Life or Death: The Sneaker Edition

December 23, 2013 0

“They killin niggas for J’s, that’s death over designer…”

– J. Cole

While December 21, 2013 marked an important date to many sneaker heads across the country, a Houston, TX mother wanted to bring awareness on an important issue; the violence revolving around the culture. On December 21, 2012 Dazie Williams lost her son, Joshua Woods, by gunfire over a pair of Air Jordans he had just purchased.

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Now, this isn’t the only case where a child was killed over a pair of shoes. Sixteen-year-old Juan Reyna was also shot and killed over a pair of Jordans last year.

As I started to do more research on this topic, I found a blog through USA Today, which displayed the violence over Air Jordan 11(Gamma), onward, an article written in 1990 by Sports Illustrated titled, “In America’s cities, kids are killing kids over sneakers.”

I, personally, don’t get the hype over a pair of shoes; I wasn’t raised materialistic. But, I do believe that rather than joking about it, whether on social media or in life, period, it’s doing nothing but desensitizing the Nation of a serious problem. Realize, people are losing their lives over a pair of $185 shoes. They lose the potential of going to college, building a family, and enjoying life. You never know what the child may have been capable of doing in the future. For all we know, they could’ve grown to be the next great leader of our Nation.  Also, recognize, there were only 2 people mentioned in this article.  The list of casualties over shoes is far longer than this.  With that being said,  let’s begin to value one another as human beings and stop letting material objects be the reasoning of petty behavior.  Those who partake in violence to “keep up with the joneses” is only allowing corporate America to recognize their power.  No matter how many deaths occur, these products will continue to sell.  Understand this, this is the United States of Consumption.  How about leave a legacy, rather than adding to our prison system.  According to CNBC, “With more than 2.3 million people locked up, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. One out of 100 American adults is behind bars — while a stunning one out of 32 is on probation, parole or in prison.”  We must do better folks!  Each one teach one!  This is definitely time for more of the positive people to step up as community leaders and lead by example!

Also, if you’d like to support Dazie Williams’ movement Life Over Fashion, visit:


Dazie Williams’ Story:

Juan Reyna’s Story:

USA Today’s Blog documenting violence:

Sports Illustrated Story:


Disclaimer:  By no means, are we trying to slander the brands of Nike or Air Jordans.  We are simply bringing awareness to the violence and death revolved around materialistic objects.

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