DEDICATED—Flo Taylor, left, talks with a group of teens Downtown. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

When there’s a small commotion amongst Black teens Downtown, many people start to move away from the situation.

Flo Taylor, however, moves closer to the situation.

When the situation turns into something more dire, even more potentially dangerous, most people move even further away, maybe even taking cover.

Then there’s Flo Taylor. She’s not deterred. She’s not afraid. She moves even closer.

“We (adults) are afraid to even say a word (to the teenagers). I know people who are very afraid and they’re warning me about it,” Taylor said. “I just let them know what I see, and I’m very straightforward with them.”

Taylor is a 65-year-old Downtown resident. A resident who’s very concerned with the present and future of Black teens in the city, county and overall region.

What Taylor has noticed over the years with today’s young people is twofold—young people don’t know the limits concerning their perceived freedom, while older adults have not done their best to provide an efficient road map for their children. It’s a situation that has kept Taylor up at night, thinking how she can remedy the problem.

“I am so upset at what’s happening to our children, sometimes I can’t even sleep,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s desire to turn perceived negatives into assured positives in today’s African American youngsters began roughly 15 years ago—with the sound of gunfire. Taylor was living Downtown at the time, as she does currently.

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