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Breaking the Cycle: How did we get here?

The country is dealing with an increase in gun violence, including here in Louisville. An African American museum owner explains the correlation of poverty and crime

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — 40211 and 40212 – two zip codes that have the highest teenage deaths both fall in west Louisville, past the 9th Street Divide.

“We’re still dealing with the same issues today that we dealt with when I was a kid in the 1960s,” Lamont Collins, founder of Roots 101 African American Museum, said. “When you talk about redlining, it was a diabolical plan to take resources, again, from the cities – the inner cities.”

Collins said the resources have been drained for a long time.

“When the flight started in western Louisville is after the riots in 1968. That's when we had white flight. And when white flight left, a lot of businesses left because a lot of times when blacks are working in stores, doesn't mean they own the store,” he said.

The lack of businesses, jobs, grocery stores in West Louisville is an ever-increasing problem today.

Credit: WHAS-TV
40211 and 40212 are two of the zip codes in the city with highest amounts of teen violence.

“We know what happens when you don't have resources, crime happens, lack of education happens. Opportunity goes away,” he said.

Collins said it’s important to show the broader picture of crime.

“But you talk about the crime that's going on in the Black area when it's going on in poor white areas too. That is a story and a narrative that has been placed too much in color and not in factuality. And those kinds of things we have to continue to address.”

Credit: WHAS-TV
Lamont Collins, founder of Roots 101: African American Museum

That to lower the crime, we must also tackle the systemic poverty in our city.

“And that's from the city to the county, to the Jefferson County school system. You got to feed the resources to make change.”

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