Reflections on Black History Month

march on washington

Carol Lutness: This is not just a struggle for the African American. It is a struggle for all but the very few. Never was there a greater crisis than we all face now economically, politically and environmentally.

A Mother and Son Talk About Race in America

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Mom: Why do you think Martin Luther King made all those speeches? He would have accomplished nothing by not talking about race and the situation they were in. Son: Because 50 some-odd years ago the issue was awareness. Mom: The issue is still awareness, trust me.

From Behind Bars to Law School

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Bruce Reilly: I came to New Orleans knowing but a few criminal justice activists, legal professionals, and some friends of friends. It was good to have folks who knew I had spent twelve years locked in prison.

Our Fellow Felons

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Hannah Petrie: Even though the rates of drug-dealing and drug-using occurs equally among different races – (think weed here) whites deal to whites, blacks deal to blacks, Hispanics to Hispanics – it’s the people of color who get busted. And once you’re labeled a felon – and denied access to employment, housing, and other rights — your chances of returning to a straight and normal life are extremely low. It is a system designed to keep felons felons.

Rape Is Not Natural

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Nikki Junker: Scott Adams, the creator of the popular comic “Dilbert” made insensitive hurtful statements. Speaking as a rape victim I ask what message is he sending to impressionable young men? Go ahead and rape that girl you want to sleep with… it’s natural

Home: A Former Sex Worker’s Dream

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Nikki Junker: I think we are making leaps and bounds in getting many of these girls out of the situations that they are in. Out of the hands of their pimps and a life of being trafficked, but now the question where do we go from here?

Sticks and Stones

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Rev. Jim Nelson: It is about power, power over. All slurs are meant to demean and to wound, to rob a person or a people of their humanity. Whether it is calling those on the left socialists or those on the right fascists, name-calling divides and wounds; it provokes rather than promotes.

“My Daddy Is a Presbyterian Preacher”

Berry Craig: My town — and many more like it across the South and in border states like Kentucky — was deeply divided by the color bar. I didn’t see it because it didn’t affect me. Before meeting Cecil Horton, black people were invisible to me, as in the title of Ralph Ellison’s famous novel.

A Smeller for the Empire: Gimbling in the Wabe

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Gary Corseri: My house is foreclosed on, my job is outsourced, and my wife runs away with a banker. So…,I figure there’s nothing left to do but pack up the old mini-van, head on down to New Orleans and start a new life as a singer of blues. My border collie, Woof, rides shotgun, his handsome muzzle sticking part way out the window.

Does Protecting Our Children Mean Political Action For Them And For Us?

Marian Wright Edelman

Paul Loeb: Particularly in these difficult times, we often use our children as reasons to avoid getting involved in critical issues. We’ve got all we can handle holding on to our jobs and spending a little time with them. We fear political commitments will make their lives more insecure. Especially when they’re young, it may be all we can do just to go to work, come home, pay attention to their needs, and catch a few scarce hours of sleep. Yet when we do find ways to get engaged, our children can give us powerful reasons to act.

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