Mother’s Day Event Honors Women Who Have Lost Children


It’s been almost three months since Dorothy Hill’s son, 39-year-old Kinshasa Jackson, was shot in Watts. 

His body was found on the grass of a neighbor’s yard in the early morning hours of Feb. 13, and the killing remains unsolved.

This year, Mother’s Day will be a reminder of Jackson’s absence. But on Saturday, Hill felt as though she wasn’t alone. She attended a brunch for women who know what she’s going through, women who have also lost sons and daughters.

Hill said when she got the invitation, she was ecstatic. She brought her daughter, Natasha Jackson, to the event, held at a Culver City hotel.

“It’s just sometimes about being around people,” Hill said. “It helps to keep your mind off the things that would bother you.”

Kathy Wooten, a gang intervention worker in Watts, started the annual Mother’s Day brunch in May 2008. That January and March, she lost two sons, Branden and Kejuan Bullard, to gang violence.

This year, she said, was the first time people from all three housing developments in Watts attended, a show of unity.

“There’s so much animosity and hurt and pain among all three developments because of past issues, past relationships, past retaliation, all types of stuff,” she said.

On Saturday, Wooten stood in front of a room of mostly women, and encouraged them to “bring each other up.”

“This event is not about me,” she said. “It’s about us.”

Wooten gave out gift baskets with candles and mugs to some of the mothers. There was a comedian and a raffle. There was a “tree of memory” with the names of some of the dead. Some of the women proudly wore buttons with pictures of their loved ones. No seat went empty.

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Source: Los Angeles Times

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