Kareem’s Story


His name was Kareem Virshawn Fedd.  He was born on February 6, 1995.  His life ended on August 24, 2012, he was only 17 years old.  He was a son, a brother, and a grandchild.  His story was not caught on camera so it did not make national news.  Thousands of people did not march in protest so as you can guess, black leaders did not run for the cameras.  However, like so many others, he was a young black male who was murdered.  Kareem was peacefully sleeping on a hot summer night in August, with his window open.  The perpetrator(s) crawled through his bedroom window and took his life.  His murder has never been solved.  Kareem represents so many of our young warriors who were murdered but their stories never made it in front of the cameras.  This post is in honor of Kareem, thousands of others who quietly lost their lives without the national spotlight, while still recognizing those whose stories we know.

To the mothers of Kareem, Tamir, George, Michael, Sandra, (most recently) Alton Sterling, and thousands of others…your pain is too deep for words.  For some reason, “Breathing While Black” is just as dangerous in the twenty-first century as it was in the past five centuries. The video clip on http://on.msnbc.com/29tZiaW showing Alton Sterling’s son brought me to tears. However, as heartbreaking as this video is we cannot pretend black on black crime is not completely out of control.  Jeani’s (Kareem) pain is just as intense as Samaria’s (Tamir) pain.  We seem to categorize the death of black people according to who commits the crime.  Shouldn’t black people be just as angry about 2,187 homicides in Chicago since 2012?  How about 28 homicides in Baltimore just in the past 30 days?   Kareem was only 17-years-old and was murdered in his sleep.  Just imagine never having the opportunity to defend yourself?  Surely someone knows who took this young man’s life.  How about George who was gunned down when he answered the door?

I understand police are paid to protect & serve and some may have removed hooded robes and put on uniforms but we cannot keep treating black on black crime as just the norm.  So my question is, how the hell can we stop police officers from killing our loved ones if we do not value our own lives?  In a post about the Alton Sterling incident someone said, “it is time to redistribute the pain.”  Black folks are already redistributing the pain each time they kill one another.

Oftentimes we feel the pain of others but not as deep because that murdered child did not come through us.  Nonetheless, if your children are “Breathing While Black” they are not exempt from the black experience whether the crime was committed by a police officer or someone else.

So we can pray until the sky falls, the pastor or an unknown source will not save us.  We can try to vote our way out of this mess, politicians are not going to save us.  We can march until we wear the soles off our shoes, no one is going to listen.  The solution cannot come from others; it will come from the unification of black people and flexing $1.2 trillion in black spending power.

So please remember “Breathing While Black” means you can be Jeani or Samaria at any given moment.

Frederick Douglass once said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”  If our forefathers and foremothers would have waited for hearts and minds to change.  Black people would still be picking cotton.

#Wake up


  1. Follow us on any one of our social networks.
  2. Click the FB Link and Share on your preferred social network.
  3. Scroll down the page and Leave a Comment.
  4. Don’t forget to join the mailing list (above).


Public Note:  The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own, others who comment, and do not reflect the view of msnbc.com, www.dnainfo.com, baltimoresun.com, or any of their affiliates or partners.







  • Kareem was a good kid, but pretending he wasn’t gang affiliated, and trying to loop his gang related murder with the issues of BLM is the reason that whites don’t take BLM seriously.

    This wasn’t about police. Or breathing while black. This was retaliation.

    We should all take the blame for this one, not shift the blame to easy targets.

    Everyone knew he was gang affiliated. He’d still be here if not for that.

    • nick says:

      Thank you for your response. The post says, Kareem was a son, brother, and someone’s grandchild. He was a young black male, meaning he was black and his life mattered. What does “white people taking BLM seriously” have to do with this issue? The post also said, “If your children are “Breathing While Black” they are not exempt from the black experience whether the crime was committed by a police officer or someone else.” This young man did not take his own life, it was ruled a homicide. This post was written to shine a light on the death of black men, including Kareem. We could say if Tamir was not in the park playing with a toy gun he would still be here. If Trayvon would have stayed home instead of going to buy skittles he would still be here. If Jordan Davis would have turned his music down, he would still be here. The fact is Kareem was in bed sleeping, someone entered his mother’s home, and took his life. It appears you pulled what you wanted from this post and blamed Kareem for his own death. The fact is black men and boys are dying at the hands of someone else but somehow it is always their fault.

    • Crystal says:

      What really amazes me is you got nothing from what the author was talking about. It should not matter if he was in a gang or not he was someone child, brother and friend to many. He was loved and he did not deserve to be gun down in his sleep. What is more sad is that when people think they way you do nothing will ever change. Cops won’t look for who killed him or any other Black kid killed and many Black people will continue to be killed and no one had accountable for it. We must get out the mind set of blaming the victim.

  • James Garcia says:

    He was in bed sleeping it does not matter if he was or if he wasn’t. The truth is that he was a good kid .. he never had a record of any kind.so I don’t know how it is that it was gang related. No matter what he was on his bed sleeping..

    • nick says:

      Mr. Garcia thank you for responding and I completely agree with you. Continue to be a voice for this young man. For those who try to justify this crime, murdering a child is not open for debate.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.