Tag: Black Lives Matter movement

Official Trailer for ‘Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story,’ Released; Docuseries to Premiere July 30 on Spike

Trayvon Martin and father Tracy Martin (photo via mybrownbaby.com)

via shadowandact.com

The official trailer has been released for the docuseries Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story

The docuseries, produced by Jay Z, has been in the works for about a year. The Trayvon Martin Story comes after the Jay Z-produced Time: The Kalief Browder Storywhich debuted on Spike. This new docu-series will air on Paramount Network, the recently-rebranded Spike.

When the project was first announced, Jay-Z with the now-defunct The Weinstein Company, optioned the rights to two books,  Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It by Lisa Bloom and Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.

Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story is based on the life and legacy of Trayvon Martin. The six-part non-scripted documentary series will be the definitive look at one of the most talked-about and controversial events in the last decade that spurred the impactful worldwide Black Lives Matter movement.

Executive producers for the series include Shawn Carter, Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, Chachi Senior, Michael Gasparro, Jenner Furst, Julia Willoughby Nason and Nick Sandow. Furst and Nason will serve as co-directors on the project.

Watch the trailer below:

To read more: https://shadowandact.com/official-trailer-released-for-rest-in-power-the-trayvon-martin-story-produced-by-jay-z

Lezley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s Mother, Earns High School Diploma Alongside College-Bound Daughter Daysa Brown

Michael Brown’s mother and sister, Lesley McSpadden (l) and Daysa Brown (r), graduate high school on same day (photo via tuko.co.ke)

via eurweb.com

Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, recently walked across the stage in Missouri to receive her high school diploma.What’s also interesting is that McSpadden earned her diploma alongside her daughter, Daysa Brown, thanks to the local school district’s adult high school education program, which allowed her to attend classes on weekday afternoons.

McSpadden dropped out of Ladue Horton Watkins High School after giving birth to her son Michael in her junior year. After creating the We Love Our Sons & Daughters Foundation, she decided to go back and get her diploma. The initiative, made in her late son’s honor, focuses on advocating for justice and advancing education.

Specifically, McSpadden got encouragement to go back and finish high school from Art McCoy, a Missouri school district superintendent after he learned she never completed school.  McSpadden worked on getting her diploma at Jennings High School in Jennings, Missouri along with her daughter, Deja Brown. However, their schedules didn’t overlap. “She would just go to afternoon class, so we never really interacted at school or in class or anything,” Brown told the St. Louis American. “But I did help her on homework. Like, math, she was like, ‘I’m stuck! I don’t understand this!’ so I would try to help her the best I could, because it was geometry, which I took already.”

The mother-daughter duo crossed the stage on the same day at Chaifetz Arena on May 26. It’s also worth noting that McSpadden, who presented her daughter’s diploma, is the first graduate of the district’s adult program.

Deja Brown, who will attend Tennessee State University in the fall, told the St.Louis American that she’s proud of herself and her mother for finishing school. “I know it’s something that she’s wanted to do,” she said. “She’s done it and she’s worked really hard, and she’s so excited and I’m excited for her!”

Meanwhile, Benjamin Crump, the family lawyer, told the Post-Dispatch that the ceremony was especially meaningful considering the trauma the family has experienced. He said McSpadden told him she “has a purpose now to try to uphold the legacy of her son.”

Michael Brown was 18 years old when he was shot six times by white officer Darren Wilson in August 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. His killing sparked days of protest in the predominantly black city. The unrest garnered national attention and Black Lives Matter protests spread throughout the country.

To read full article, go to: Lezley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s Mom, Just Got Her High School Diploma

President Obama to Meet With Leaders of the Black Lives Matter Movement At The White House

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President Barack Obama (Source: SAUL LOEB / Getty)

article by Zon D’Amour via hellobeautiful.com

The Obamas are adding to their epic legacy by powerfully celebrating Black History Month. First, Michelle Obama held African dance classes at The White House and now President Obama is set to meet with leaders of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

The President and The First Lady will host a Black History Month reception with two generations of activists as leaders from the Civil Rights Movement will also be present.

In this space, there will be an open dialogue, “…to discuss a range of issues including the Administration’s efforts on criminal justice reform, building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve and the president’s priorities during his final year in office” according to an email from a senior administration official obtained by Buzzfeed.

Here is a list of the attendees, per the White House:

• Aislinn Pulley, Co-Founder and Lead Organizer with Black Lives Matter Chicago

• Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network

• Ben Crump, President of the National Bar Association

• Brittany Packnett, Member of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Co-Founder of We The Protestors and Campaign Zero

• C.T. Vivian, Civil Rights Leader and Author

• Carlos Clanton, President of the National Urban League Young Professionals

• Cornell Brooks, President of the NAACP

• Deray Mckesson, Co-Founder of We the Protestors and Campaign Zero

• Deshaunya Ware, Student Leader of Concerned Student 1950 at University of Missouri

• John Lewis, United States Representative (D-GA)

• Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League

• Mary Patricia Hector, National Youth Director of the National Action Network

• Melanie Campbell, President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

• Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change

• Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

• Stephen Green, National Director of the NAACP Youth and College Division

• Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

To read more, go to: http://hellobeautiful.com/2016/02/18/president-obama-black-lives-matter-black-history-month/

New Orleans City Council Votes to Remove Confederate Monuments

Confederate Symbols
The Robert E. Lee Monument is seen in Lee Circle in New Orleans.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

New Orleans‘ leaders on Thursday made a sweeping move to break with the city’s Confederate past when the City Council voted to remove prominent Confederate monuments along some of its busiest streets.

The council’s 6-1 vote allows the city to remove four monuments, including a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that has stood at the center of a traffic circle for 131 years.

It was an emotional meeting — often interrupted by heckling — infused with references to slavery, lynchings and racism, as well as the pleas of those who opposed removing the monuments to not “rewrite history.”

City Council President Jason Williams called the vote a symbolic severing of an “umbilical cord” tying the city to the offensive legacy of the Confederacy and the era of Jim Crow laws.  “If anybody wins here, it will be the South, because it is finally rising,” Williams, who is African-American, said.

Stacy Head, a council member at large, was the lone vote against the removal. She is one of two white council members.  She lamented what she called a rush to take the monuments down without adequate consideration of their historic value and meaning to many in New Orleans.

Fixing historic injustice is “a lot harder work than removing monuments,” she said, even as many in the packed council chambers jeered her.  She said the issue was dividing the city, not uniting it. “I think all we will be left with is pain and division.”

The decision came after months of impassioned debate. On Thursday, four preservation groups filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to stop the city from taking down the monuments by challenging the city’s removal process.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu first proposed taking down these monuments after police said a white supremacist killed nine parishioners inside the African-American Emanuel AME Church in CharlestonSouth Carolina, in June.

Continue reading “New Orleans City Council Votes to Remove Confederate Monuments”

Obama: Black Lives Matter Activists Have Legitimate Concerns

President Barack Obama at a White House event on criminal justice reform moderated by The Marshall Project. (PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Thursday that the Black Lives Matter movement has “legitimate” concerns, and indicated it was unfair to portray its activists as opposed to law enforcement. At the same time, Obama called on activists to recognize that police officers have a tough job.

Obama said activists are drawing attention to a legitimate concern about whether African-Americans are treated unfairly in specific jurisdictions or are subject to excessive force more frequently. He added that the “overwhelming majority of law enforcement is doing the right thing and wants to do the right thing.”

His comments came at an event at the White House on criminal justice reform that was moderated by The Marshall Project.

“We as a society, particularly given our history, have to take this seriously,” Obama said of the fact that African-Americans are treated unfairly by the criminal justice system. “The African-American community is not just making this up, and it’s not just something being politicized. It’s real, and there’s a history there.”

Obama also said it was important to recognize that the criminal justice system is a reflection of society.

“We as a society, if we are not investing in opportunity for poor kids, and then we expect just the police and prosecutors to keep them out of sight and out of mind, that’s a failed strategy. That’s a failure on our part as a whole,” Obama said. “If kids in the inner city are not getting treatment and opportunity, that’s as much of a problem as if it’s happening to our kids, and we’ve got to think of all our children in that same way.”

The president also addressed “All lives matter,” the frequent response to the “Black lives matter” refrain, saying that organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement were not suggesting black lives are more important than others, but rather that some things happen in black communities that wouldn’t be tolerated in other communities.

“I think everybody understands all lives matter,” Obama said. Everybody wants strong and effective law enforcement, he said, and nobody wants to see police officers hurt who are doing their jobs fairly.

article by Ruby Mellen and Ryan J. Reilly via huffingtonpost.com