In Our Backyard Documentary

Iryna said: We need people who are teachers to share this.

There I was at the perfect intersection: attending this film at my church in Park Slope, teaching in a New York City High school, had taught for 7 years in East New York, and the girls they were talking about could have been my students. While I was teaching at the former George Gershwin Junior High School two girls were shot, one killed near the public track and they were undoubtably wrapped up in the sex trade.
I wrote a poem about the incident.

Two girls were shot, one killed,

Two weeks ago on Linden Boulevard.

The news might have said outside our school,

Although the spot was nearer to the park and athletic field.

I walked around the block the next day,

When I needed some air.

And I followed a trail of blood,

From the corner to the corner, around the block.


A little life was lost here,

A little blood.

A little rain washed it away.

The sidewalk was wet today.


I listened to the radio at home.

The market was down today.

A few more dollars gone.

I thought of things I might have done.

I thought of how I paid and paid,

Not to listen, not to think, not to think for myself.


My eyes got a little misty

A few tears washed the pain away

I thought of the rain

And a little life washed away




Danielle Rose’s documentary and the women, Iryna, Shandra, Ashley completely turned my mind around in a passionate and empowering expose about the sex trade in Brooklyn.

I have to say, apart from my sadness about the shootings of the two young women in East New York, I had never considered the suffering of the women who became the victims of the sex trade.

Every one is a story, a name, a person.  Everyone deserves the possibility of escape .



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