Award-winning author and film producer Evie Rhodes has written several books about the tragedies and senseless violence in our communities.
Her most recent novel turned movie, Expired, highlights a mother’s struggle to cope with the death of her son.
On May 20th, Rhodes’ 24-year-old son James Rhodes, was shot and killed in Camden, New Jersey. This tragic experience has motivated the author to make a “plea and call to action to save our remaining sons.”
To accompany her nationwide call to action, Rhodes has also launched an initiative on Breaking the Cycle of Black Male Death in America.
In talking about her personal journey, Rhodes called the loss of her son “a very tough situation” because of the grief. She added, “At the same time, that element of grief just turned huge.
“I began thinking not just about my son, but about all of the other mothers and the sons they’ve lost.”
According to the acclaimed author/film producer, many of the mothers had sons who did not live to see the age of twenty-five. It was at this realization where Rhodes’ grief and activism “kind of merged.”
Though she still feels the pain of her son’s death, Rhodes explained she felt motivated to bring awareness to this heartbreaking issue. She told McGinty, “We need to have awareness, we need to have this conversation, we need to figure out what the back story is.”
In hearing and learning about the deaths of other African-American males, Rhodes shared each situation forces her to “live it over and over again,” not only for her own son, but for the other mothers who are also grieving.
Many of the grieving mothers felt as though “They have no outreach, they’re alone, they feel like they have nowhere to go, they don’t hear any awareness about it, no one is talking about it.”
Rhodes said, “This is a gap that I think needs to be filled nationwide and this is where I think I want to raise my voice.”
Not only is Rhodes looking to lend her voice to this cause, she is also looking at what is creating the circumstance and the mindset that leads to the violence we are seeing in our streets. She is also pondering what will it take to “change the mindset so that before one of these young men pulls this trigger that there is a mechanism of something else that kicks in” to prevent them from committing murder.
Watch NewsOne Now guest host Derek McGinty and Evie Rhodes discuss the national call to action to save our remaining sons in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty