Writing A New Narrative for Tony Robinson

A life celebrated, a call for new thinking and actions in our everyday lives


Mourners filled Madison East High School’s Milton McPike Field House to honor Tony “Terrell” Robinson on March 14, 2015.

Approximately¬†1,000 people gathered Saturday (March 14) in the Milton McPike Fieldhouse at Madison East High School to pay respects, remember and celebrate the life of Tony “Terrell” Robinson, Jr. Several hundred more watched the service from the school’s gym via closed-circuit television.

In a service filled with prayers from clergy, gospel music flourishes accompanying some speakers and a soulful rendition of Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day”; most who spoke echoed Tony Robinson’s own words:

“You ever have the feeling your’e going to live forever? I mean like your’e never going to die? I’m going to be great, I don’t know how I know but I do. Just watch. I’m going to change the world.”

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Is #WillyStreet ‘A Place For All People’?

Police shooting highlights shortcomings in our progressive culture


Tony Robinson, in a picture released by his family the night of his death.

Friday was the day we all realized that our neighborhood, which over the decades has changed for good in many ways, really hasn’t changed at all. Sitting with family and friends for dinner at Take Five, we saw an urgent parade of police vehicles pass by, seven in all.

It is normal to see ambulances and fire trucks on this important artery through the Near East Side. But this was different; we knew a serious situation was occuring when so many police are the first to rush by.

A regular patron headed down the street to investigate and reported back that shots had been fired in the 1100 block of Williamson Street. His information was rushed and proved accurate on only two points: that someone had been shot and that he saw CPR being peformed on an individual before an ambulance took him away.

I say “him” because it was Tony Robinson who was killed during a scuffle with a Madison Police officer. His eventual death has displayed in very stark terms this city’s continued struggle with race, police deadly force protocol and access by our minority communities to Madison’s perennial “Best Place to Live” status.

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