Como Mamas’ Singer Angelia Taylor Deals with the Aftermath of Gun Violence

inTheir Needson July 26, 2018

From L to R, Ester Mae Wilbourn, Della Daniels, and Angelia Taylor | Photo by Aaron Greenhood

Imagine being in your home, unwinding from a long day, when before you have a chance to grasp what is happening, you suddenly feel a bullet rip through your skin. This was the situation on May 29th, when Angelia Taylor, singer from the Como Mamas, was struck by a bullet in her home.

Violence is a serious problem in many communities across the United States. However, research has shown that residents in impoverished and disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to be exposed to violence, and African-Americans are disproportionately more likely to live in these neighborhoods.

Exposure to violence, especially a shooting, can be particularly difficult to cope with and can place victims at a particularly high risk for developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or acute stress disorder. These traumas manifest as intrusive thoughts or memories about the shooting, frequent nightmares, insomnia, avoidance, isolation, and others.

The effects of violence in rural America is exacerbated by victims’ restricted access to support services. Lack of transportation and long distances can serve as physical barriers to receiving treatment, while poverty, inadequate health insurance, and the widespread taboo towards seeking mental health care constitute additional roadblocks towards a path to treatment.

Angelia Taylor | Photo by Aaron Greenhood

The long-lasting effects of gun violence are frequently absent from conversations in the national media. Victims suffer in silence in the days, weeks, and years following a traumatic event, often reliving the event over and over in their minds. After the media coverage, victims are often neglected and never provided the resources to seek help to learn skills required to cope with traumatic experiences.

When gun violence occurs in an area again and again, the whole community suffers, and the effects of this untreated trauma build as the cycle of violence continues. Like many women in these communities, Angelia quickly felt the consequences of community violence. Music Maker staff worked closely with Angelia to address her critical needs due to the events of that night. As Angelia continues to deal with the aftermath of a personal experience with gun violence Music Maker is by her side, working to connect her with local resources and therapy.

Angelia is not the first Music Maker partner artist to deal with gun violence. Little Freddie King and Dr. Burt were both survived being shot, and this doesn’t take into account the many other Music Maker partner atists that had to deal with gun violence in their neighborhoods.

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