Review: Sintown Saints


Jacques Bordeaux has penned a masterpiece.  I was happy to purchase my copy from Amazon.  Hopefully my review will be posted in the next day or so.

I have known Jacques for over 50 years.  Amazon has specific criteria for reviews which is why I am grateful for my own platform as I am able to stretch out and provide a better perspective of why you may enjoy supporting Jacques and Valerie as they start their “Sintown Saints” book tour.



My Review

During the early to mid 60’s Los Angeles (affectionately known as L.A.) was going through a cultural transition.  Many families, especially those in the African-American community were dealing with the reality of police harassment, discrimination and other lifestyle issues which thwarted their progress.  As a result folk were packing up and heading out so their kids could have better educational opportunities.  As a young teenager I didn’t understand the significance but I recall my mother and father having a heated argument about what our family’s next move was going to be?  My younger brother Reginald had not been born so it was just Ronald and I, and our two sisters Evelyn and Angela.  My mother gave my father the ultimatum; it was either Pacoima or Pomona!  I don’t remember much more other than Ronald and I trying to figure out how in the hell my father was going to get the truck he grabbed from work which was loaded with the family belongings up and over the I-10 Kellogg Park hill?  It seemed like an impossible straight uphill shot which was nerve-racking if not daunting…….but somehow, we made it.

 

The migration was incredible as so many came from Los Angeles and it is now as adults, we have come to realize we actually lived in close proximity to each other.  Jacques and his family came to Pomona in 1964.  We got to Pomona in May 1965, about three months before August 11 of that year or the day the Watts Riots started.   We didn’t recognize then but all of us have a better understanding now.  Pomona was known as a regional center or a little larger than a small town.  The tract homes were an attraction for families looking to “stretch out.”  Whites were the majority population and near the middle to southern part of the city was a sizeable Latino population.  The aftermath of the riots opened the floodgates for thousands of African-American families who staked their claim in Pomona.  Many landed in Sintown or close-by developments.  The Bordeaux’s lived on Avalon which is the entry street as you enter Sintown.  We lived on Carlton.  It seemed like everyone in Sintown had brothers and sisters so especially for the kids it was easy to make new friends.  Just about everybody in the tract went to one of three schools; Arroyo Elementary, Marshall Junior High School or Ganesha High School.  As mentioned in “Sintown Saint’s” that connection became part of the Pomona pride.  Marshall and Ganesha was known for fielding competitive athletic teams but not to the level of the established schools; namely Pomona High and Emerson Junior High.  That is until the new transplants from the Los Angeles region settled in.  As Bordeaux states in the book, by the late 60’s Ganesha became a powerhouse in sports and other student activities and the rest is history.

 

Jacques Bordeaux has used his gift to communicate.  Even though it chronicles his family’s life as they developed through various migrations, he shares the resilience and discipline of family life.  The book is a jewel because it is an easy read but it speaks to a slice of life in the African-American community that some might assume doesn’t exist.  In the Bordeaux’s house the existence was real and not a big deal because they had a commitment to enjoying the benefits of a positive lifestyle.


You can purchase the book from this LINK


Jacques is a true Grio of Sintown. During Rick & Ron’s annual Pomona picnic his table is very popular. He brings his treasured collection of yearbooks from Marshall Junior High School (’65,’66, ’67, ’68) as well as Ganesha High School (’68, ’69, ’70, ’71).

Baseball bombshell of 2020 – Alex Cora, AJ Hinch and Carlos Beltran out as managers


[updated 1/17/20]

Do cheaters profit?

Just in.  Managers of three of baseball’s perennial organizations have been fired or otherwise parted ways.   For the upcoming season and in the foreseeable future, A.J. Hinch manger of the Houston Astros, Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox and Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets will not be watching any baseball games from their respective dugouts.

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 28: Manager Alex Cora #20 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with the World Series trophy after his team’s 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five to win the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The season for 2020 hasn’t even started yet Commission Robert Manfred dropped the bombshell of the year, and for many it may be the decade or perhaps a lifetime.  His announcement came yesterday morning by concluding the Houston Astros were guilty of a sign or signal calling scheme.

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 01: Commissioner Rob Manfred next to the podium as Houston Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane hoists the Commissioner’s Trophy after the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

What!!!  You may ask…..stealing signs, what is that?

 

Ever since sport was created as a competitive exercise many have a “win at any cost” or “whatever it takes to win” mentality.  Fortunately, over time those who have operated to “bend” the rules are usually ferreted out.  Of course, the credibility of fair competition is the result.

 

In most sports there are enough rules and regulations to choke a horse!!!  Yet, the manner of mankind has always found a way to manipulate those rules and regulations as an advantage to them.  Most define that as stone-cold cheating.

 

That is the situation the Houston Astros found themselves in following Major League Baseball’s (MLB) investigation into the signal scheme.

 

The investigation covered the period from 2016 through the present. During the investigation, the DOI interviewed 68 witnesses, including 23 current and former Astros players.

 

Signs or signals are used to communicate a variety of things during the game.  Metrics or analytics is also used as a complement so that players can be positioned based on sequences, probability or the likelihood of when and where the batter will hit the ball.  Assuming he is lucky enough to make contact.  As difficult as it is to hit a baseball that is coming in at 80 to 90 or even 100 mph, and is also moving requires great skill!  Yet, knowing what kind of pitch is coming in helps improve the odds of being able to make contact or to not swing.   MLB has specific penalties for team’s or player’s who are caught stealing signs.

 

A bird wouldn’t get caught if it never opened its mouth!

 

Interestingly, MLB’s investigation started following an allegation made by a former player of the Astros!!!  As quoted in Manfred’s finding, “On November 12, 2019, former Houston Astros player Mike Fiers publicly alleged in an article published by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic that the Astros had engaged in sign-stealing methods in 2017 that violated MLB’s rules.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 1: Houston Astros owner Jim Crane hoists the Commissioner’s Trophy after the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images)

The Astros were dealt swift punishment by Manfred.  Starting with the ownership led by Jim Crane, General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Manager, AJ Hinch also received news they were not expecting.  Surely, more punishment and fallout is expected.  At the top of the lineup is Alex Cora who was a coach with the Astros during the period in question and who subsequently was selected the manager of the 2018 Boston Red Sox.  Many have posed the question?  Did the antics he employed with the Astros go with him to Boston as during his first year they became world champions?  For many the answer is a resounding yes.  As mentioned at the top of this article – Cora and the Red Sox have parted ways.

Then there is Carlos Beltran who was quoted in Manfred’s report but somehow was exonerated from any illegal behavior.  His last team as a player was with the 2017 Astros.   Even though he was not fined by MLB on Thursday Jan. 16th the heat became too much so he and his new employer of just two months, the New York Mets have parted ways.  The result is not only has he lost out as being a freshman manager but now his prospects of being selected into baseball’s coveted Hall of Fame is in jeopardy.

 

The Dodgers

 

To get snakebit once is bad enough.  But, to get snakebit twice in back-to-back years has Dodger fans in disbelief as in 2017 they lost the world series in seven games to the Astros.  Then, in 2018, they again lost the world series in seven games to the Cora managed Red Sox.  For some,  equity is stripping the respective winners of their “title” and awarding the Dodgers as the winners.  Unfortunately, that outcome is highly unlikely.

In the meantime, some fans are so incensed about the scandal they are consulting lawyers claiming it resulted in financial harm from the Astros and Red Sox.  Also, led by City Councilman Gil Cedillo a resolution has been passed seeking MLB’s intervention of stripping titles from the Astros and the Red Sox and renaming the Dodgers as the rightful winner.

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 31: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 and bench coach Alex Cora #26 of the Houston Astros talk in the dugout during Game 6 of the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images)

In the meantime, Crane, Luhnow, Hinch and Cora are tied to this disgrace of the national pastime.  Surely other heads will roll and while the scheme is in the lap of the Houston Astros it is unlikely, they were the only participant.  What other teams will be implicated?   In the meantime, stay tuned.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 04: Carlos Beltran stands between General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen and COO Jeff Wilpon after being introduced as manager of the New York Mets during a press conference at Citi Field on November 4, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

READ ROB MANFRED’S FULL REPORT HERE

Review:  Just Mercy


The film “Just Mercy” is set for release Christmas day, December 25th.  It is a must see.

Last night we saw the preview screening at the Regal Theater at the L.A. Live complex.  As many times I have been to the “Regal” I never knew the complex had an 800-seat theater?  Anyway, thanks to the Californian Endowment, Liberty Hill and other organizations each seat was taken.

 

The film is about the storied career of activist attorney Bryan Stevenson and his work in helping those tied up in the legal and penal system with no or ineffective representation.  The numbers are unimaginable and makes you wonder who in their right mind would take up such a cause where the odds are weighted against you?

“I was able to see the premier at the Grand Lake theater here in Oakland.  It was riveting.  I’ve known Bryan and his work for decades.  He has been an inspiration to motivate me to keep my eye on the prize with the work we do.”  James R. Bell, Burns Institute – Oakland, CA

Murder and race

Acclaimed actor Michael Jordan plays Stevenson.  The film centers around Walter McMillan who is brilliantly played by Jamie Foxx.  McMillan was found guilty of murdering a young lady who is white and had relegated himself to meet his final fate in the electric chair.  You will also see O’Shea Jackson (Ice Cube’s son) bring life in playing Roy Hinton who was another person ensnarled in prison.  It’s one thing to be poor.  It’s another thing to be poor and black!!!  Yet, to be poor, black and in Alabama doesn’t take much creativity to conclude what your ultimate plight will be.



The Lynching Museum

Stevens legal brilliance is well known.  Several years ago, he took up the charge to give voice to the countless African-Americans who suffered death by lynching.  The museum is located in Montgomery and has received rave reviews.  Stevenson is from Alabama and headed north to Harvard Law School to obtain his law degree.  He took the state bar of Alabama and passed.  Upon receiving a grant, he headed back home to establish a legal defense organization to help those like McMillan.

 

As mentioned, Just Mercy is a must see.  It chronicles a stunning series of events.  There will be times when you will have a smile or a laugh and then there will be times where your eyes will be wet from tears as you are taken through a journey to see if McMillan can receive justice.


Official Trailer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trailer

Impeachment:  Donald Trump sets another record


By mid-morning on Friday, December 13th, 2019, Donald J. Trump the nations 45th President of the United States set another record.  Surely, he likes to boast of all of his achievements and this one puts him on top of the list.  He became the first POTUS (President of the United States) in the history of the House of Representative’s Judiciary committee to vote for his impeachment – during his FIRST TERM.  The formal process has moved to the full House and in several days his official impeachment is imminent. Of course, impeachment is a political process.  The House has the sole purview to issue an indictment or charge.  The next step known as the formal hearing or trial is the sole purview of the Senate and as of this writing, despite strong evidence of guilt, it is likely he will be acquitted as the charges are very likely to be dropped.

Did he bring this on himself?

Donald Trump prides himself on being his own spokesperson.  He often brags of his media prowess and how he is a master of manipulating others in agreeing and supporting his ideology.  A quick analysis of the issues which have stymied his presidency is beyond political opposition or as he likes to state; those who hate him.  In fact, most of his problematic issues could be defined as self-inflicted or those he brought on himself.  His constant tweeting, badgering people, making ridiculous comments and other things unimaginable to be sprouted from the president of the United States bring direct radar on him.

He thought he received a reprieve from the Mueller report as even though it was strategically misconstrued by him and his supporters the only thing that saved him was the Office of Legal Counsel ruling.  In fact, the report clearly stated any remedy to deal with his behavior was the impeachment process.  Yet, he and his supporters have insisted the report was a flop and a big waste of taxpayer funds.

The threat

Many have concluded Trump’s actions are the sole reason why impeachment is even discussed. He and his team of mouth-piece acolytes have insisted those who attempt to reign in his behavior or try to impeach him will suffer greatly.  They try and compare his impeachment to Bill Clinton’s, who escaped being removed from office as those who pushed it were promptly voted out of office at the next election.  It is a dare worthy of consideration but surely one Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has assessed.  Her main benchmark is understanding the worse case scenario of being removed as the majority but weighing the alternative in doing nothing or accepting the intimation that is touted by Trump, which would be a terrible reaction in allowing his consistent disruptive behavior to go unchecked.

 

Conspiracy theories

“The more I can create alternative realities are better for me because people will be looking elsewhere which allows me to do what I want.”  Donald J. Trump

 

Perhaps the fuel or motivation for Donald Trump to operate is his insatiable appetite for conspiracy theories.  The more outlandish, the better.  The humiliation he suffered at the 2011 correspondent’s dinner when President Barack Obama put an end to his tirade over his birth certificate was not enough.  It seems each month or each week he belts out another conspiracy theory.  Sadly, precious time and millions of taxpayer resources are wasted tracking down to what only can be summed up as a “fool’s errand.”

“Donald Trump wants you to believe the Mueller report cleared him from any wrongdoing.  Further, he has no respect for the people of the United States (unless you absolutely agree with him) as well as the constitution.  We have a duty.”  Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives

Trump is a proud person and despite solid evidence from officials whose job is to determine fact from fiction, he will not accept that Russia interfered with the 2016 election.  Instead he adopted the premise that the real culprit was Ukraine.  Holding what he assumed was his literal “trump” card he waited and waited for the right time to use the power of his office to make clear his notion was more than a theory; it instead was a fact.

 

Fast forward, following the House of Representatives authorizing nearly 400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine, Trump known for his savvy business behavior which some have defined as “gangster” crafted a plan to leverage the aid for a favor the Ukraine government must provide before its release.

Unfortunately for him, his actions were uncovered and as they say “he was caught in the act.”  Once it became clear how his plan was mapped out, he was doomed.  There was very little doubt, at least from those with a modicum of objectivity to conclude his actions were in violation of the Constitution.  Sadly, his actions were avoidable.

One could conclude it is very difficult to rehabilitate a person’s behavior, especially if they are in their 70’s.  What he defined as a “perfect call” is anything from being perfect.  It’s the call and subsequent knowledge of the overall scheme in handling the aid earmarked for Ukraine which has granted Trump the dubious honor of achieving the first person in U.S. history of being impeached during his first term.


There is a Coffee Craze Going on in the Hood: South L.A. Café


There is a coffee craze going on in the hood.  In the past year or so in Leimert Park and on the fringes independent coffee shops have been popping up.   In 2018, Hot & Cool Café opened its doors in the epicenter of Los Angeles’ African-American community; Leimert Park.  Approximately two miles to the east near MLK Blvd. & Western, South L.A. Café is the newest entry.  True to the spirit of community they get their coffee from Oakland based Red Bay Coffee Roasters, which recently announced opening their own spot in 2020 adjacent the famed Harold & Belles restaurant on 10th Avenue and Jefferson.

South L.A. Café is planning for their grand opening which is slated for Sunday, December 8th.  I popped in for a sampler and the business has much promise.  As mentioned, it is located on the southwest corner of Browning Avenue and Western Avenue, which is one block north of King & Western.

The business is well-appointed, staff is friendly and eager to serve you and best of all you are treated to a positive environment.  The area is going through a renaissance or as some may say, gentrification but locals as well as interlopers now have a spot to grab some good coffee and tasty pastries at an affordable price.  I understand as the business grows the menu will be expanded to include soups, sandwiches and other items which add to its diversity.

The spot is spacious, offers a meeting room adorned with noted community activist and artist Mohammed Mubarak’s iconic portrait of Nipsey Hussle.  Of course, there is complimentary Wi-Fi for those needing a reliable connection.

TOS: All roads lead to Obama & Crenshaw Blvd.


On Saturday, October 19th a huge crowd is expected to participate in the 14th Annual Taste of Soul Street Festival.  The action will be on Crenshaw Boulevard, starting at Obama boulevard and flowing a mile south to King Boulevard.  There will be five entertainment stages, information booths, vendors offering all types of food and merchandise and other activities which make it one of L.A.’s premiere street festivals.

 

From the beginning Taste of Soul has been a huge success.  Organized by Bakewell Media and the Los Angeles Sentinel to fill the void and thirst residents and businesses had in showcasing the spirit of the South Los Angeles community.  The only drawback of the event is that it is only one day.

 

Street festivals have always been an event Cities use to promote culture and diversity.  Taste of Soul is often compared to the Black Family Reunion event due to its size and corporate support.  During the 1980’s, a drug epidemic spread through the nation.  Urban cores, specifically the African-American community in areas like Los Angeles were devastated.  As a result, some leaders targeted the African-American family structure as the culprit of the problems created by the epidemic.

 

Responding to the attack of the Black family, the National Council of Negro Women went to work.  Through their nationwide reach and credibility, in 1986 they launched the Black Family Reunion.  Urban centers across the nation became host sites featuring a simultaneous two-day event.  In Los Angeles the event was held at Exposition Park.  The success was overwhelming as the theme was simple: showcase the benefit and historic significance of the black family.  Following years of community support the event eventually outgrew itself but the point was made.

 

In 2005 Taste of Soul was organized.  They gracefully took the baton and  haven’t looked back as the theme has been consistent: showcasing the South Los Angeles community.

For additional information please use this link>>>> TOS


Tip – Even if you are an expert in navigating the streets of Los Angeles or consider yourself well-versed in the Leimert Park and Crenshaw community, you are encouraged to jump on Metro or park in the designated shuttle-ride sites.

Planning on visiting NMAAHC? What is your backup plan?


The Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is an american jewel.  Nearly three years after its long-awaited opening,  to gain entry visitors still have to be lucky enough to nab precious advance tickets three months prior to their visit.  Of course military and several special designations can gain entry without having to obtain advance tickets.

You need a plan

The museum operation is smooth and well organized.  What if you’ve planned your journey, invested a tidy sum to get there and discover something has occurred forcing the museum to close?  Although that is a rarity, it did happen during our recent visit on Saturday, August 24, 2019.  No doubt Saturday has to be one of the biggest days of the week for attendance.  Once we arrived from the Metro eagerly to start our museum journey we were met at the line where you assemble for entry.  NMAAHC staff Seymour was gracious under fire as he had to calm the nerves of those also in line who were in disbelief the museum would not open.


   Smithsonian NMAAHC


Anyway, things happen.  I couldn’t help but think about all the people who made personal sacrifices to attend the museum for THAT DAY.  There was no tomorrow as they put everything they had in planning for that one special moment.  Lucky for us, we had ordered tickets for three days during our trek so with some schedule adjustments we recovered.
Those who were not as fortunate had to scramble to fill in the time during their visit.  Of course, the NMAAHC is in prime territory and with the new Circulator bus there are many alternative options to make your journey worthwhile.
What to do?
The question remains what to do should you find yourself in the dubious spot of scheduling a day at NMAAHC and not being able to get in due to technical issues?  The most reasonable or practical solution is:
  • When ordering tickets (online) I would suggest getting a couple of days.

  • Once you arrive for your big day BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL!!!!  as should something arise you will be contacting from the email you reserved that was used to reserve your ticket.

nmaahc closing email


Be prepared but don’t turn into a worry-wart or naysayer as life is full of curves and the key is how you respond.

Eastcoast Trek v2019 – A Recap


The District of Columbia was created by Charles L'Enfant and it's famous quadrant layout was completed by Benjamin Banneker, noted African-American scientist and city planner

trek

/trek/

verb

gerund or present participle: trekking

  1. go on a long arduous journey, typically on foot.

Our 2019 EastCoast Trekkers. Maryum Robinson (my aunt), Willie Cravins, Del Huff, FT3, Judith, Renie

We just completed our EastCoast v2019 trek.  It is called “EastCoast” because we normally cover the states of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.  This year we were gifted with five days and decided to spend it all in D.C.  Trekking is not for the weary or those not flexible or those needing lots of pampering.  Indeed it is a vacation but not the kind that you might imagine.  It is better!!!!  Trekking requires you to get off your butt or comfort zone, immerse yourself and explore.  Normally trekking requires a commitment to public transportation (the Metro) and some good old-fashioned walking.  For our 2019 version we included some Uber/Lfyt and even got snakebit taking a taxi.

If someone had told our crew before they made the journey the trek would require walking 20-25 miles……..Judith and I would have been by ourselves.

In addition to Judith and myself, we were joined by our good friend Del Huff, her friend Willie Cravins, who is now considered family and of course my aunt Maryum, who over the years has elevating her trekking skills and ranks with the best.  In 2012 when the long-awaited MLK Memorial was completed and ready for unvieling, Hurricane Irene had other plans.  Through that incident I was blessed to meet Renie Hale…….at all places, Ben’s Chili Bowl.  Since then he has joined our family and from his perch in Laurel Maryland always fits in to round out those making the journey.  He has been an active participant ever since then.

What’s so special about the EastCoast or DC?

Our commitment to HBCU’s

Judith and I first visited DC in 2005 as we were exploring Howard University where our son, Fred IV wanted to attend (He eventually decided on Bethune Cookman University).

DC is a city full of national history.  Ever since then we have annual visits centered around the last week of August, which coincided with the historic March on Washington which was August 28th.   It is our gesture to pay homage and reflect on a small piece of our heritage.

Original March on Washington Button

The Foodie Craze

Each trek has offered a different blessing.  Starting in 2010 as the foodie craze became popular, we added a foodie excursion to our agenda.  In 2019 we were not disappointed as in five days we covered ALL quadrants that DC had offer.

Managing the NMAAHC

Fortunate enough to attend the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture which happened to be President Obama’s last official event ceremony we have tried to warn folk on how to manager their experience to the museum.  YOU CANNOT DO THE FULL MUSEUM IN ONE DAY, that is if you are truly serious about absorbing the history!  This year we carefully planned our trek to include three visits to the museum.  The plan payed off.

A Rarity at NMAAHC

The National Museum of African-American History & Culture runs smooth like a fine-tuned machine.  Call it intuition, luck or just plain blessed but I knew there was a reason we were lucky to have tickets to the museum for three days during our trek?

Saturday’s are the busiest time for the museum.  Having arrived early for our 12 pm tickets we noticed a line but that is not out of the ordinary.   Shortly thereafter, I met the customer service extraordinaire Seymour who was part of staff and had been dispatched to deal with the folk waiting to get into the museum.  Seymour had the responsibility to tell folk, the museum would be CLOSED FOR THE DAY, due to some type of power issue.  For us it wasn’t that big of a deal as one down, two to go.  Po’ Seymour was mortified in explaining to folk who had made financial and personal sacrifices for THAT DAY that they would not be getting into the museum.   Anyway, the issue was resolved and the museum promptly opened up on Sunday.  Hats off to Seymour as somebody had to communicate with the crowd and he did a remarkable job.

Photos and Media

Finally, as you can imagine, a trek is not complete without lots of photos and documentation.  We split our media into categories for easier consumption.  Simply click on the link and you will be directed to the appropriate page.

EASTCOAST TREK V2019 HISTORICAL PLACES

EASTCOAST TREK V2019 PEOPLE & PLACES

EASTCOAST TREK V2019 FOODIE EXCURSION

EASTCOAST TREK V2019 GOODMAN LEAGUE

God willing EastCoast Trek v2020 is right around the corner and we look forward to sharing another journey with you.

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