One Year Later: Family plans to remember 10-year-old hit and killed by car

Family will honor MJ with a street dedication
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 9:31 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s been a year since the family of Marquis ‘MJ’ Bell Jr. lost him while he was riding his bike along Charles Street and Hollywood Boulevard. Saturday afternoon, his loved ones and community leaders will gather in that same spot to dedicate that intersection in his honor.

His grandmother, Monica Bell, says MJ loved people, and people loved him. She says there’s not a day that goes by she doesn’t think or talk about him. He had a smile that could brighten up her day, but Bell says the last year has been a nightmare.

“Please pray for his mom and dad because they are still struggling. It’s hard, and I am too. Our whole family is. We all loved MJ,” says Bell.

The family celebrates him weekly on what they call “MJ Tuesday.” They share his pictures and videos. But they still miss that sweet and loving spirit.

His great aunt, Armelia Harville, works with seniors who spent a lot of time getting to know MJ, and they still share stories with her about him.

“One of my seniors told me that MJ would always come by her house doing little things, and the last time she saw him was when he tossed a piece of paper in her yard, and when she opened that paper, it said, I love you,” says Harville. “Not knowing something was going to happen.”

The celebration for MJ kicks off Saturday at 2 p.m. with a balloon release at 3:30 p.m. on Carver Street in Dolomite.

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