Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

24Oct/140

Domestic Violence and African American Fathers – Monday, October 27th @ 1 PM Eastern Time

Please join Black Administrators in Child Welfare (BACW) on this coming Monday, October 27th, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time, for this timely and important discussion about the role of fathers in the experience of domestic violence in African American families and communities.

Featured during this discussion will be Dr. Oliver Williams, who is a Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota, and the Executive Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC). Dr. Williams is also a Co-Editor of the book, Parenting by Men Who Batter: New Direction in Assessment and Intervention (available in hardcover and via e-book).

Please share far and wide with others who may also be interested.

Click here to register.

Or click/share the full link: https://www.anymeeting.com/AccountManager/RegEv.aspx?PIID=EB51DA80824B30

Oct 2014 BACW Webinar Flyer - Fathers and DV

22Oct/140

Pennsylvania’s ‘Mumia Bill’ Silences Prisoners – Very Dangerous Implications for American Society At-Large

This is a very dangerous law. As Marc Lamont Hill highlights in the discussion, there should be no competing claims of victim's rights vs. the right of prisoners to speak openly and honestly about their experiences, and to offer their continuing critique of the context and conditions of their incarceration. Moreover, this law has the potential to infringe upon the existing rights of everyday citizens and advocacy organizations to speak out about the same.

Be clear, if prisoners - and others who are concerned about the experience of prisoners - are not able to talk about their experiences, then the public will have very limited information about the imprisonment experience in this country.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law a bill barring prisoners and former offenders from public addresses that may cause "mental anguish" to their alleged victims. Does the bill reinforce victims' rights or infringe on free speech?

Originally aired this afternoon, October 22, 2014 - Via HuffPost Live

Hosted by: 

  • Marc Lamont Hill

Guests:

  • Johanna Fernandez  (New York, NY) History Professor, Baruch College; Writer & Producer, 'Justice On Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal'
  • Vic Walczak (Pittsburgh, PA) Legal Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania

21Oct/140

Bryan Stevenson – One Lawyer’s Fight For Young Blacks And ‘Just Mercy’

Bryan Stevenson discusses his new memoir, Just Mercy, detailing the influences that drove him to a career bringing justice to many that others tend to ignore. This discussion was aired Monday on NPR's Fresh Air (approximately 38 minutes).

When Bryan Stevenson was in his 20s, he lived in Atlanta and practiced law at the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee.

One evening, he was parked outside his apartment listening to the radio, when a police SWAT unit approached his car, shined a light inside and pulled a gun.

They yelled, "Move and I'll blow your head off!" according to Stevenson. Stevenson says the officers suspected him of theft and threatened him — because he is black.

The incident fueled Stevenson's drive to challenge racial bias and economic inequities in the U.S. justice system.

"[It] just reinforced what I had known all along, which is that we have a criminal justice system that treats you better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent," Stevenson tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "The other thing that that incident did for me was just remind me that we have this attitude about people that is sometimes racially shaped — and you can't escape that simply because you go to college and get good grades, or even go to law school and get a law degree."

Stevenson is a Harvard Law School graduate and has argued six cases before the Supreme Court. He won a ruling holding that it is unconstitutional to sentence children to life without parole if they are 17 or younger and have not committed murder.

His new memoir, Just Mercy, describes his early days growing up in a poor and racially segregated settlement in Delaware — and how he came to be a lawyer who represents those who have been abandoned. His clients are people on death row — abused and neglected children who were prosecuted as adults and placed in adult prisons where they were beaten and sexually abused, and mentally disabled people whose illnesses helped land them in prison where their special needs were unmet.

Listen below.  Read more at Fresh Air.

21Oct/140

Young, Gifted, and Black – 1Hood / Jasiri

Words have power. As does the music that carries them. Much appreciation for this collective, spreading positive messages and simultaneously challenging society's stereotypes about Black youth. They are not alone, as this has always been a connecting thread throughout the history of hip hop. Intergenerational wisdom and sharing. We are one.

"Young, Gifted, and Black" featuring Jasiri X, Tyhir Frost, Haze the Kid, and L U C, is the first release from 1Hood, a collective of Hip-Hop artists with a mission to improve self-image, dispel stereotypes, and provide a positive forum of self-expression in a field were African American youth are either underrepresented or misrepresented in media. "Young, Gifted, and Black" was directed by Paradise Gray and Haute Muslim and is featured on 1Hood's upcoming mixtape, "Welcome to Our World".

1Hood Media Academy helps youth critically analyze media messages, broaden media experience, and develop creative skills needed in creating their own media. Our mission is to improve self-image, dispel stereotypes, and provide a positive forum of self-expression. The course will include, though not limited to, Hip Hop lyricism and beat production, the art of blogging, photography, video production, and social media. To find out more information about 1Hood Media, please visit www.1hood.org.

Video posted on Oct 17, 2014

19Oct/141

Leela James – Fall For You

Beautiful in every way...

19Oct/140

Legacy of Racism & White Privilege – John Stewart Challenges Bill O’Reilly and the Myth of American Meritocracy

Fox News host and "Killing Patton" author Bill O'Reilly insists that the American Dream is available to anyone who is honest, gets educated and works hard, regardless of race. In this contentious clip, John Stewart challenges both the man and this long discredited idea, as he pushes Bill O'Reilly to acknowledge his own (and his family's) white privilege.

From Tuesday, October 14, 2014

14Oct/140

Jazz vocalist Al Jarreau

An interview with Al Jarreau... A great jazz musician, and a wise elder, reflecting on the creative musical process, honoring those who we care about who have moved on before us into the ancestral realm, and our collective duty to continue the struggle on behalf of our people.

Jarreau tells why he pays tribute to the artistry of George Duke with his CD, “My Old Friend.”

Multiple Grammy winner Al Jarreau has won the Recording Academy's highest honor in three different categories (jazz, pop and R&B). However, music wasn't always the major force in his life. He excelled in sports and earned a master's degree in vocational rehabilitation. The Wisconsin native began a career as a counselor in San Francisco, but ultimately gave in to his passion for performing, getting his start by moonlighting with a jazz trio led by the late George Duke—to whom he pays tribute with his latest CD, "My Old Friend." Described by Time as "the greatest jazz singer alive," Jarreau tours extensively and is a master in front of a live audience, with his sextet and in symphony shows.

9Oct/140

Support FERGUSON OCTOBER – Every supportive action you take will help!

Everyone can make a difference! Visit Ferguson October to learn more, and to get updates on activities and steps we can all take to push for change.

Ferguson_October_Poster

9Oct/140

St. Louis Teen Vonderrick Myers Killed By Off-Duty Cop – Earlier Tonight

There are conflicting reports about the circumstances, but what we know is that an 18-year old African American child, Vonderrick Myers Jr., was killed by an off-duty St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officer working security in the Shaw area of south St. Louis.

Police officials are reporting that Myers fired on the officer, but witnesses on the scene said Myers was unarmed, and only had a sandwich in his hand. At least two witnesses said the officer tased Myers, and then proceeded to shoot him at least 16 times. They said Myers and three others were returning from a store directly across the street when the off-duty officer - serving as a security guard at the time - approached the group in his car.

Interestingly, several of the eyewitnesses said they had not been approached by any law enforcement officials to get their statements about what they witnessed. And the cops were out there for several hours after the killing, before taking the yellow tape down and opening up the street to the hundreds of protesters who gathered nearby.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

An off-duty city officer fatally shot a man who opened fire on him Wednesday night, police said.

Relatives who came to the scene, however, said the man had been unarmed. They identified the victim as Vonderrick Myers Jr., 18.

Police said the uniformed officer involved was working a secondary job for a private security company when he encountered four pedestrians in the 4100 block of Shaw Boulevard and stopped to talk with them at about 7:30 p.m.

The four fled and the officer chased one, Assistant Chief Alfred Adkins said.

The man the officer was chasing jumped from some bushes and struggled with the officer, Adkins said. The man then pulled a gun and fired at the officer, Adkins said. The officer returned fire and fatally shot the man.

The officer was not injured and a gun was recovered from the scene, police said.

The officer, 32, is a six-year veteran of the police department, Adkins said.

But in the same article, it's clear that multiple descriptions of what happened are emerging...

Teyonna Myers, 23, of Florissant, said Myers was her cousin.

“He was unarmed,” Teyonna Myers said. “He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It’s like Michael Brown all over again.

Jackie Williams, 47, said Myers was his nephew and lived with him in the 4200 block of Castleman, near the shooting scene. He said he had talked to several people who had been with his nephew or saw the shooting.

“My nephew was coming out of a store from purchasing a sandwich. Security was supposedly searching for someone else. They Tased him,” Williams said. “I don’t know how this happened but they went off and shot him 16 times. That’s outright murder.”

It should be noted that the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department had already tweeted its account of what happened within less than two hours of Myers being killed.

I'm sure we'll hear more in the coming hours, days and weeks. In the meantime, folks in the St. Louis area directly, and all of us who care about the lives and well-being of Black children and families, have yet another killing of a Black person at the hands of Missouri law enforcement.

One can only wonder what's going to happen with any attempts to get this officer prosecuted, particularly given the African American community's track-record and current experiences with the St. Louis County prosecutor's office.

Even greater urgency as we approach this weekend's planned awareness-raising, demonstration and protest activities in St. Louis, Ferguson October.

Black lives absolutely matter!

8Oct/140

Police Pepper Spray North Carolina Teen Inside His Own Home, Mistaken for Burglar

Yet another example of a so-called concerned citizen calling the police on a Black person, because they assume they're either out-of-place, involved in some sort of criminal activity, or a combination of both. The start of this chain of events reminds me of those leading up to the August shooting of John Crawford at the Ohio Walmart store.

At some point, individuals in the larger society must also be held accountable - in addition to over-zealous law enforcement officials - for the ways in which Black males and females are profiled, and the harm that comes from their assumptions, stereotypes, etc.

I'm glad DeShawn wasn't harmed any worse than he was, although the effect of this sort of experience will stay with him for many years to come.

The parents of a Wake County high school student are outraged that police pepper-sprayed him inside their home after a neighbor mistook him for an intruder.

It happened Monday afternoon on England Avenue in Fuquay-Varina.

Ricky and Stacy Tyler have fostered 18-year-old DeShawn Currie for about a year. The Tylers, their three young children and DeShawn moved to Fuquay-Varina in July. They said while they're still getting to know their neighbors, it's hurtful someone would assume DeShawn was a burglar just for going about his normal routine of walking home after school.

"He's my baby boy just as much as my other three children are," said Stacy.

She left the side door to their home unlocked Monday for DeShawn, who was coming home early from school.

Fuquay-Varina police said when a neighbor saw DeShawn walk in; they called 911 to report a break-in. Soon, three officers were inside the house, all to DeShawn's surprise.

"They was like, 'Put your hands on the door,'" said DeShawn. "I was like, 'For what? This is my house.' I was like, 'Why are y'all in here?'"

DeShawn said he became angry when officers pointed out the pictures of the Tyler's three younger children on the mantle, assuming he didn't belong there. An argument ensued and DeShawn said one of the officers pepper-sprayed him in the face.

Read the full news story here.

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