This is a throwback to these characters I drew inspired by real life people in the documentary film "The Interrupters". If you haven't seen it I would highly recommend it. This came out many years ago and I painted these awhile ago. As an outsider I have no idea if its gotten worse or better in Chicago, but I know the gang violence was HEAVY. Heavy like LA in the 80s/90s. And I just loved seeing these folks highlighted who had been in the life out there trying to make a change n the midwest.
Peep the individual Characters:
Recent interview w/ Ameena
Here's a TED talk Eddie gave
Soapbox: Do not fall for the line that gang violence is completely on those who bang. If you do not talk about structural racism, the history of violence in this country, Capitalism (because it is tied to $$$), and Patriarchy you are not seeing the full picture.