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A soldier without a sword: 25 years with The American

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Published March 14, 2018 in celebration of The St. Louis American’s 90th Anniversary
By Jamala Rogers

“The Black Press was never intended to be objective because it didn’t see the white press being objective. It often took a position. It had an attitude. This was a press of advocacy. There was news, but the news had an admitted and a deliberate slant.”

The above words came from Phyllis Garland when she was interviewed almost 30 years ago for a PBS documentary entitled “The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords.” While she may have been summing up the Black Press, it also accurately describes my perspective as a writer for The St. Louis American. Read more

Why I fight for worker rights: Centaur janitors deserve more

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Published February 22, 2018 in the St. Louis American
By Jamala Rogers

 

There is a lot of hoodwinking and shell-moving tactics going on by the Trump administration as it tries to paint a rosy economic picture for the country. The president has touted low employments rates, including for African Americans. Then there’s the “biggest tax cut” ever that made big corporations richer and so benevolent that they could dole out bonuses to their grateful employees.

The problem with employment statistics for black folks is that they never truly reflect our current reality – that we have income-generating jobs not counted by the Department of Labor, that some of us have long stopped looking for jobs, that some of us have been sucked into the prison-industrial complex, that some of us have multiple undesirable, low-wage jobs, etc. Read more

On the 10th Anniversary of the Kirkwood Tragedy

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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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