Leslie Reyes Spoken Word "El A Muerto, El Esta Muerto,"

Leslie Reyes, 15, a Huguenot High School student performs an abridged version of "El A Muerto, El Esta Muerto," her spoken word piece about watching one of her best friends die from gang violence. Reyes is one of many young Richmond students who use spoken word to share their pains and frustrations.

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Power in the word

Performing spoken word helps 15-year-old Leslie Reyes deal with the gruesome death she witnessed at age 9 of a 16-year-old friend. With a steady voice, Leslie tells a packed audience of more than 100 people that she watched her best friend die from gunshot wounds in El Salvador. She tells the room of mostly strangers about the “blood-covered gauze and stitched up holes on his shoulder and leg.”