants and swim in segregated sections of St. Augustine’s beaches. A hotel manager once poured acid into a pool where both black and white integrationists were swimming in protest. Dr. King was even in St. Augustine the day that the Senate passed the civil rights bill on June 19, 1964.