Remembering Tamir Rice’s Life and Honoring His Legacy
Tamir Rice’s mom remembers her loving, athletic and Lego adoring son as she ensures his legacy by creating The Tamir Rice Foundation, which advocates for police reform and The Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center, which houses after-school programs focused on tutoring, mentoring and arts, as well as music and dance
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.
When a black person is killed by the police there’s the usual set of events that follow – the media reports, a video may be released, we watch the mother mourn and we see pictures of the white cops. If there was a video or still picture of the murder, we see it replayed again and again. Sometimes the vibrant life that was, now exists solely in the frame in which that life was taken. But we know that is not the only way to remember those who died at the hands of police, because the truth is they also lived a life. They were fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, best friends, little brothers, play cousins…
Among the many articles, opinions, and false narratives about how he died, we wanted to celebrate Tamir Rice – his life and legacy.
His mom, Samaria Rice detailed his love for what are many young boys favorite things,
“He still watched Curious George cartoons, and played Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video games. He drew cartoon characters he saw on TV.”
Tamir was also athletic and excelled at a variety of sports.
“He didn’t just excel at basketball. Tamir could throw a football with a tight spiral, swim in the deep end of the pool and hold his own on a soccer field.”
Samaria told of how Tamir still got spooked when watching scary movies with his 16-year-old brother, and would crawl into bed with his mother at night. What mother hasn’t opened her bed to her tween who’s afraid of things that go bump in the night as a result of a movie, which they swore to you they could handle and that they weren’t afraid of?
And what is more childhood than toys? A month before his murder, Samaria bought Tamir a Lego model airplane, typically thought of as a gift for perhaps a younger child.
“He said ‘I don’t care, I want it,’” she said, mimicking a child’s whine and giggling. “He wanted them Legos, so I bought them.”
In 2016, Rice founded the Tamir Rice Foundation in her son’s honor. The organization’s mission is to advocate for police reform by advocating to change laws, and implement new policies for the system with community oversight for police accountability and community reform dialogue.
Tamir was involved in arts and crafts programs through the rec centers, he sculpted pottery and crocheted for his mother. As a direct reflection of his interests, Samaria opened the Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center, which will house after-school programs focussed on tutoring, mentoring and arts, and also include music and dance.
Kay Montgomery is a host at Afterbuzz TV who loves sitcoms and is currently embroiled in a vicious debate on Bracketology. She is A Different World devotee and although she has a masters degree in Education from The University of Redlands, she would have given anything to go to fictional Hillman College.
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