screenshot from The 13th official trailer

Review of ‘The 13th’: When Art Imitates Life, We Have to Ask “What’s Next?”

Regardless of where you are in your political education, Ava DuVernay’s documentary The 13th was pretty well done.

Weaving the staggering numbers of rising incarceration rates with the insights of prominent activists, journalists, and academics coupled with a soundtrack that highlights the connectedness of mass incarceration to Black realities, it is a signature piece of art imitating life. The 13th brought many conversations around systematic racism that usually happen in select circles to a potentially larger audience, but I’m not sure if anyone besides the usual “woke” circle sat in on this one, and if they did – what now?

Photo from Twitter

Here’s What You Need To Know About Build Black Futures Advocacy Day

Earlier this year BYP100 released the Agenda to Build Black Futures, followed by A Vision For Black Lives policy platform that they signed on to this summer, both of which spread wide in the digital space. Last week BYP100 and the National Black Justice Coalition joined each other in Washington, D.C. to take both platforms from the digital space to the congressional space for the first Build Black Futures Advocacy Day. This was a huge step in the Movement, as members of congress on both sides of the aisle have struggled to understand the Movement and it’s asks of our government.


642 Million Reasons Chicago Doesn’t Need More Police

Since 2004, Chicago has spent $642 million on police-related legal claims. Between 2012 and 2015, the City paid out a total of $210 million to settle police misconduct lawsuits, many on the receiving end of the settlements were Black and Brown folks. This is now the same city that will be hiring more police officers, putting more Black and Brown Chicagoans at risk. There is no nice way to say this, but Chicago is wasting its time – and money – hiring more police officers.

Photo courtesy of Bing

Don’t Celebrate Just Yet, The Private Prison Industry Will Still Thrive

On Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced in a memo that, over time, the DOJ will end its contracts with private prison companies that operate 13 facilities within the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). While this is a significant move given the times we live in, these contracts, with Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group Inc., only account for 7% of the industry’s revenue.

Travis Wise. Flickr.

Double Life Sentence for Double Murder: Is this Justice?

As reported in the AJC, seventeen-year-old Jaydon Lee Reid from Cobb County, Georgia was just given two life sentences and an additional fifteen years for the shooting of Terrence Banks and Sterling Hargrave when he was fourteen years old. While much work around juvenile justice and reducing prison sentences focuses on commuting the sentences or eliminating mandatory minimums for nonviolent offenders, it is essential for those troubled by the US police state to grapple with how society can justly respond to violent crimes, especially those committed by youths.


A Visible Love, A Visible Movement: An Interview With Veronica Morris-Moore

During the week of February 21st, Veronica Morris-Moore did not rest. She was dedicating her body, her energy, and her time to making sure that people make the smart choices for the betterment of Black lives.

Instead of sleeping, Morris-Moore protested against Anita Alvarez, the current state attorney for Chicago who in no way, shape, or form should have control over Black lives because she abuses her power and has no respect for Black people. Morris-Moore rightfully believes that the greatest power that we have seen is action and protest. Her language is poetic and her dedication is inspiring. With Morris-Moore and the efforts of Fearless Leading by the Youth (F.L.Y.), an organization founded to enact change by carrying out political campaigns created by Black youth. Because of their work, there will now be a trauma center on the Southside of Chicago.  In this installment of Black Youth Spotlight, we talk with Morris-Moore and gain insight into  how her actions has helped save lives on the Southside.


We Should Be Happy Antonin Scalia Died

Everyone always says: “Just be patient. Once all the old racist, misogynist white men die, everything will be fine.” If that’s true, then perhaps, this week’s news about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death should be considered a collective step closer to the goal of dismantling systemic racism.

To be honest, Scalia was trash. It’s been a few days since he was found dead and that truth is still evident. People (mostly conservatives) will defend his record, calling him a patriot or some other term that is actually violent towards non-Whites. But, most folks know that Scalia’s actions while on the SCOTUS were primarily in support of the oppression of non-whites, women, and other marginalized groups and the maintenance of institutional racism. His death, then, is not really very sad.

Marilyn Mosby Launches New Program That Gives Young Offenders a Second Chance

marilyn mosby

Last week, Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced the launch of her new program  Aim to B’More. The program gives  people convicted of nonviolent crimes a second chance.

The first class of Aim to B’More included 30 non-violent drug offenders. The program requires participants to complete three years of probation, community service, a five-month internship, and search for employment. Participants will have their records expunged after successful completion of the program.

“I would prefer to utilize the inundated courts for the worst of the worst and give our young people a second chance at redemption. People talk about Baltimore’s crime problem, but what isn’t talked about is the real issue at hand: systemic poverty,” Mosby told the Baltimore Sun.

Read more about the program at the Baltimore Sun.

Photo: Marilyn Mosby/Facebook