‘I don’t want this person to breathe, but I also don’t want nobody to kill him’

A mother and daughter remember a day violence hit too close to home

October 26, 2012

Doris Truss and her daughter Aisha Truss-Miller have spent their lives watching violence escalate in Chicago.

While Aisha was growing up, Doris did her best to set an example by making sure her daughter was involved in activities that kept her off the streets. Aisha followed her mother’s example by becoming a community organizer, focused on combating youth violence through arts, education, and self care. She reached out to teens in her neighborhood, including her cousin, Leonard “Man-Man” Truss.

StoryCorps’s mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.

Despite their best efforts, violence still hit too close to home.

Aisha says soon after the violence struck, there were vigils and an outpouring of support, and she was able to feel love from the community. But at first, she had a different reaction. Listen to the audio above to find out what happened. 

NOTE: This interview was recorded in collaboration with Affinity Community Services, a station partner. Katie Klocksin and Adam Peindl helped produce this report.