First off, let me apologize
for a problem we recently discovered. You see for some
time now, many of you have been telling us that you have been
sending us e-mails without receiving replies. Our
responses to you verbally and via e-mail was "we have not
received any e-mail", and indeed we had not. It seems
most of the e-mails you sent when you replied to the weekly
e-blast, was not reaching us, instead they have been hitting our
On our end, when we glanced at
the "Spam" e-mail number (which tells us the amount of
Spam e-mails that is located in the box) it was always at a zero
amount. Therefore, we thought there was nothing in the
box. We just didn't think about going into our
"Spam" box to double check, as we did last week.
Once we entered the "Spam" box, an enormous amount of
e-mails downloaded and of course we discovered many were not
Spam. Since the "Spam" box empties itself, it is
clear we missed many of your e-mail, which we apologize for.
So, again, please accept our
apology for not replying to your many e-mails. We assure
you that this problem has been resolved, and you are now free to
respond to our e-mails as you have done in the past. In
addition, if by chance
you find we have not responded to you in an appropriate amount
of time, please feel free to e-mail us at the following
or to myself firstname.lastname@example.org
you have noticed the subject of our e-mail begins with
"Jena 6", and if many of you were unable to tuned into CNN
over the past week, you would not be aware of what "Jena
6" is or what it's about. Actually, the story about
this "Jena 6" was just "broken" to the media
worldwide last week.
some time now we have been aware of this issue, due to us being
avid listeners of talk radio; and we were a bit surprised and
became concerned about this issue when we found out. As
you can imagine there are lots of discussions on the talk radio
programs about it.
is "Jena 6"? Well, in a nutshell "Jana
6" is about 6 black students who attended Jena High School
in a small town called Jena in Central Louisiana. These
students were arrested last December after a school fight took
place because of mounting racial tension amid other
issues, after a black student sat under a tree in the schoolyard
where only white students sit. The next day three nooses
painted in the school colors were hanging from the tree.
As a result of this fight a white student was beaten and
suffered a concussion and multiple bruises. The 6 black
students who are between the ages of 15 and 17 were charged with
attempted murder and conspiracy, and faced up to 100 years in
prison without parole. Actually, one of the students 17
year old Mychal Bell who was the first to go on trial was
convicted of aggravated battery and conspiracy charges and now
faces up to 22 years in prison.
are asking...why all this over sitting under a tree? Well,
it seems that this issue can be traced back to approximately a
year ago (Sept. 2006) when one of the black students
requested permission to sit under a tree in the schoolyard where
usually only white students sit. The very next day three
nooses were found hanging from the tree, which to all of these
black students clearly meant HATE, that they had done something
terribly wrong, and that they (the white students) wanted
to hang the kids for sitting under the tree even though they had
gotten permission. Anyway, as the story goes the 3 white
students who had hung the nooses were expelled, but the
school superintendent dismissed the nooses as a prank and
overturned the expulsion giving the white students only 3 days
suspension instead. Therefore, the 3 white students served
the 3 days suspension and were allowed to return to
school. Some days after the nooses incident, and the
overturned expulsion, the black student body of Jena High school
staged an impromptu demonstration where they crowded under the
tree during lunch hour. The school responded to the
demonstration by calling the Police and the District attorney,
and at an assembly that same day the District Attorney Mr. Reed
Walters, accompanied by armed policemen addressed the
students. According to a substitute teacher Michelle
Rogers (one of the few black teachers at the school), the
District Attorney Mr. Reed Walters took a pen out of his pocket
and held it in his hand, and told the kids "See this
pen in my hand? I can end your lives with the stoke of a
this problem festered several incidents occurred throughout the
fall. In October, a black student was beaten for entering
a private all-white party. In late November someone tried
to burn down the high school creating even more tension.
In December, a white
student pulled a gun on a group of black students at a gas
station claiming self-defense, the black students wrestled the
gun away and reported the incident to police, but instead they
were arrested and charged with assault and robbery of the
gun. No charges were ever filed against the white student
in either incident.
couple days later a white student who had racially taunted a
black student who was beaten up days before, was allegedly
attacked in a school fight and was taken to the hospital and
released shortly with a concussion, and he proceeded to attend a
school function that same evening. From this incident
these 6 black students were charged with attempted second-degree
murder and conspiracy to commit murder on charges that leave
them facing between twenty and one hundred years in jail and
their bonds were set at between $70,000 and $138,000.
my understanding several of the families of these students were
unable to come up with the funds to pay their bail and they have
been sitting in Jail until their trial. The first trial
was held in late June for one of these students Mr. Mychal Bell,
who is 16, and who was a football star at Jena High School;
Mychal was found guilty by an all white jury, white judge and
white district attorney and is facing the maximum of 100 years
in prison. However, Mychal charges have been reduced upon
the jury selection of his case and the District Atty. Reed
Walters reduced the charges to aggravated second-degree battery
and conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery, which
together carry a maximum of 22 years in prison instead of
100. Mychal is currently waiting for his sentence which
was postponed from late July to September 20th.
six students absolutely need your help, they want to get a fair
trial, they were clearly charged unjustly, and their charge was
for a major capital crime instead of a school brawl (which
is so wrong).
many including the families and friends of these students,
citizens of this small town "Jena", ministers, The
NAACP, The ACLU and many who have recently become aware of this
problem have been trying to raise awareness of what is
transpiring in "Jena". Their goal is to get a
proper and fair trial for these 6 students. They are
marching and trying to be heard about this unfairness.
Locally, I noticed the Howard University students donated funds
at an assembly regarding these Jena 6 which will go towards
these young men's bail.
is obvious racism is alive and well and taking place right under
our noses. This injustice is appalling!!!! These 6
young men up until a week ago, no major TV network reported
anything about their case, which have clearly been going on for
a year. Imagine in our time, over sitting under a tree
(designated for white students), "the powers that be"
in this town "Jena" is clearly very racist to charge
these kids so severely, throw them in jail, hold trial/s and
find one guilty where he and the 5 others are facing a number of
years in prison, again for a school brawl.
this case has really gone public and is getting a lot of
attention, due to rallies and people speaking out about the
unfairly harsh charges. The Associated Press reported some
days ago that the attempted murder charges has been reduced for
most of these young men. Actually, on Wednesday the
Associated Press reported Judge J. P. Mauffray, Jr. threw out
Mychal Bell's conspiracy conviction saying "juveniles
could not be charged with conspiracy in adult court", which
means Mychal will face at most 15 years in prison instead of
22. Clearly, things are "looking up" for these
young men, now that their terrible story have hit the media, and
since many of us have reached out, currently supporting, talking
and spreading the word about it.
I have placed a few links that takes you to "You Tube"
where several folks have reported/done stories on this important
issue. Check them out and let me know your thoughts.
to help out you can sign the on-line petition being sent around
to obtain signatures so that these young men can get a fair
trial. I understand that a major rally has been planned
and will take place on the day of sentencing (September 20th),
so many around the U.S. are traveling to "Jena" for
this rally. Please do what you can to help!!!!
a report by "Collateral News" click the following
a report by "Democracy Now" click the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwcj3RQcyu0
(cousin of one of the convicted kid) at a rally for the Jena 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHF30f5j5nA
one of the rallies click the link below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebGY2XONJVM
Article to read: http://pursuingholiness.com/2007/06/26/jena-6-update/
here for The Petition of Jena 6: http://www.colorofchange.org/jena/
Last weekend the
New York Labor Day Caribbean Carnival took place, and it was
filled with events, parties and was lots of fun for many.
For me it was just fine. Of course, it was filled with
lots and lots of people. I particularly enjoyed the
Guadalupe band/dances with their beautiful costumes, and
found "Carib-The Forgotten Tribe" was very nice
with their gold body paint. (small section that was a part
of BOREKEETE U.S.A)
to me the BOREKEETE U.S.A Band was very nice as well as
extremely large. BOREKEETE U.S.A had to have taken the top
prize home this year due to all of their beautiful sections
(approximately 14 of them). I
liked the "Red Warriors" also, and there DJ was "
Sound City" whose sound was pretty good on the road.
weekend BJ's International Market in Baltimore that specializes
in the sales of Caribbean and American Groceries celebrates
their 4th month in business with music, food, games for the
kids, giveaways from Grace Food Products and Air Jamaica and
lots of fun. Join them this Saturday for this
special celebration. Click the following link for all the
details and their address and contact information!!. http://www.ariousentertainment.us/BJIntlMarketSA9.5.07.htm
Our friends at Rumors Events cordially invite you to their
"Jamboree" Cooler Fete on Saturday, September 8,
2007. Go out and check out this exciting event. It's
sure to be fun!!!
out the Adam's Morgan Day Festival in Washington DC on Sunday,
September 9th and support Ras Lidj and The Deep band. Make
sure you stop by the Dance Stage to see the great job Cee Cee
Promotions have done. Check out our "Events"
Page for more details!!!
Read Across Jamaica Foundation, Inc. with their effort to help
the children of Jamaica who has been affected by Hurricane
Dean. Additionally, the Literacy Project ends on
Saturday, September 8th (International Literacy Day).
Please support this very important project and visit their site
to obtain your books from their "wish list" for their
book drive, and also make your final donations. For more details
and additional information on both of these projects log on to
their site at
or contact them via
To all of you our on-line
family, thanks for
reading and for always supporting us. As you may know without
you there would be no us. So thanks very much for your
support. Enjoy this weekend and the upcoming week!