Wilfredo De Jesús was there in Humboldt Park in the 1970s when riots broke out protesting police brutality and prejudice. For three, long bloody days, gangs roamed the streets rioting and looting and police shot at citizens. Eventually the National Guard was called in. The community had become a war zone. And De Jesús, on the verge of adolescence and the son of a single mom in the Hispanic community of Humboldt, got caught up in it.
On the second day of the riots, the 12-year-old De Jesús took a soda from a store and ran. Before he got too far, he stopped, confused and conflicted. He returned the soda and wondered what had compelled him to make such a choice in the midst of chaos.
It’s a moment De Jesús, now 48 and featured on the cover of TIME magazine as a pastor and…
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