• Rochester Man Spreading Message of Peace (via the Democrat and Chronicle)

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    Democrat & Chronicle
    Frank Bi
    Staff writer


    Darius Taylor, 22, had his life changed by the streets of Rochester.

    In 2007, Taylor’s younger brother, Christopher Jones, was gunned down in front of his home. Now he hopes he can preach the lessons of the street before it takes another life.

    Taylor hopes to unveil his organization, “Power of Words Power of Wisdom,” this fall by speaking at local schools with a team of speakers consisting of gunshot and rape victims.

    “A lot of situations have a lot of different scenarios (leading up to violence),” Taylor said. “The biggest message we have is to share how to prevent the situations we’ve been through.”

    Taylor believes most of the violence stems from protecting one’s pride and he sees that pride targeted as young as the fourth grade in the form of bullying.

    “Bullying is huge with elementary kids,” Taylor said. “When you start bullying someone, that’s the pride and they might call on an older brother or sister to defend the pride.”

    Taylor believes his brother’s murder stemmed from a fight in which pride was involved.

    “You hear a lot of people say ‘gone, but not forgotten.’ ” Taylor said. “As a family member, people do forget. They don’t start representing their person like they said they were.”

    When the names begin to fade, the victims become part of statistics, Taylor said. That is why he released a song at the beginning of June titled “Roc City Obituary.”

    The song makes mention of more than 40 victims of homicide in Rochester and has been viewed more than 1,900 times on YouTube.

    “Great job,” commented YouTube user ikeab2011. “You mentioned 2 of my cousins <3 RIP to everyone :’(.”

    Since Taylor’s song debuted, he said he has been bombarded with emails and people have openly embraced him in public, he said.

    “He has very heartfelt feelings for violence in the city,” said Victor Saunders, Taylor’s uncle. “It is rare for a young person to jump out and start a grass-roots effort and do something original.”

    It has crossed Taylor’s mind that he may be a target for standing up against street violence, but he believes his message is stronger than his words.

    “If I’m a target for something positive, I can live with that,” Taylor said.