One of the enduring debates since the enslavement of Africans in the American colonies has been the extent to which well-meaning whites can appropriate Black suffering and be a true participant in our liberation. From the roots of the abolitionist movement to the Niagara Movement, and subsequent founding of the interracial National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to the Civil Rights Movement, the issue of ‘white intention’ has been a point of conflict not only between purportedly liberal whites and Blacks, but within the Black community.
[caption id="attachment_25346" align="alignleft"]stockvault.net[/caption]Whenever I have an opportunity to rejoin the transformational activities of the civil rights organization that was founded and led by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I am always eager to participate. Such was the case July 23 in Baton Rouge, La. The occasion was the 57th annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and I had been invited to participate as part of a panel on criminal justice reform.
The Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed an ordinance designed to protect our youth from the harms of flavored tobacco. This ordinance removes cheap, flavored tobacco such as cigars and cigarillos from convenience stores and increases the price of these products to $2.60 each. Previously, these products were available for as little as two for a mere 88 cents. Cheap and attractive to our youth!
[caption id="attachment_25278" align="alignleft"]L to R: E’Darrius Smith, Jermaine Simmons and Aijalon “AJ” Morris[/caption]What’s on the minds of many high school students these days—the start of a new school year, getting a driver’s license, worrying whether they’ll make the team, perhaps daydreaming about college and sweating over SAT exams? But that’s not what three Black male high school students told a Children’s Defense Fund audience this summer they’re thinking and worrying about.
Horace Julian Bond was born Jan. 14, 1940 in Nashville, Tenn. into a family of privilege. His father, Horace Mann Bond, was a noted educator who served as president of Fort Valley State University in Georgia, where such notables as W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson were frequent guests.
“Many people see this situation escalating, and I think it shows the frustration that many minority communities feel when they feel that, you know, maybe it wouldn’t have escalated in a different community. I hope that that can bring this situation to light as well, so that people understand the frustration that many minority members feel when they’re stopped by the police.”
– United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, July 2015
After three days of peaceful demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s fatal shooting in Ferguson, Mo., yet another African American man was shot by police there. While the facts are still unclear, the tragedy will surely add to the national protests challenging our racially biased structures of criminal injustice
Thursday, Aug. 6, marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the organization co-founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will hold a Call to Action Rally at 9 a.m. on Thursday at the Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall.
[caption id="attachment_25116" align="alignleft"]stockvault.net[/caption]Our history is for decades we humiliated people of color. For decades we excluded people of color. For decades we shamed and burdened and beat people of color. – Bryan Stevenson, founder and president of the Equal Justice Initiative, and author of Just Mercy