Local car and motorcycle enthusiasts came together this fall to fight gun violence in the River City, honoring the memory of Richmond’s Markiya Dickson and Ke’Miyah Edwards.
At the end of September, a community joined to bring awareness to the issue of rampant gun violence in Richmond. The gathering came in the form of a car and motorcycle ride across the Robert E. Lee Bridge, encompassing a show of the vehicles and bringing its attendees together in solidarity as they drove through the sun over the James River.
LaTasha Kenney and Constance Kenney were the leaders behind the event, with Latasha picking up the reins of the project after the passing of her friend Elka Johnson, known by the name Katt. Katt originally started organizing event after losing her sun to a gun-related incident in 2017, but passed away before she could see it come to fruition. It is said among the community that she passed away from a broken heart.
“Things were clear at that moment; I already knew what I had to do,” LaTasha said of continuing the project that her friend started. “I was supposed to do this ride so that she could go be with her son.”
LaTasha’s car club, which sponsored the event, is called Katt’s Angelz.
The event was held outside Rosie’s Gaming Emporium, a local off-track betting parlor in the community on Midlothian Turnpike. It was organized to honor the memory of Markiya Dickson and Ke’Miyah Edwards, two young girls who lost their lives to gun violence. Nine-year-old Dickson was shot to death in a Richmond park while celebrating Memorial Day Weekend earlier this year. Five-year-old Edwards was killed at in a drive-by shooting in Henrico County.
The area filled up quickly, with neon Mustangs and Camaros alongside souped-up GMC trucks decorating the lot. Leather fringes accompanied choppers, and sleek sport bikes gathered at the center. Attendees signed off on waivers for the police escort that would cross the Robert E. Lee Bridge later that day.
Right in the center, an “In Loving Memory” sign looked over the crowd. There was Katt, smiling at the finished product of her work.
The show and ride was a success, seeing around a dozen motorcycle and car clubs join together in a push to end gun violence in the Richmond area. After crossing the bridge, riders congregated in a celebration with a cookout and DJ at the Southside Community Center.
Spreading awareness, the event was the collective effort of each individual asking the world around them to pay attention. Gun violence continues to claim lives in Richmond and across the nation — and the message of this community is to “Stop The Violence.”
Photos by Ethan Malamud