In Jena, Louisiana, white students hung nooses in a tree at the public high school, to warn black students not to sit under the a white tree. The school dismissed this hate crime as a harmless prank. When black students protested, the local District Attorney threatened to take their life away with a stroke of my pen. After a schoolyard fight broke out between black and white students, the District Attorney responded by charging six black students with attempted murder. This does not just happen in Jena, Louisiana. Youth of color are treated this way all over America. Help us build a justice system that truly serves all our children. The organizers of the rally, Assemblyman Karim Camara, Ms. Donna Nassor of Friends of Justice, and NYC Council Member Al Vann, spoke and invited a number of other leaders to participate, including NYC Council Member Charles Barron; Rev. Herbert Daughtry of House of the Lord Church; Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood of St. Paul Community Baptist Church; Hazel Dukes, President, NAACP New York State Conference; and activist/writer Kevin Powell. There was a commentary, healing prayers, artists, and words of solidarity from various leaders and activists.
Unfortunately, due to my day job, I arrived at the tails end of the event. But I was fortunate enough to get a few shots & meet and speak with Kevin Powell and a few of our community leaders. I was mostly impressed & happy to see all the youth that attended & participated. It was truly a beautiful turn out.