Vol. 15  No. 13
JUNE 29, 2020
Our Stories
Columns & Features
by Heidi M. Pascual
The Naked
by Jamala Rogers
Editor's Corner
by Jonathan
Freedom and Juneteenth Day
Freedom is a never-ending pursuit on God’s green acre. It is hardly something static or a status that is
achieved for all time. I forget how many times the Israelites were enslaved by one foe or another in the Old
send its troops into Francophone countries when there was unrest and threats to overthrow the government in African nations?
The effect of this neo-colonial relationship between Europe and Africa was the continued shipment of cheap raw materials from Africa to feed manufacturing in
Europe. And they could do it without the expense and trouble of actually occupying Africa.

The same is true in the United States. I wrote the following in observation of Juneteenth Day back in 2012:

“Juneteenth Day is still an important milestone in our nation’s history that should be used to reflect on the price that many have paid for individual freedom in this
country. Up to that point in 1865, many Africans who were slaves gave their lives in many different ways in their quest for freedom, whether it was through joining
the Continental Army under George Washington to fight in the Revolutionary War to being put to death for trying to escape to fighting on the side of the Union during
the Civil War. And many gave their lives in the following 110 years or so to make that freedom actually free.

“But the fight for freedom never stops. Recent voter suppression bills passed by the Wisconsin legislature and signed into law by Governor Scott Walker and enacted
in other states show us that the fight for one’s position on God’s green earth never stops. Now the fight isn’t through cannons and musket fire like it was during the
1860s. It is through the ballot box and voting and through education where people prepare themselves for economic battle that the fighting is done.
The fight is not over and young people in the African American community especially need to engage this fight for it is their future freedom that is at risk. If you think
conditions today are bad, things can get much worse. Freedom is not guaranteed!”

For those who came of age or were adults in the 1950s, it was the Civil Rights Movement that was fought for the liberty of African Americans, resulting in the
passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. These laws won more freedom for African Americans
and other people of color. Theoretically speaking, people could vote without being harassed, live where they wanted to if they could afford it and not have their civil
rights violated by state or local government.

But it was “civil society” freedom granting African Americans and other people of color governmental rights. Freedom does not mean that one can do what they want
whenever they want. That kind of attitude usually means that the people around the individual are having their rights violated by the very person who claims their
“freedom.” Even in the wild, people are not free to do what they want. There are predators like bears and mountain lions that gladly take advantage of the fool dancing
around doing what they want.

But those laws from the 1960s changed the legal structure of society to give African Americans more freedom.

But remember that it was a grant of governmental freedom, but did little to change the economic structure of a society that still depended on the relatively cheap labor
of African Americans, particularly African American men. There are elements in our society even today who refuse to give up that cheap labor.

And so, gaining the cheap labor of particularly African American men would have to be gained another way. Mass media vilified African American men beginning in
the early 1970s and promoted lifestyles like “Super Fly” who seemed not to work and lived through a hustle here and there. The drug lifestyle was glamorized. Every
day working class African American men were portrayed as thugs and lazy. Most everyone I met in Mississippi and beyond were working their butts off in fields and
manufacturing plants.

It created all sorts of negative imagery of African American men to the point that they were once again “imprisoned” by an invisible array of attitudes on the part of
the dominant Euro-American society. Young Black men would be confronted by police if they were walking in a “white” neighborhood and told they didn’t look like
they belonged there even though they or their families owned a home in the neighborhood.  --  
The Naked
by Jamala Rogers
And of course, there are conditions of neo-slavery where the systems are put in place that achieve the same result as actual slavery, but the
mechanism for making that so is almost invisible. For instance, after the African nations achieved their independence starting in the 1950s,
policies and procedures were put into place including trading agreements and mutual-protection pacts. Did you ever wonder why France would
The Aftermath of the Supreme Court’s
DACA Decision

By Salvador Carranza from information
provided by the Association of Landmark
We Are Responsible for Creating the
Change We Need

A guest editorial by State Superintendent
Carolyn Stanford Taylor