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News Flash

African American Inmates Sue Prison Company for endangering their lives


Four California inmates are suing the nation’s largest private prison company for allegedly endangering their lives.

The inmates were sent to North Fork Correctional Facility in Western Oklahoma as part of California’s efforts to ease prison overcrowding.

From Allgov:

The plaintiffs, all African-Americans, claim Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) put them at risk by housing them and other black inmates in the same wing with Hispanic gang members. All 2,400 prisoners at the North Fork Correctional Facility in Western Oklahoma are from California, which shipped them there in 2007 after then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed an executive order designed to alleviate overcrowding in the state’s prison system.But in October 2011, a riot broke out at North Fork as Hispanic prisoners attacked black inmates.

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Clip of the Day

45 years ago today: The famous Olympic Games black power salute


Tommie Smith and John Carlos made history at the Olympics in 1968.

As the pair accepted the gold and bronze medals in the 200m, they silently raised a gloved hand as the American National Anthem played during the ceremony.

Dressed in black socks and no shoes with Smith adorned in a black scarf, this was more than a victory for a game. It was a silent symbol, a protest in opposition of continued discrimination against black people in the country.

While they were booed by many in the crowd, Smith and Carlos knew who would understand. 

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Featured Post
[photo of Aaron]
By Aaron
All posts by Aaron »

Beyond Boys and Girls Lines: Raising Black Children Radically

I am no stranger to the ways in which even young children already become socialized into society’s boxes. But my recent experiences working in a kindergarten classroom have me directly shouldering the burden of interrupting the ideological constraints that this world traps children within. Currently in the midst of my student teaching, working with five year olds, most days I find myself in serious awe of how they manage to condense the big ideas of the world into small questions. Already, they are seeing themselves as little beings in the world, and they make sense of their realities through their constant questioning. I’m forever inundated with why why…

However, making sense of themselves in the world means that they are already keen to the ways in which society delineates space for them. The ways in which society puts them in boxes, and makes them operate according to the laws and rules of the box. One box that comes up continually, and admittedly sometimes I find myself infuriated at its presence, is that of gender.  Already, in scarcely five years of thinking and feeling, many of the students, have already begun turning their questions into conclusions at best and insults at worst:

“Boys don’t wear pink.”

“Ugh, your braids are long like a girl’s!”

“Mr. Talley, tell him only girls use purple crayons!”

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News Flash

KKK begs officials to keep school named after racist leader

A couple of weeks ago, we reported about a petition aiming to change the name of a school named after a KKK founder.

Now, a Ku Klux Klan chapter in Florida is protesting the effort.

The school, Nathan Bedford Forrest High School was named after a Confederate general who helped found the hate group.

Omotayo Richmond, whose daughter attends the school, started the petition.

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News Flash

University of Virginia students still struggle with banned financial aid program

A few weeks ago, students gathered in protest of the recent changes to the University of Virginia’s AccessUVa financial aid program.

Over the summer, the board voted to abolish all-grant financial aid and replace portions of that aid with federally subsidized loans.

William Profitt is a 4th year student at the University. He says that the move hurts people of color. “This terrible decision will disproportionately hurt low-income individuals, who are disproportionately minority students. Sadly, said individuals will be denied access to this particular institution of learning due to their inability to afford the tuition.”

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News Flash

Pastor embraces marriage equality


Pastor Jamie B. Frazier believes that church is supposed to be a safe, welcoming space for everyone. That’s why he started the Lighthouse Church of Chicago.

Located in the South Loop, the church promotes marriage equality, and preaches the message that marriage is a sacred covenant meant for all people with love in their hearts.

From Chicago Pride:

“I think of the stories of the people in my congregation who have said things like for the first time I see myself in the Bible, for the first time I feel like I’m actually at home, for the first time I’m in a spiritual place where I can feel like I can bring my full and total self to the room, for the first time I feel like I’m actually loved by God,” he said.

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Featured Post

Graduation Part II: Vanette W

I met Vanette in the spring of 2013 at Street Level Youth Media.  I was immediately impressed and inspired by her deep passion for youth development and addressing social issues that affect Chicago youth. Through discussion with Vanette about the Chicago Public School system, homeless students, and youth violence, it was apparent that at the age of 17 she possessed a maturity level far beyond her years. Vanette spoke about violence from the perspective of a CPS student and youth educator. She is a student teacher with the Chicago Urban Teaching Academy, a program that started at her high school in 2010.

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News Flash

Child who away on plane placed in child protection services


The boy’s father and a family friend during a press conference a few days ago.

A 9-year-old boy was removed from his family after his father pleaded for help with the boy on national television.

Minnesota District Judge Joseph Klein declared the boy a “child in need of protection or services.” He also ordered therapy for the boy and his parents while officials determine what kind of help the boy needs.

From Huffington Post:

Exactly where the boy is staying was left unclear. The judge and attorneys referred only to an “out-of-home placement” and did not discuss when he might return home. After the hearing, county officials declined to be more specific, saying simply that the boy was safe. Attorneys for the parents and the boy did not object to the arrangement.

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News Flash

Should a street be named after Notorious B.I.G.?


LeRoy McCarthy’s quest to have a corner in Brooklyn named after legendary emcee Notorious B.I.G. has hit a bit of a stumbling block.

The council members who have the power to grant or deny McCarthy’s request have several issues with naming a street after the slain rapper.

After reviewing Notorious B.I.G.’s history, CB2 committee member Lucy Koteen read what she learned to the full board Tuesday night.

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News Flash

Cory Booker elected to US Senate becoming state’s first black senator


Former Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker has been unofficially elected to the state’s Senate.

In a special election, the Democrat beat Republican contender Steve Lonegan.

Booker is the state’s first black U.S. senator to be elected.

From Reuters:

Booker, a Rhodes scholar and Yale Law school graduate, rocketed to fame as a booster for the state’s largest city, 12 miles from Manhattan, which has struggled with poverty and persistently high crime. His first run for mayor was documented in the Oscar-nominated film “Street Fight.” Booker is known to rub shoulders with celebrities and is a near-constant presence on Twitter. 

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