ST. LOUIS — What started as a peaceful prayer vigil for Michael Brown, the unarmed teen who was killed by Ferguson police, ended in an explosion of looting and destruction in the North County area surrounding where the tragedy took place – and beyond. Hundreds gathered at 8 p.m. for a peaceful candlelight vigil in the young man’s honor. Before 9 p.m. police would summon surrounding municipalities as the crowd turned aggressive. The Target parking lot of the Buzz Westfall Shopping Center was filled with dozens and dozens of police vehicles and the area of West Florissant from Jennings to Ferguson was blocked off. Helicopters and tanks –as well as vehicles from a host of area departments – descended on West Florissant as looting and vandalism got underway.
New book first to provide an in-depth look at why some civic organizations are better at attracting – and retaining – activists in the Internet age. In a time of rising inequality and polarized politics, civic and political organizations around the country are in a pitched battle for power over government. As these organizations mobilize for the 2014 midterm elections and the 2016 presidential elections in an atmosphere of declining trust in government, many are struggling to recruit and retain the activists they need to win. A new book by Hahrie Han, associate professor of political science at Wellesley College, offers an insider’s perspective on what makes some organizations better than others at this task.
The standoff between federal agents and armed supporters of a Nevada rancher earlier this year was a highly coordinated effort by far-right militiamen that has since energized volatile extremists who are increasingly targeting law enforcement officers, according to a new SPLC report released today. The report – War in the West – contains new details about the April standoff between the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and militiamen sympathetic to rancher Cliven Bundy, which was seen as a victory within theantigovernment “Patriot” movement after federal agents pulled out despite Bundy owing more than $1 million in grazing fees and fines to the federal government.
The following is an excerpt fromThe Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City  by Eric Avila. Copyright © 2014. Reprinted with permission of University of Minnesota Press. In this age of divided government, we look to the 1950s as a golden age of bipartisan unity. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, often invokes the landmark passage of the 1956 Federal Aid Highway Act to remind the nation that Republicans and Democrats can unite under a shared sense of common purpose. Introduced by President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, the Federal Aid Highway Act, originally titled the National Interstate and Defense Highway Act, won unanimous support from Democrats and Republicans alike, uniting the two parties in a shared commitment to building a national highway infrastructure. This was big government at its biggest, the single largest federal expenditure in American history before the advent of the Great Society.
PORTLAND, Oregon (NNPA) – The St. Louis American has won the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Russwurm/Senstacke Trophy for general excellence for the third consecutive year, it was announced Thursday night at the NNPA’s annual convention here. It was the Missouri newspaper’s 8th time winning the NNPA ‘s top award in the past 15 years. The award was named in honor of John B. Russwurm, co-founder of Freedom’s Journal, the nation’s first African American newspaper, and late Chicago Defender Publisher John H. Senstacke, founder of the Negro Newspaper Publishers Association, now the National Newspaper Publishers Association, in 1940.
WASHINGTON (NNPA) – One year after the United States Supreme Court gutted a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, “the right to vote for all is under grave threat,” says Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of nearly 200 civil and human rights organizations. Last summer, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down section 4 of the VRA, a key provision of the law that defined which states and jurisdictions with histories of voter discrimination had to pre-clear any changes to voting rules with the Department of Justice or a federal court.
Systemic Racism is Killing Black Babies in America — But There is Something Black Women Can Do About It!
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says the U.S. infant mortality rate is the highest among selected states in the South and Midwest regions. In 2010, 13 states and the District of Columbia had infant mortality rates of 7.00–7.99, and two additional states (Mississippi and Alabama) had infant mortality rates of 8.00 or higher, (www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db120.pdf). According to recent studies, systemic racism in America is negatively impacting the health of pregnant black women, by creating stress over load on their system which is affecting the health of babies. Black babies are being born too soon and too small, and lack the option of being breastfed, as result of stress.
RELEASE: 50 Years After Freedom Summer, Report Shows that Communities of Color Can Shift the Balance of Power in ‘Black Belt’ States
Washington, D.C. — Fifty years after Freedom Summer sparked a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement, a new report released today by the Center for American Progress, in conjunction with an event exploring the subject, examines how current demographic and political changes in heavily black southern states could upset the balance of power in many of the country’s so-called “Black Belt” states. The report analyzes 13 Black Belt states that are still defined by racial polarization: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. In these Black Belt states—which each contain a black population of at least 10 percent—voters of color continue to be locked out of statewide politics, and candidates of color rarely get elected to statewide office. However, as outlined in the report, a massive wave of voter registration could trigger a major shift in the country’s political landscape that would shake up the status quo and create a more inclusive Black Belt.
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