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Mourning Macksantino Webb

To support Pastor Webb and help the family cover funeral costs, please send your donation by check to Haliburton's Funeral Chapel, 1317 Emerson Street, Evanston IL 60201 or Zelle Checks should be made out to Haliburton Funeral Chapel.

Gun violence has once again hit close to home, and our hearts ache for Macksantino Webb, his uncle Zollie Webb, who is the beloved Pastor of Evanston's Friendship Baptist Church, and the entire Webb family.

On Tuesday, just after noon, Zollie Webb's great-nephew Macksantino Webb, 20, was shot and killed on the platform of the Red Line station at Howard Street.

Macksantino, like many other young men Pastor Webb has brought to his home, cared for, loved, fostered, and adopted, had moved in with his great uncle--who lives in Rogers Park--to escape the gun violence in Englewood, where Macksantino lived.

Pastor Webb has worked tirelessly for years to help prevent exactly this tragedy from happening to young men from Chicago and Evanston.

As a leader of Evanston Own It, an organization of Evanston's Black religious leaders that was founded in 2015 to foster community and stop violence in Evanston, Pastor Webb has headed up the outstanding Evanston Sings gospel music concert that takes place at Evanston Township High School (ETHS) each year and that--to date--has raised $35,000 that Evanston Own It then donates to the Team Outreach/Mayor's Youth Summer Employment Program.

"We bless the City so they can in turn bless young people," Pastor Webb told me earlier this year when I went to watch an Evanston Sings choir rehearsal at his church.

"That's what it's all about."

At the end of the rehearsal, Webb told the choir members, "I'm so grateful for you. You're helping young people we may never know. But what we're trying to do is make a difference in their lives."

In a Facebook post yesterday, Pastor Webb said,

"I am hurting to help plan [Macksantino's] funeral and preach his final service and eulogy. How many times do we have to walk behind caskets of young black men, before they realize that’s their deaths are a waste of talent and energy."

In 2016, Evanston resident and The Chicago Sun-Times reporter Maudlyne Ihejirika wrote a piece about Pastor Webb and the young men in his family, including Macksantino, titled "Aim for three South Side Teenagers, 'Just Trying to Survive a Summer.'"

You can read that article here.

Yesterday, Maudlyne and reporter David Struett reported on Macksantino's death here.

You can see my interview with Pastor Webb and learn about Evanston Sings here.

This Saturday, December 7 is the "2019 Nationwide Vigils and Events to End Gun Violence."

In Evanston, the event will begin with a workshop at 3 p.m. on the new Firearms Restraining Order, which allows family members to request that guns be removed from loved ones who they believe are a danger to themselves or others, and a vigil at 4:15 p.m.

The event takes place at Lake Street Church of Evanston of Evanston, 607 Lake Street.

Please consider attending the event, sponsored by Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, to honor Macksantino and the many young people who've lost their lives to gun violence in our community.

Here's the link to the Facebook event.

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