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


Eyewitness to Michael Brown shooting recounts his friend’s death


Dorian Johnson, 22, the closest witness to the shooting of Michael Brown on Saturday afternoon, spoke exclusively to MSNBC about the fatal police shooting that claimed his friend's life.

Also see additional coverage by Trymaine Lee at

If history is a good teacher, and it tends to be, there's something really fishy about a police department unwilling to talk with the other young brother that was involved in this encounter, and only closing doors and ranks around the officer involved.

Investigations are neither good nor bad. It's the integrity of the process, and the people involved, that determines whether it's a legitimate and trustworthy endeavor.  Police departments are not independent and autonomous institutions. Officers are employees of the jurisdiction within which they work (and "serve"). Thus, the people within that jurisdiction have every right to be informed about the process as it unfolds.

It's very telling about the leadership in Ferguson, Missouri that the area has turned into something more akin to a "war zone" with the African American community under siege, than a space where a community can come together to achieve some truth and justice.

One is left to wonder whether there are any adults in leadership positions within Ferguson or the surrounding St. Louis area with an ounce of humanity, compassion and understanding.

For that matter, the same can be asked relative  to the sheer absence of public outrage by whites about what's happened, and what continues to happen. That's telling as well.

As for those of us who care, we have to stay the course and bring justice to our families and community.



The Lived Reality and Injury of Racism: Past and Present Conditions that Justify Reparations

The following series of videos comes from yesterday's Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC.

The departure point for the discussion is the analysis presented in Ta-Nehisi Coates' article in The Atlantic, The Case for Reparations.  It's certainly the case that every few years someone or organization picks up the microphone to continue the decades-long public discussion of reparations for the crimes and injuries inflicted on the African American community. In this latest article, Coates reviews the historical record to make the case once again.

One thing different about this analysis is that he's not focusing on slavery in making the case (although that is certainly the historical backdrop); he's primarily pointing out that the injuries of white racism directed against people of African ancestry in this country continued for decades after the end of slavery - and have largely been directed by or facilitated by federal government policy. These policies are directly responsible for the conditions we experience today - both as an African American community and as an entire nation.

The major point we need to keep in mind as we keep up the fight... "The underlying source of the problem is not poverty, it's racism!"


Black Males and the Politics of Philanthropy

Interesting and brief exchange with Damon Hewitt, Imani Perry and Jelani Cobb talking about the relative strengths and politics undergirding President Obama's newly announced My Brother's Keeper initiative.