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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jena 6 Are Free!

Finally, true justice for the Jena 6! It's been a long time since our first jena 6 - day of blogging for justice. But, it was was all worth it, the momentum had built for many years. Now, as reported by blogger, Electronic Village: Jena 6 are Free.

Bloggers like Francis L. Holland, Sylvia, Yobachi, Shawn Williams, Bronze Trinity, Pam, Brandon, DP, Vanessa, thin Black Duke, AverageBro, Reidblog and so many afro spear bloggers, should be celebrating a long journey to free these brothers. Let's not forget Howard Witt over at the Chicago Tribune who has written extensively on the Jena 6.

No black-and-white answers
Plea deal arranged for teen in Jena 6
News media win suit to open Jena 6 case
Judge says he'll open Jena trial to public
Questions about Jena case funds
Tribune, other media firms file motion to end Jena trial secrecy
House panel demands answers in Jena case
Jena 6 teen's return to jail draws queries
Jena 6 defendant out of jail
White supremacist backlash builds over Jena case
Jena 6 teen is denied release
Protesters pack racially tense town

For marchers, destination Jena
Blogs help drive Jena protest
Appeals court overturns 'Jena 6' conviction
Part of 'Jena 6' conviction dropped; charges reduced
Louisiana teen guilty in school beating case
Charge reduced in 'Jena 6' case
Racial demons rear heads

Let us not forget the many
Bloggers who helped drive Jena protest. Hey, and how about the groups The Color of Change, and The Friends of Justice. Congratulations! There were also newspapers like the Chicago Sun Times who covered the issue too.

JENA, La. —- Five members of the Jena Six pleaded no contest Friday to misdemeanor simple battery and won’t serve jail time, ending a case that thrust a small Louisiana town into the national spotlight and sparked a massive civil rights demonstration.

The five, standing quietly surrounded by their lawyers, were sentenced to seven days unsupervised probation and fined $500. It was a far less severe end to their cases than seemed possible when the six students were initially charged with attempted murder in the 2006 attack on Justin Barker, a white classmate. They became known as the “Jena Six,” after the central Louisiana town where the beating happened.

As part of the deal, one of the attorneys read a statement from the five defendants —- all of whom are black —- in which they said they knew of nothing Barker had done to provoke the attack.

“To be clear, not one of us heard Justin use any slur or say anything that justified Mychal Bell attacking Justin nor did any of us see Justin do anything that would cause Mychal to react,” the statement said.

By pleading no contest, the five do not admit guilt but acknowledge prosecutors had enough evidence for a conviction.

Charges against Carwin Jones, Jesse Ray Beard, Robert Bailey Jr., Bryant Purvis and Theo Shaw had previously been reduced from attempted murder to aggravated second-degree battery.

The only member of the group to serve jail time was Bell, who pleaded guilty in December 2007 to second-degree battery and was sentenced to 18 months. More HERE

AAPP It's not over yet folks. As many of us have pointed out on many ocassions, black folks are getting tasered to death in America.



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson, the child star turned King of Pop - Dead at 50

Michael Jackson has died - Call 911... he's not breathing...

Oh My God, as reported by Reuters news service - Michael Jackson, the child star turned King of Pop who set the world dancing but whose musical genius was overshadowed by a bizarre lifestyle and sex scandals, died on Thursday. He was 50.

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Jackson was pronounced dead at about 2:26 p.m. PDT (5:26 EDT) after arriving at a Los Angeles hospital in full cardiac arrest, said Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office. The cause of death was not known and an autopsy would likely take place on Friday, he said.

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Jackson's sudden death had been reported earlier by U.S. media, which said he was taken ill at his home and rushed to the hospital by paramedics who found him not breathing when they arrived.

Known as the "King of Pop," for hits that included "Thriller" and "Billie Jean," Jackson's dramatic, one-gloved stage presence and innovative dance moves were imitated by legions of fans around the world.

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He transformed music videos and his lifetime record sales tally is believed to be around 750 million, which, added to the 13 Grammy Awards he received, made him one of the most successful entertainers of all time.

But Jackson's belief that "I am Peter Pan in my heart", his preference for the company of children, his friendship with a chimp, his high-pitched voice and numerous plastic surgeries also earned him critics and the nickname "Wacko Jacko."

Jackson, who had lived as a virtual recluse since his acquittal in 2005 on charges of child molestation, had been scheduled to launch a comeback tour from London next month.

Quincy Jones, who helped arrange the music on the album "Thriller" and produced the "Off the Wall" album, told MSNBC: "I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news."

"For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."

SOLD-OUT SHOWS

Jackson had been due to start a series of concerts in London on July 13 running until March 2010. The singer had been rehearsing in the Los Angeles area for the past two months. The shows for the 50 London concerts sold out within minutes of going on sale in March. People from Africa and around the world are paying tribute to the King of Pop.


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"Rarely has the world received a gift with the magnitude of artistry, talent, and vision as Michael Jackson," said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Recording Academy in a statement.

More HERE



Michael Jackson performs at Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. (AP)


Monday, June 22, 2009

Apology For Slavery?

Cynthia Gordy writes a great article on Essence OnLine regarding the U.S. Senate's bogus apology for slavery.


Photo, Congresswoman Maxine Waters


Cynthia Gordy writes: With a unanimous vote last week, the United States Senate passed a resolution formally apologizing for the enslavement and segregations of African-Americans. The strongly-worded resolution, which comes 144 years after the Civil War and 45 years after the Civil Rights Act, describes "the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow laws," and states that Congress "apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors." It now moves to the House.

Speaking from the Senate floor about the apology, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, who first introduced the resolution, remarked that former presidents have acknowledged slavery. While traveling in Uganda, President Bill Clinton expressed regret for America's role in the slave trade, and President George W. Bush called it "one of the great crimes of history" when he visited Goree Island off the coast of Senegal. "Yet, this Congress has never offered a formal apology for slavery and Jim Crow, and it's long past due," Harkin said. "A national apology by the representative body of the people is a necessary collective response to a past collective injustice."

The resolution ends, though, with a disclaimer saying that it does not support or authorize any claim against the United States. In other words: We're sorry. But that doesn't mean you're going to get anything for it. It's a stipulation that has concerned some African-American lawmakers in the House of Represenatatives.

"I think that was unnecessary as part of the Senate resolution," says Congressman William Lacy Clay, who says he otherwise welcomes the gesture. "But I understand the politics of it. The way they were able to get it voted through the Senate was to have that disclaimer so that anyone, with guilt on their conscience, could not object."

Congresswoman Maxine Waters holds a similar outlook. "There is some discomfort with the disclaimer provision in the Senate resolution," she says, but adds that she's confident that it does not rule out pending reparations efforts, such as Congressman John Conyers's proposal for a commission to study reparation proposals for African-Americans. "In short, this is an apology bill and not a reparations bill."

There is, however, a historic precedent to reparations paid by the U.S. government. The 1988 Congressional apology to Japanese-Americans for internment during World War II, for example, was followed by about $1.6 billion in reparations that were given to victims of internment and their heirs. The government has also paid reparations to some of descendants of Native Americans. So, is an apology to African-Americans without accountability enough? Read More HERE

Let' talk about this issue on AA Political Pundit's Political Slugfest on BlogTalkRadio.

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