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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Republic Covers Jena 6 and Role of Afrospear and Black Bloggers

The role of The Afrospear regarding the Jena 6 case is on the minds of many movers and shakers including The New Republic and its readers.

Who Keeps Sharpton and Jackson Powerful? The White Media.

Listen Up!

by Dayo Olopade

By now, the Jena story is familiar: according to press accounts, a black student at the local high school sat under the de facto 'white tree.' After three nooses were hung from the tree in response, a spate of racialized taunts and tension soon escalated into full-on violence. The white noose-makers were given a short school suspension, while, even with recently-reduced charges, Bell and the five others face a combined 130 years in jail.

At the September rally in Jena, Sharpton and his counterpart, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, were the marquee speakers, calling for the dismissal of all charges and railing against the prison "industry". "Mychal Bell, we know you hear us. Hang on a little while longer," Jackson thundered. But the real story was the crowd, assembled by a flood of black activism on the Internet and on black talk radio. Black blogs like AfroSpear, Mirror On America and Prometheus 6 have written reliably on the story for months. As a result, black churches, historically black colleges and universities, and student groups of all stripes were protesting the Jena case as early as March. This brand of organizing was faster to focus on Jena, and its effectiveness far outstripped that of established groups like the NAACP, Sharpton's National Action Network, and Jackson's Rainbow/P.U.S.H. Coalition. The Color of Change, an Internet advocacy group sprung from MoveOn in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, generated an online petition to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco that boasts over 300,000 signatures. In fact, Sharpton admitted to the Chicago Tribune last month that his own knowledge about Jena had come from the black netroots. Read the whole article HERE

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