Young Playwrights hand mic to stop-&-frisk victim

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Dubois Stewart and his mom, Vashti

Over the next few weeks, Philly.com will host Mouthful, a podcast that features dramatic monologues highlighting the experiences and perspectives of young Philadelphians. These monologues, which are performed by professional actors, are produced by Philly Young Playwrights and Yvonne Latty, director of the Reporting the Nation program at NYU's Carter Journalism Institute.

On April 15th, 18-year-old Dubois Stewart was on his way home from community service. A police car pulled up behind him. He was stopped and frisked.

“I was terrified.” Dubois said in an interview with Mouthful for our episode on community policing. “I’d never been stopped and frisked before. I seriously thought I wouldn’t go away unharmed because of all the cases I’d recently heard of police brutality between black young males and police officers in general.”

Two weeks later on April 29th, 15-year-old Jordan Edwards was shot and killed by police in Balch Springs, Texas. He was unarmed, sitting in the passenger seat of a car.

According to The Guardian, black males aged 15-34 were nine times more likely than other Americans to be shot and killed by police in 2016.

To date, more than 110 black people have been killed by police in 2017.

For today’s episode of Mouthful, a weekly podcast that puts young people at the center of important conversations, we’re doing something different. We’re revisiting our conversation with Dubois and his mom, Vashti, in the wake of the stop and frisk.

In Vashti’s words, “We can’t normalize injustice and by telling people the story we keep the conversation going.”

Keep the conversation going. Listen to the unedited conversation, in its entirety, here.