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On the 10th Anniversary of the Kirkwood Tragedy


All we want is justice

The Way I See It, St. Louis American Newspaper

Jamala Rogers (February 11, 2008)


Cookie Thornton protests in Kirkwood, MO.

When breaking news interrupted the regular TV programming, it was mumbling until I heard “shooting at Kirkwood zoning and planning meeting.”

I screamed at the television, “Nooooo, Cookie!”

I knew who the shooter right then was but it was a while before news reporters identified Charles “Cookie” Thornton as the alleged gunman that left five dead and 2 injured, Kirkwood Mayor Mike Swoboda seriously. Thornton was shot dead by police.

This is a tragedy of epic proportions, one in which our humanity shouts out in sorrow and compassion. But if we don’t seek genuine understanding of the overall situation we are doomed to a repeat.

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Sexual Violence Victims Should Keep Coming Forward


Published January 4, 2018, St. Louis American

I’m hoping that the (slim) defeat of accused child sexual predator Ray Moore in the race for U.S. Senate in Alabama is not a damper on the exposes of the culture of sexual violence so pervasive in this country. I’m hoping that every man who’s ever grabbed, groped, felt, fondled, pushed, pulled, patted or rubbed a woman’s body part without her permission and gotten away with it is still sweating bullets every day he wakes up.


For a while, there were almost announcements about powerful men being knocked off their proverbial thrones by accusations of sexual crimes. There may be some who think the snow-balling effect of women exposing the sexual aggression of men in the workplace is an overkill. The women who have suffered in pain and silence certainly don’t think so. Read more

Black protesting not open for white approval


Published in St. Louis American, October 26, 2017

One thing that will get a black person in a huff is when white folks try to dictate how we should suffer with our racial oppression. I’m not just talking about those of us who self-identify as freedom fighters; I’m talking about those who quietly resist the yoke of racial capitalism in their daily lives. The resentment is real.

Concurrent with the “#1 in Civil Rights” exhibit, there’s a special section of books by local authors or about local struggles in the Missouri History Museum gift shop. I picked up a book titled “That’s The Way It Was” by Vida Goldman Prince. It’s stories of struggle, survival and self-respect in 20th Century Black St. Louis as told through interviews with ordinary people enduing both institutional racism and individual acts of racial contempt.

One common thread was the ever-present anger, sometimes just below the surface, when mistreated by white folks or the system of white supremacy and feeling powerless to react in the way you really wanted to. Read more