Newkirk: Mississippi Delta, Reparations and the Wealth Gap


Above photo:  WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Writer Coleman Hughes testifies during a hearing on slavery reparations held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on June 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee debated the H.R. 40 bill, which proposes a commission be formed to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

PASADENA, CA. Vann Newkirk (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)(Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon)

The Atlantic’s Vann Newkirk has produced a riveting expose about “The Great Land Robbery.”  It is worthy of reading and understanding so that you can weave historic realities into today’s current events.

If you’ve ever been through the Mississippi Delta (Delta) you are right in the passenger seat of Newkirk’s article.  The “Delta” stretches from Memphis Tennessee through the western part of Mississippi down to Jackson.  The land is legendary for its agriculture yield.  Following slavery key parts became transformed into the ownership of African-American farmers.  The boon was tremendous but survival did not come without peril.  Led by the backlash of emancipation, through the suffocation of Jim Crow and even the Civil Rights era,  there was much oppression.  The goal of the white power structure was always the same; make it as difficult as possible for African-American farmers to succeed with the bottom-line intent to strip ownership and stunt growth .

 

The article is compelling and brings you up to date regarding land and ownership in the “Delta” and even provides a perspective on the reparations debate.  While the article focuses on farmers in the “Delta” the same principals and examples could be used throughout the United States.  Most critically, it will help you understand the notion and primary driver of the wealth gap between Whites and African-Americans.


READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE


To view a special clip of the interview Vann Newkirk did for PBS Newshour see below

Citizens Redistricting Commission – What it means to you


[Expo Park]  Urban Issues Forum is an organization at the vanguard of presenting political information in the Los Angeles area.  The leadership primarily focuses on issues affecting the African-American community.  Led by Dr. Anthony A. Samad the group is part of the esteemed Mervyn Dymally institute currently headquartered at California State University Dominguez Hills.


This morning at the California African-American Museum the group was host to California Citizen Redistricting Commission.  The focus was to discuss the upcoming 2020 census and to appeal to the community to apply to become one of fourteen members that make up the Commission.  Ms. Margarita Fernandez delivered a very informative presentation about the Commission and why it is critical for people to think about applying to join the organization.  She was joined by M. Andre Parvenu who is part of the first Commission which started in 2010 and since he is from the Leimert Park area stressed the need for those in the community to participate.


WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 26: A Fair Maps Rally was held in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. The rally coincides with the U.S. Supreme Court hearings in landmark redistricting cases out of North Carolina and Maryland. The activists sent the message the the Court should declare gerrymandering unconstitutional now. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Being a part of the Commission requires a ten-year commitment and the work is crucial in creating a panel which is diverse and representative of the State and its many communities.  The process is pretty straight-forward but applications must be submitted by August. 9th.

For more on the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission