Southside minister says he presides over more funerals for young black men every year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ministers and community leaders are coming together, speaking out about the problem of young black men dying from homicides.

Bishop Edward Robinson, who has been ministering at Southside Church of God in Christ on Emerson Road for about 40 years, said the number of funerals he presidents over for young black men has increased year after year.

“I do, very much so,” Robinson told News4Jax on Tuesday. “I think there’s a disregard for human life. To me, they don’t have a good value system being passed on by parents. Young people having children now. They don’t have a good foundation, real social values. So they don’t have anything of substance to pass on to their kids and teach them about family.”

His church is doing its part. It transports children from the former Cleveland Arms apartments in Northwest Jacksonville every week for Bible study at his church. His prayer is it helps.

“There’s a big need there. Some reason, some parent had called the church, said ‘Having problems with the kid,’” Robinson said. “So we went started there and started adding kids to the bus transportation ministry.”

The spotlight is on this issue after a man was killed in an officer-involved shooting Sunday along Moncrief Road and 18-year-old Malik Brown, a former Lee High School football player, was shot and killed Friday night near Kings Road.

These cases are spawning a push in Northwest Jacksonville that was announced Tuesday. Councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman, along with Florida state Rep. Kimberly Daniels and others, is asking for $11 million in funding for better policing, trash pickup and economic development that can bring jobs to a part of town that’s losing too many of its residents.

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