By Mel Reeves
The MSR sent writer Mel Reeves to Ferguson, Missouri to personally observe and report on the aftermath of unrest there following an incident of police violence that left a young Black man dead and triggered an outbreak of protests and rioting. Beginning this week, Reeves provides a journal of his observations and conversations with local people about what has happened there and what the future portends.
Dispatches from Ferguson
FERGUSON, MO — At 10 am on Monday, August 25, the time of the Michael Brown funeral, it was very hot, around 97 degrees and humid. The press was out in full force, and folks could barely get into the Friendly Temple church without nearly being assaulted by the media, which clearly were trying hard to find a different angle on grief. For those who may have somehow missed the unfolding of this tragic story, shortly after noon on Saturday, August 9, an unarmed Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. A candlelight vigil that turned violent was followed by two weeks of rioting, looting, and street battles with police and National Guard troops along with some peaceful protests and continuing disclosures of the longstanding racial tensions in this mostly Black community governed by mostly White elected officials. Continue Reading →
By Hazel Trice Edney
A team of African American preachers has sent a letter to President Barack Obama affirming their ”commitment to the Affordable Care Act” even as the president has ordered the website overhauled. ”We believe that access to quality health care is a fundamental civil and human right in America. Historically, over seven million African-Americans have been uninsured and denied access to care with devastating consequences. The Affordable Care Act provides African-Americans, along with Americans of all nationalities, access to desperately needed quality health care,” states the letter, signed by 14 Black preachers, all of whom lead major clerical or civic organizations. Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner and Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian are among 14 leading Black preachers who sent a letter to the President this week assuring they will organize and push to get African Americans signed up for the Affordable Care Act. Continue Reading →
By Marc Morial
President Obama’s decisive victory in this year’s presidential election signaled a shift in both demographics and attitude in America. While 93 percent of African American voters supported Obama, his victory reflected a cross-section of America, including substantial numbers of Whites and a growing number of Hispanics and Asian Americans. African Americans again made the difference in a number of key swing states. In fact, in hotly contested Ohio, the African American share of the electorate rose from 11 percent four years ago to 15 percent this year, with 96 percent of African Americans voting for Obama. Clearly, the president’s small margin of victory in Ohio was determined by an increase in the Black vote. Continue Reading →