Breaking News

When the past is present…


St. Louis Neighborhood Erupts Following Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting

By Mariah Stewart, the Huffington Post and Rebecca Rivas, The St. Louis American

Heavily armed police deployed tear gas into a North St. Louis City residential neighborhood Wednesday night in an attempt to quell protests that incited after city police shot and killed an 18-year-old black man, Mansur Bell-Bey.skirmish_line

Police made nine arrests at the protest, seven men and two women. All were charged with impeding the flow of traffic, and one woman was charged with resisting arrest.

At around 11:30 a.m., St. Louis city police were executing a search warrant at a home on Walton Road near Page Avenue in the Fountain Park neighborhood. Two black men ran out the back, both armed, police said. Two officers were waiting in the alley and one of the suspects pointed his gun at police, according to police. The officers then shot and killed Ball-Bey…

Soon after the incident, people gathered peacefully in the street, though tensions were high and the community was frustrated. A few bellowed protest chants and some blocked the intersection…

Around 3 p.m., a militarized police vehicle arrived with police in riot gear, according to activist Tony Rice, who posted photos on Twitter and remained at the site throughout the evening.

At that point, police were able to coral the crowd onto the sidewalks, said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson in a press briefing Wednesday night. Police made two arrests, and “peace was restored,” he said.

However, the two arrests angered the crowd, especially because the second man arrested appeared to be a senior citizen. The crowd also did not understand why the armed vehicles and men were present, some told the St. Louis American…

Some individuals threw rocks, bricks and water bottles at police officers, Dotson said. According to a video the police released, police formed a uniform line to protect themselves.

After the crowd refused to disperse, Dotson said, “smoke was used, like you see at the Fourth of July.” Then they teargassed the area. Rice tweeted that they did not give warnings before the teargas, and some individuals were sitting on their porches…protest_fire

At around noon that day, people had gathered downtown for a march and vigil for Kajieme Powell, a 25-year-old who was fatally shot by St. Louis Police exactly one year before.

Protest organizer Kayla Reed and other attendees of the vigil, left their demonstration in front of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce’s office to arrive on the scene at the intersection of Page and Walton.

At the vigil, she said, “I sincerely believe St. Louis was chosen for everything to happen here because of the racial divide in this region and because it’s in the heart of the country.”

Read the full article here.

Read more Breaking News here.




Black Lives Matter videos, Clinton campaign reveal details of meeting

By Dan Merica, CNN

Hillary Clinton and Black Lives Matter activists had a frank and at times tense discussion last week behind closed doors, and thanks to video released Monday, the American public is now hearing exactly what the two sides said to each other.

Throughout the 15-minute conversation, Clinton disagreed with the three activists from Black Lives Matter who had planned to publicly press the 2016 candidate on issues on mass incarceration at an event earlier this month in Keene, New Hampshire.

The 2016 candidate even gave suggestions to the activists, telling them that without a concrete plan their movement will get nothing but “lip service.”…

Clinton met with the Black Lives Matter members on Aug. 11 after the group of activists were not allowed into the presidential candidate’s forum on substance abuse. The protesters showed up shortly before the event started and, according to the Clinton campaign, were not allowed into the main event because the room has been shut down by the local fire marshal. A Secret Service agent told CNN at the time that they had also closed the door on any more people coming into the event.

But the Clinton campaign reached out to the would-be protesters and set up time for them to meet Clinton after the event in an overflow room. Media was initially going to be let in, but the activists asked for the event not to be recorded, so Clinton’s team never pressed the issue with them, according to a campaign spokesman.

The activists filmed the encounter and released the video in two parts on Monday night. The Clinton campaign also provided CNN with a transcript of the exchange.

The activists, led by Daunasia Yancey, founder of Black Lives Matter in Boston, pressed Clinton on her family’s role in promoting “white supremacist violence against communities of color.”

Clinton acknowledged during the conversation that laws put into place by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, did not work out as planned. But Clinton also told the protesters that she was “not sure” she agreed with the activists that her husband’s policies were racist.

“I do think that a lot of what was tried and how it was implemented has not produced the kinds of outcomes that any of us would want,” she said. “But I also believe that there are systemic issues of race and justice that go deeper than any particular law.”

The activists did not appear to be won over by their conversation with Clinton.

Yancey told reporters earlier this month that she never heard “a reflection on (Clinton’s) part in perpetuating white supremacist violence” and that Clinton “gave the answer she wanted to give.”…

Julius Jones, founder of Black Lives Matter Worcester, said that activists look forward to discussing their concerns with other presidential candidates in the future.

“Each one is being made to offer their racial analysis in the United States,” he said. “We require that they have an understanding of to that list we need to strongly add analysis because we live in a pluralistic society.”…

Read the full article here.

Read more Breaking News here.


Remembering Julian Bond: “The Best of the Black Freedom Struggle”

Bond’s colleagues look back on the activist’s place in civil rights history.

By , HuffPost Live

Iconic civil rights activist Julian Bond died on Saturday, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the fight for racial equality and human rights. He was 75.

From his role as co-founder of the influential Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to his tenure as president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Bond left an undeniable impression on the country and particularly his colleagues, who held the same vision of equality.

Watch a brief biographic sketch of Julian Bond:

Fellow civil rights leaders joined HuffPost Live on Monday and paid tribute to the late activist (see video below). As Princeton University professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. recalled, Bond exemplified the “best of the black freedom struggle,” a quality for which he will be remembered for decades to come.


More Breaking News here.


Racism in the Air You Breathe: When Where You Live Determines How Fast You Die

By Charles D. Ellison,

Countless African-American neighborhoods are plagued by some of the worst ongoing environmental disasters that exist on the planet. There’s often a landfill, highway, airport or oil refinery next door. Nearby you can find contaminated bus depots, nasty subway stops, plus the lead in old houses, which can lead to neurological disorders and learning difficulties (pdf).slum

Many of us are so accustomed to living in polluted, chronically disease-ridden neighborhoods that this environmental racism is virtually ignored in civil rights movements… The reasons are as complex and knitted into Americana as they are numerous. “People may not understand what environmental racism is,” argues environmental sociologist Robert Bullard

“Racism keeps lower- to middle-income people of color stuck in danger zones,” says Bullard. “African Americans making $50,000 to $60,000 per year are way more likely to live in a polluted environment than poor white families making just $10,000 per year.”

And where you live—down to your exact zip code—can determine how fast you get sick and how soon you die…

“People of color tend to live closer to sources of pollution, from coal plants to busy roads and highways,” Green for All National Director Vien Truong explains. “Our kids suffer higher rates of pollution-related illnesses: One in six black kids and one in nine Latino kids struggle with asthma. In California, twice as many people are now dying from traffic-related pollution than traffic-related accidents. These are environmental problems.”

Two years ago the NAACP released its own report (pdf) and found that close to 80 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant, and nearly 40 percent of residents overall who live near coal-fired power plants are people of color…environment

When a clear linkage is made between environmental conditions and racism in housing, voting, employment and medical care, the so-called environmental-justice movement itself isn’t much help, either. Even Bullard, who helped spin off the movement in the 1980s after decades of getting short shrift from the civil rights vanguard, explains that the mainstream movement keeps bringing up class when it’s really about race.

“White environmentalist[s] talk about saving the rainforests, but no mention is ever made of saving the lives of those who dwell in America’s concrete jungles,” civil rights attorney Bryan K. Bullock wrote in Black Agenda Report. “Politicians, academics and activists have allowed the raw power of the word racism to be euphemized into words like justice, diversity, inclusion and equity.”…

Read the full article here.

Read more Breaking News here.


In Ferguson, protesters challenge state of emergency

By Abby Phillip, Mark Berman and William Wan, the Washington Post

Police bolstered by emergency orders maintained close watch Tuesday over protest-wracked streets in Ferguson after another night of demonstrations saw multiple arrests and brought new potential flash points.

Protesters face police officers on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2015.

Protesters face police officers on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2015.

Authorities said Tuesday that there was no repeat of the violence seen a night earlier, when gunshots erupted on the streets of this small suburb of St. Louis…

The latest wave of unrest — set in motion after violence erupted during marches marking the anniversary of the shooting of an unarmed black man — has reopened the deep racial tensions in Ferguson and brought scenes reminiscent of the riots that gripped the St. Louis suburb last year after the death of Michael Brown.

Protesters chanted to the beat of drums in marches along West Florissant Avenue — the epicenter of last year’s clashes — in a show of solidarity that spilled into early Tuesday. Some demonstrators pelted riot police with frozen water bottles and stones.

In a sign that the confrontations could be easing, police on Monday night and early Tuesday morning did not respond with tear gas, and no looting or injuries were reported, said St. Louis County police spokesman Shawn McGuire…

A day earlier, the largely peaceful protests that began Sunday morning with a silent march had been overtaken by nightfall with what appeared to be random violence and opportunistic looting.

An 18-year-old black man shot by police, Tyrone Harris Jr.,… remained in critical condition. Police charged him with 10 counts of assaulting law enforcement, shooting at a motor vehicle and armed criminal action.

The shooting — along with a state of emergency declaration on Monday — served to push tensions higher.

“The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger,” St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said in a statement declaring a state of emergency…

Read the full article here.

Read more Breaking News here.


20-Year-Old Man Shot by Police in Ferguson, Mo., on Anniversary of Michael Brown’s Death

By Stephen A. Crockett Jr.,

FergusonA year ago, an unarmed teenager was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer. For days following the shooting, Ferguson became embroiled in protest, complete with militarized police patrolling the streets. On Sunday night, the Ferguson of now looked a lot like the Ferguson of old as what had been considered a peaceful protest to mark the one-year-anniversary of Michael Brown’s death erupted in gunfire after police shot a man authorities said had begun shooting at officers.

According to CNN, the 20-year-old man, who had not been identified, was taken to the hospital. His condition was unknown, but the news station reported that he was undergoing surgery early Monday morning.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told the news station that the 20-year-old man unleashed a “remarkable amount of gunfire” aimed at officers. Belmar also said the man was in possession of a stolen handgun…

Authorities said that during the evening portion of the protest, a man began shooting. Four plainclothes officers in an SUV gave chase and, according to Belmar, the man began shooting at those officers who were in pursuit.

The officers fired back, hitting the man several times, according to reports.

As word of the shooting spread, the once-peaceful event turned tense as protesters and police in riot gear faced off on West Florissant Avenue, the street where Michael Brown was shot and killed.

Read the full article here.

Read more Breaking News here.


A year after Ferguson, 6 in 10 Americans say changes are needed to give blacks and whites equal rights

By Scott Clement, the Washington Post

A growing number of Americans say the country needs more changes to give blacks equal rights, according to a new Washington Post poll — the black_lives_matterlatest evidence that events in the year since Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo., almost one year ago have fueled fundamental concerns about racial equality.

The Post poll found 60 percent saying the nation needs to continue making changes to give blacks and whites equal rights, while 37 percent say those changes have already been made. The findings mark a shift from a 2014 Pew Research Center poll asking the same question. Back then, prior to Ferguson, 46 percent said more changes were needed to guarantee equal treatment…

Altogether, the latest surveys show the public has reacted to the past year by growing more sensitive to racial discrimination and equality, even as deep divisions persist on the extent of the problem and potential solutions. And it remains to be seen whether concern about racial problems will motivate Americans to push for specific changes in their own communities, where people see considerably less racial tension and inequality.

In the Post poll, the 14-point growth in support for changes comes from across the demographic and political spectrum. Majority opinion flipped among whites, with 53 percent now saying more changes are needed, compared with 39 percent in 2014. Blacks are even more resolute than last year, with 90 percent saying changes are needed, rising 11 points from 2014. Among Hispanics, the share saying changes are needed to ensure equality for blacks rose 15 points, from 54 to 69 percent…

In addition to worries about overall equality, surveys over the past year have found more Americans are worried about the state of race relations — and fairness in the criminal justice system, in particular…

Fully 57 percent said race relations are “generally bad,” while 37 percent said they are good; that marked an about-face from May 2014, when 55 percent rated race relations in the U.S. positively.

The drop was driven by sharply falling assessments of black and white Americans; fewer than four in 10 in either group now say race relations are good…

Read the full article here.

Read more Breaking News here.


ABHM featured on Milwaukee Public Television

It’s not every museum you can visit from the comfort of your own home!

In this week’s Black Nouveau program, MPTV producers highlighted ABHM’s 21st century form of armchair travel and education.

This week’s program Trippin’ included a virtual visit to ABHM and describes the rich historical and contemporary resources to be found on the site. Trippin’ also feature three other Wisconsin-based museums that offer important exhibitions about local and national African American history:

Here is Trippin’ in its entirety. The segment on ABHM begins at minute 19:45.

“Black Nouveau” is an award-winning program that is regarded as one of the most accurate and positive perspectives of African American life in Milwaukee. It offers messages that promote positive images, interviews and profiles of African-American movers and shakers.


Man claimed he rammed St. Louis police car ‘for the black people’

By Joel Currier, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A Bellefontaine Neighbors man was charged Sunday with ramming a St. Louis squad car and injuring two city officers on Friday night.

Kevin Labriado in an unrelated mug shot from 2007

Kevin Labriado in an unrelated mug shot from 2007

Kevin Labriado, 48… was charged Sunday with two counts of second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and child endangerment.

Police said in court records that Labriado rammed a police car from behind about 8:35 p.m. Friday. The two officers in the car… were on patrol at the time and believed it was an accident until Labriado struck their squad car a second time.

Labriado tried to drive off but struck a city fire hydrant, court records say. Police grabbed him, and as they were arresting him, Labriado yelled several times that “This is for the black people!”…

The officers were not seriously hurt. They and everyone in Labriado’s vehicle… were treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Read the full article here.

Read more Breaking News here.


“Always In Season,” a Film about Lynching and Restoration, Is Completing Production

Always in Season is an independent documentary film with Danny Glover by ABHM’s friend and colleague Jacqueline Olive (producer/director).

Independent filmmaker Jacqueline (Jackie) Olive produced and directed "Always in Season" as a part of her transmedia project about lynching – its healing and prevention.

Independent filmmaker Jacqueline (Jackie) Olive is completing the production of “Always in Season.” The film helps  a part of her transmedia project about lynching – its healing and prevention.

The film highlights four communities facing a century of lynching African Americans as each works through the stages of restorative justice:

  • In Laurens, SC, Rev. David Kennedy fights to shut down a KKK shop while seeking acknowledgement of the 1913 lynching there of his great uncle.
  • In Monroe, GA, Cassandra Greene helps organize an annual reenactment of a 1946 lynching with a multiracial group of amateur actors and works to bring the perpetrators, still living there, to justice.
  • In Duluth, MN, Warren Read unravels the secret of his great-grandfather’s involvement in a 1920 lynching and seeks reconciliation with relatives of the victims and others, while reexamining his very identity and working to help heal the community.
  • And in Bladenboro, NC, the FBI is currently investigating the suspicious death of 17-year old Lennon Lacy, who had been dating a white woman before he was found hanging by a belt from a swingset in a white mobile home park on August 29, 2014.

These stories demonstrate the impact of past and current racial terrorism on our country today.

Here is the moving trailer:

To fund the completion of  this project or to find out more, click here.

To read more Breaking News, click here.