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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

'Paid in Full's' Pat Porter & the NYC Board of Ed Will Honor the Late Donnell Porter With a Plaque

Donnell and Richard Porter

Over three decades have passed since Harlem was shaken up by the murders of Richard Porter and his younger brother, William "Donnell" Porter. The Porter brothers died weeks apart in January 1990, making it difficult for the family to process the shock of it all. At the time of his death, Donnell was 12 years old, the youngest of his mother, Velma Porter's children. Their untimely deaths left their mother with one living child, Patricia Porter.

Those who are genuinely familiar with the story of Richard and Donnell are also familiar with the stories of Patricia Porter, Azie Faison, and Alpo Martinez. Their connection to each other and the circumstances surrounding the lives of everyone mentioned were compelling enough that Azie convinced Hollywood to make a movie based on their lives, which resulted in the 2002 movie Paid in Full. The release of Paid in Full was monumental in its own right and encouraged urban culture to further idolize and incorporate Azie, Alpo, and Rich into music, fashion, and entertainment even more than they were before the film. However, the memory of young Donnell is rarely mentioned and, over the years, has not been held in the same regard.

The Porter Family (Clockwise)-Velma (mother), Donnell, Richard, Lorrell (Pat Porter & Azie's Faison's daughter), and Pat

Yet, according to recent news, Donnell's family and community will have the chance to celebrate him soon. In February 2023, New York's Board of Education voted to memorialize Donnell with a plaque at P.S. 92 Mary Mcleod Bethune School. The Porter family has also petitioned the city to co-name the corner of W. 132nd Street/Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in Harlem to William Donnell Porter Way. A Go-Fund-Me is in place to accept donations towards the plaque.

Pat Porter, now the head of the Porter family, has had minimal involvement with the media over the years. Yet, after the murder of Alpo Martinez on Halloween 2021, she opened up to VladTV to explain her reality after losing both of her siblings, especially Donnell. She explained, "I'm still broken 'cause they keep talking about Richard, and they keep talking about him (Alpo), and Donnell has completely disappeared in this...Richard and everybody else was dealt a hand; they played it. Donnell was a child." When VladTV asked Pat how Donnell's death impacted her, she explained, "It dragged me, it dragged me, only because Richard was a young man, Richard was a strong man. He had his own way of thinking. He had his own mind; he made his own decisions. He did a lot for himself at a very young age; he's gone places, he's done things, he produced children. Donnell was a baby!… And taking him was enough for us, but then y'all actually killed him. Like, what could he have done to deserve that at 12 years old?"

The passing of Donnell appeared to be the most complex death for the family to process, especially after discovering that a relative played a role in his disappearance. But when asked where she stood with Alpo's murder (Alpo was Richard's friend who said he killed Rich for stealing from him), Pat explained, "I was just relieved to know that that part is over for me with him and my brother Richard. But I want to be clear, like I hated the fact that people were saying we celebrated his death. We were celebrating our peace. It's a difference.

Alpo expressed in several interviews during his incarceration that killing Rich was his biggest regret. He also briefly shared his feelings about his transgressions in life with Volume 82, months before his death. It was rumored that he hoped for the chance to apologize to Pat and clear the air for taking Rich's life, but no such conversation ever took place. They never crossed paths in Harlem before his death...

For more stories, subscribe to To donate to Donnell's memorial plaque, click here.

RELATED: Click here to read Volume 82 Magazine's conversation with Alpo Martinez. To read Azie Faison's interview, click here.



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