Taisha Akins is a mother of three children and lifelong resident of Dorchester. She has three children (two boys and one girl). At the tender age of 14 years old she became a teen mother and enrolled in alternative school to learn in an environment that consisted of fellow teenage mothers.
In 2011 her middle child, Khris Mckinney, was gunned down in their neighborhood on Whitman and Norfolk Street. A dispute erupted involving Khris’ older brother. After coming to the defense of his brother, an undisclosed assailant hid in the bushes, and shot him in his back. Currently no one has been charged with crime. A code of silence governs the area; due to fear of retaliation, no one has identified the perpetrator, whom they know.
After her son’s killing, Taisha became an activist against violence. She shares her story to empower others, especially those affected by violence.
Taisha described Khris as being a loving son, who she considered as her best friend. She explained how he played a huge role in her household, and did anything he could to help his siblings, whom he loved. Khris was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and struggled with behavioral issues. As a teenager, he was committed to the Department of Youth Services for a short time. After his release, Taisha says she noticed a change in her son. He had matured, and was transitioning into a young respectable man. No longer choosing to wear his clothes baggy, and experimenting with music. He started listening to jazz, something that pleasantly surprised her. Khris was also a natural salesman, buying items in bulk from B.J.’s and selling the individual items at a mark up.
According to Taisha, the media persecuted her and along with her family. She said the detectives that worked the case called her a bad mother, and she received negative comments through online articles involving her son’s case. In her eyes the media put her family at greater harm, because they listed her address in newspapers and falsely labeled her son a gang banger.
This tragedy does not define Taisha, and she continues to stay strong for her family, especially her other two children. She’s a go-getter, and wants to be remembered as a fighter, not a stereotype. Her hobbies include shopping, traveling and cooking; and raves about her seafood Alfredo and love for the Phantom Gourmet foodie show. Currently she is a Communication major and also enjoys being creative through event design. Taisha credits her faith as her strength.
Taisha is not her tragedy; she’s a woman with a powerful story to share with the world.
View the full interview here.