“There are some children that have never seen a wide, awakened black man. So just the fact that we are standing up and taking our rightful places as men in our community, it has an impact,” stated brother Albert Campbell. On a hot and sunny morning, Anthony Blackmen, one of the men of the Hunger Nine is outside doing laundry in a red bucket with water and a bar of fresh-smelling soap. There is a reporter from a local news station, some of the other men are huddled speaking, while some others can be found mediating.
After doing a march to a candle light vigil from Liberty City to the Belafonte Tacolcy Center, three men from The Circle of Brotherhood were chanting, “Stop killing our children. Let our children live.” Upon arriving, they met about 40-50 grieving mothers, all in deep distraught, wailing over the children they had to bury due to gun violence. The three men were handing the candles to the mothers as they lit their own individual candles.
“I know a lot of people have went to funerals and maybe have embraced a mother that has lost a child, but to experience nearly 40-50 mothers at one time who were crying, wailing, and in deep sorrow is something I will never forget,” stated Albert Campbell. The empathy and pain they felt for those mothers planted the seed for the Hunger Nine.
In Liberty City on the intersection of 12th and 62nd street, you will find nine men from the organization The Circle of Brotherhood, sleeping in tents with beds, a couple of TVs, an outdoor shower, and a place to do their toiletry. The men are currently on their eighteenth day without food of any kind and are only surviving on still water. Their routine consists of meetings, yoga in the mornings, lots of prayers, and people visiting to discuss the course of action these men have taken.