PODCAST: An Audio Portrait in Motherly Courage

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Trey Kay stands with Deanna McKinney on the July 2017 evening he debuted for her and her family and friends on the West Side of Charleston, W.Va., an “Us & Them” podcast episode recounting the story of the shooting death of Deanna’s only son, Tymel, and what happened afterwards. | Photo by Douglas Imbrogno

EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s a lot to keep up with in podcast-land. ‘LISTENUP’ is an attempt to keep an eye out for exemplary podcast episodes that touch upon some aspect of life in WestVirginiaVille. Charleston, WV native Trey Kay’s “Us and Them” is must-listening for any fans of intimate, powerful podcasting.

‘JULY 29, 2017 | The phrase “Portraits in Courage” has been bandied about a lot this week in the aftermath of the demise of the U.S. Senate’s voting down of Republican attempts to deep-six Obamacare, all to no avail at the last owing to votes by three senators. However apt this phrase may be for political gamesmanship, it could also be well applied to Charleston, W.Va., resident Deanna McKinney. She lost her only child in April 2014, when a wannabe gang member, trying to get initiated into a Detroit-based gang, gunned down her 18-year-old son,  Tymel, on their front porch while he was having pizza with a friend. Tymel was no gangbanger. Kay’s “Us & Them” podcast, launched in West Virginia and which has gone on to earn a national audience, tells a rousing and moving story of how one mother responded to every parent’s nightmare in a show that is by turns moving, humorous, inspirational and hopeful.

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Here is a companion story on the episode from the July 25, 2017 Charleston Gazette-Mail:

By DOUGLAS IMBROGNO | Charleston Gazette-Mail: Last week in a part of town not often spotlighted in national media, Trey Kay held a “listening party” for the first of a four-part series of episodes from his podcast “Us & Them,” about Charleston’s West Side.
Titled “Deanna, Tymel & Amarie,” the episode focuses on 18-year-old Tymel McKinney, who was shot and killed on the front porch of his West Side home in April 2014, by a local teen looking to gain initiation into a Detroit-based gang.
Tymel, who was not involved with gangs and was eating pizza with a friend that day, was survived by his infant daughter Amarie. His mother, Deanna McKinney, instead of sinking into rage or hopelessness, has gone on to become a local advocate against gun violence and a voice for improving the quality of life on the West Side… | READ ON

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