In the summer of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the closing remarks at the March on Washington. More than 200,000 people gathered to cast a national spotlight on and mobilize resistance to Jim Crow, racist laws and policies that disenfranchised black Americans and mandated segregated housing, schools, and employment. Today, more than 50 years later, remnants of Jim Crow segregation persist in the form of mass incarceration—the imprisonment of millions of Americans, overwhelmingly and disproportionately black adults, in local, state, and federal prisons.
To read more Click or Copy Link below:
You Might also like
By Elliot Booker — 2 years ago
JONESTOWN, Miss. (AP) — Otibehia Allen is a single mother who lives in a rented mobile home in the same isolated, poor community where she grew up among the cotton and soybean fields of the Mississippi Delta.
During a summer that feels like a sauna, the trailer’s air conditioner has conked out. Some nights, Allen and her five children find cooler accommodations with friends and relatives. Other nights, they sleep in the trailer with box fans circulating the stuffy air.
Allen works 30 hours a week as a data entry clerk and transportation dispatcher for a medical clinic, pulling in barely over minimum wage. She doesn’t own a car, and public transportation is not widely available. To get from home in Jonestown to work or even to go grocery shopping about 13 miles (21 kilometers) away in Clarksdale, Allen often pays people for a ride — sometimes $20 a pop.
“It’s not easy raising five children alone,” Allen said, fighting back tears. “No, you didn’t ask me to have them, true. So, I chose to. So that means I’m responsible for these people.”
Fifty years ago, Democratic Sens. Robert F. Kennedy of New York and Joe Clark of Pennsylvania toured the Delta and saw ramshackle houses and starving children.
Curtis Wilkie was a young reporter covering the senators’ tour for a Delta newspaper, the Clarksdale Press Register.
At one stop, Wilkie recalled, “There was a little infant in a dirty diaper crawling around on the floor and eating rice — grains of rice that were on the floor that were dirty. … Kennedy knelt by the child and didn’t say a word, was stroking the little child’s cheeks and his forehead.”
Wilkie said the trip had an enormous impact on Kennedy, whose eyes welled with tears at the sight of the child: “No question that once he got back to Washington, he became a more passionate advocate for rural people.”
Kennedy ran for president in 1968. Moments after winning the California primary, he was assassinated.
Mississippi’s second-term Republican governor, Phil Bryant, was born to a blue-collar family in the Delta in 1954. He frequently says he doesn’t want people to be dependent on government. Under his tenure, Mississippi’s been one of 19 states rejecting expansion of Medicaid, the federal and state health insurance program for the poor, under the health care law signed by former President Barack Obama.
Although opportunities have improved in the past 50 years, the Delta remains one of the most deprived regions In most Delta counties, it’s 30 to 40 percent.
Kennedy and Clark win the U.S. The national poverty rate is about 15 percent; it’s 22 percent for Mississippi.ere accompanied to the Delta in 1967 by Marian Wright, a young civil rights lawyer working in Mississippi. In 1973, after she married and added to her name, Marian Wright Edelman founded Children’s Defense Fund, a national group that advocates for social services for the poor.
Edelman recently returned to Mississippi to examine how poverty continues shaping lives of people like Allen, the 32-year-old single mother. Both Edelman and Allen said they worry the Trump administration will cut social services that help the poor.
Allen’s children, 9 to 14, are covered by Medicaid. She got a raise a few months ago — 40 cents an hour, just enough to make her lose her own Medicaid coverage. Her back and arms are in constant pain, but she won’t see a doctor.
“I don’t want to make a bill that I can’t pay,” Allen said.
Dr. Barbara Ricks, a 49-year-old pediatrician, grew up poor in the Delta. Her family received food stamps; she attended Head Start and paid for college with scholarships and jobs.
She has practiced medicine since 1999 in Greenville, one of the larger Delta cities — population 31,500.
Ricks said about 95 percent of her patients are on Medicaid, some from small, rural communities 40 or 50 miles away because there are few clinics closer to home. She said patients from financially stable households generally are in better health than those living in poverty, who often deal with stress, obesity and diabetes.
Concealing names to protect privacy, she said one of her patients is an 11-year-old boy with asthma who lives with his grandmother because his mom, single and unemployed, is overwhelmed raising his five younger siblings. He’s been hospitalized because his grandmother, who also cares for an adult relative, leaves him “minimally supervised” and misses regular asthma treatments, the doctor said.
Ricks said another patient is an infant whose mother is a 15-year-old student. Though the mother intends to go to college, she sometimes misses days or weeks of class to care for her baby.
“Poverty is a social problem, but it’s also a medical problem,” Ricks said. “These kids have so many things working against them. And, although poor outcomes are expected, we should not accept it.”Post Views: 202
By Elliot Booker — 3 years ago
I SPEAK OF FREEDOM, 1961
For centuries, Europeans dominated the African continent. The white man arrogated to himself the right to rule and to be obeyed by the non-white; his mission, he claimed, was to “civilise” Africa. Under this cloak, the Europeans robbed the continent of vast riches and inflicted unimaginable suffering on the African people.
All this makes a sad story, but now we must be prepared to bury the past with its unpleasant memories and look to the future.All we ask of the former colonial powers is their goodwill and co-operation to remedy past mistakes and injustices and to grant independence to the colonies in Africa….
It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems, and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.
Although most Africans are poor, our continent is potentially extremely rich. Our mineral resources, which are being exploited with foreign capital only to enrich foreign investors, range from gold and diamonds to uranium and petroleum. Our forests contain some of the finest woods to be grown anywhere. Our cash crops include cocoa, coffee, rubber, tobacco and cotton. As for power, which is an important factor in any economic development, Africa contains over 40% of the potential water power of the world, as compared with about 10% in Europe and 13% in North America. Yet so far, less than 1% has been developed. This is one of the reasons why we have in Africa the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty, and scarcity in the midst of abundance.
Never before have a people had within their grasp so great an opportunity for developing a continent endowed with so much wealth. Individually, the independent states of Africa, some of them potentially rich, others poor, can do little for their people. Together, by mutual help, they can achieve much. But the economic developmentof the continent must be planned and pursued as a whole. A loose confederation designed only for economic co-operation would notprovide the necessary unity of purpose. Only a strong political union can bring about full and effective development of our natural resources for the benefit of our people.
The political situation in Africa today is heartening and at the same time disturbing. It is heartening to see so many new flags hoisted in place of the old; it is disturbing to see so many countries of varying sizes and at different levels of development, weakand, in some cases, almost helpless. If this terrible state of fragmentation is allowed to continue it may well be disastrous for us all.
There are at present some 28 states in Africa, excluding the Union of South Africa, and those countries not yet free. No less than nine of these states have a population of less than three million.Can we seriously believe that the colonial powers meant these countries to be independent, viable states? The example of South America, which has as much wealth, if not more than North America, and yet remains weak and dependent on outside interests, is one which every African would do well to study.
Critics of African unity often refer to the wide differences in culture, language and ideas in various parts of Africa. This istrue, but the essential fact remains that we are all Africans, and have a common interest in the independence of Africa. The difficulties presented by questions of language, culture and different political systems are not insuperable. If the need for political union is agreed by us all, then the will to create it is born;and where there’s a will there’s a way.
The present leaders of Africa have already shown a remarkable willingness to consult and seek advice among themselves. Africans have, indeed, begun to think continentally. They realise that they have much in common, both in their past history, in their present problems and in their future hopes. To suggest that the time is not yet ripe for considering a political union of Africa is to evade the facts and ignore realities in Africa today.
The greatest contribution that Africa can make to the peace of the world is to avoid all the dangers inherent in disunity, by creating a political union which will also by its success, standas an example to a divided world. A Union of African states will project more effectively the African personality. It will command respect from a world that has regard only for size and influence.The scant attention paid to African opposition to the French atomic tests in the Sahara, and the ignominious spectacle of the U.N. in the Congo quibbling about constitutional niceties while the Republic was tottering into anarchy, are evidence of the callous disregard of African Independence by the Great Powers.
We have to prove that greatness is not to be measured in stockpiles of atom bombs. I believe strongly and sincerely that with the deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives, the intense humanity that is our heritage, the African race, united under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind.
The emergence of such a mighty stabilising force in this strife-worn world should be regarded not as the shadowy dream of a visionary, but as a practical proposition, which the peoples of Africa can, and should, translate into reality. There is a tide in the affairs of every people when the moment strikes for political action. Such was the moment in the history of the United States of America when the Founding Fathers saw beyond the petty wranglings of the separate states and created a Union. This is our chance. We must act now. Tomorrow may be too late and the opportunity will have passed, and with it the hope of free Africa’s survival.
From Kwame Nkrumah, I Speak of Freedom: A Statement of African Ideology (1961)
Post Views: 241
By Elliot Booker — 2 years ago
“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 12/24/2017 at 7:00 PM (EST) 6:00 PM (CST) guest was Author, Prof. of Political Science and Director of African American Studies at the University of San Francisco, Prof. James Lance Taylor. The discussion centered on the claim that the 60’s Civil Rights Leaders intentionally made the wrong decision in going after social issues instead of moving to improve the community’s economic problems, along with related topics with our guest.Post Views: 186