What's Happening

Harlem,1964. Philadelphia, 1964. Watts 1965. Newark, 1967. Detroit, 1967. Omaha, 1969. Miami, 1980. Washington D.C., 1991. Los Angeles, 1992. Cincinnati, 2001. Oakland, 2009. Ferguson, 2014.
Proposition 47, Explained
This November 4th, when Californians go to the polls, they will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. This initiative is a criminal reform to reclassify some nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, permitting re-sentencing for prisoners serving time for crimes classified as felonies prior to its passage.
It’s a rare thing when two great thinkers come together, but that is exactly what is going to happen next week when Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent at The Atlantic and author of the article The Case for Reparations, leads an online book club that will delve into a study of the book, The New Jim Crow, written by acclaimed civil rights lawyer, legal scholar,
In a 2004 keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama delivered one of the most memorable lines of his political career. “There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America,” he said. “There's the United States of America.” It was a powerful, if simple, statement of unity and togetherness; the convention hall thundered with applause.
Last week, Judge Carney in the Central District of California wrote a refreshingly accessible, logical, and just opinion declaring California’s death penalty system unconstitutional.  It is worth reading, but I summarize it briefly below.
Right now, in the United States, close to three million children are growing up with one of their parents, most often their father, in prison. That works out to about one in every 28 kids. For African Americans, the number rises to one in 9. And the consequences are grave.
[image by Nick Fisher, https://www.flickr.com/people/cobrasick/]
On June 2, a federal judge granted a group of people incarcerated at Pelican Bay State Prison permission to pursue a class action against the State of California over its use of solitary confinement. More than five hundred of these inmates have lived in extreme isolation for at least ten years—some for as many as 28 years.