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Persecution, prosecution and Kim Gardner

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Published on February 13, 2020  in the  St. Louis American

 

In 1998, the women’s unit of the Organization for Black Struggle read a piece by feminist bell hooks as part of our political education session. It totally changed our outlook about being black women. Inspired, we named ourselves Sistahs Talkin’ Back. I’ve been thinking about hook’s “Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black” since standing on the steps of the Carnahan Courthouse with six resilient black women from around the country.

A quote in the chapter “Talking Back” puts the public service experiences of these fiercely committed sistahs into sharp view: “those who stand and struggle side by side is a gesture of defiance that heals, that makes new life and new growth possible.” That talking back is more than a “gesture of empty words.” It is the “liberated voice.” Read more

Making Black dollars work for us

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Published in St. Louis American, December 19, 2019

All holidays in the U.S. are highly commercialized. Christmas is the most commercialized to the tune of $475 billion, according to National Retail Federation estimates. Lost in those billions is a big portion of the $1 trillion-plus spending power of black folks. Our consumerism rarely comes with demands for accountability and respect.

Some of us think about how fast our dollars literally fly out of our communities while other ethnic groups’ dollars circulate longer and benefit them more. It really smacked me in a different way when I heard Maggie Anderson speak at a program hosted by the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. I bought her book, “The Black Year.” I felt the same energy and passion in those pages that I saw and felt at the podium during Anderson’s presentation. Read more

Life coaches saves lives

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Published in the St. Louis American, December 12, 2019

The fate of Coach Trey Porter has finally been determined. Some would say the determination had little to do with his violation of the social media policy. Others would say the decision had nothing to do with enriching the lives of the students at Roosevelt High School. I side with the latter viewpoint.

Just because I’m not an investigative reporter doesn’t mean that I don’t get information from trusted sources. My sources were close to the situation and close to the firing squad. Among other things, they told me that other staff have contacted students through social media, both at Roosevelt and across the school district. They told me that this appeared to be a power play, not uncommon when institutions want to make an example of a person who stands up for righteousness. Read more