By Sean Yoes
AFRO Baltimore Editor
syoes@afro.com

“In all reality when I die I want people to be like, “She was a legend at that hair s**t.” And I want my daughter to be like, “My mother was that on the hair tip, period,”” said Destiny Harrison, during a selfie video shot earlier this year.

And so, another tragic year in Baltimore (347 murders and counting as of Dec. 30) comes to an end with the imminent legend of Destiny Harrison snuffed out at age 21, on 12/21.

Harrison, a proud graduate of Merganthaler Vocational Technical High School (known as Mervo), in 2016, worked at Popeye’s and Walmart, while she fine tuned her extraordinary talent as a burgeoning master hair stylist. She went on to attend Bowie State University, where she majored in Business Administration, with a minor in Fashion Design.

21-year old business owner Destiny Harrison, seen here when she was pregnant with her daughter Dream, was murdered in her Southeast Baltimore salon on Dec. 21. (Cpurtesy Photo)

Even a cursory examination of her social media footprint (much respect to Paris Milan via her YouTube channel, for carefully curating Destiny’s on-line activity) reveals her grind was relentless on her way to becoming a salon owner at age 18, while getting good grades at Bowie and still working part-time at Victoria’s Secret.

During this time Destiny launched her “Madame D Collection,” an on-line venture offering a variety of hair products. By March of 2018, Harrison announced she was pregnant and by mid-September her beloved daughter Dream was born. One year after she announced her pregnancy, in Feb. 2019, Destiny opened “Madame D Beauty Bar,” her hair salon on N. Milton Ave., in East Baltimore. She had become so successful, she allegedly purchased a sparkling, fire engine red Mercedes Benz.

However, instead of being inspired by her talent and prodigious work ethic there were those who were apparently consumed with jealousy and envy, who lurked in the shadows to take advantage of the young mother and entrepreneur.

Twelve days before her murder, Harrison, the seemingly indefatigable hair wizard walked into her shop to discover two filthy, thieving rats, one male, one female robbing her of thousands of dollars worth of hair bundles.

According to the criminal complaint she filed, the male thief held her, while the female punched Harrison and stomped her and made off with her valuable merchandise. 

“I’m sure they picked the lock to the door and I’m scared for my life and business,” she wrote in the criminal complaint to the court commissioner. She allegedly knew her assailants and named them in the document, but ultimately, her fears were well founded. 

On the evening of Dec. 21, individuals entered Destiny’s salon on N. Milton, with customers inside and most horrifically with her one-year old daughter present, and shot her in the head.

Although there were eyewitnesses to her murder, in Baltimore’s still pervasive demonic “stop snitching” culture nobody has come forward to identify her cowardly attackers.

Tragically, Destiny’s murder is an all too familiar narrative in our toxic, broken city; she was courageous enough to identify her tormenters, she made it clear she feared for her life and in the end she didn’t receive the support or protection she needed. And that isn’t just an indictment of law enforcement. Perhaps, what is more egregious is the complicity of the community in which Destiny worked and lived. Not only has no one allegedly come forward to identify her murderers, but nobody in that community protected the 21-year old mother from them.

Initially, Destiny’s infant daughter Dream was in the custody of Child Protective Services, but she was quickly placed in the care of Harrison’s mother Raquel Harrison.

When asked what she would miss about her daughter, Raquel Harrison pondered for a moment and then simply said, “Everything.”

We’ve become experts at memorializing our dead loved ones; it is a necessary cathartic process, which helps us heal and move on. We are also experts at numbing our pain.

Believe me, I get it.

But, I’ll never get over the murder of my mother in 2004, I don’t want to.

I don’t ever want to get over the murder of Phylicia Barnes. 

I don’t ever want to get over the murder of Charmaine Wilson.

I don’t ever want to get over the murder of Angela Dawson and her family.

I don’t ever want to get over the murder of Kendal Fenwick.

And my first prayer for 2020 is that none of us would ever get over the murder of Destiny Harrison.

Amen.

Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore editor and author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor