“40 Years a Prisoner” is a documentary about the events leading up to and following the 1978 Philadelphia police department’s raid of the MOVE organization’s home. There had been a period of increasing hostility between MOVE and the police which led to the raid and a stand-off that left one officer dead and another wounded. During the confrontation, police officers beat a then unarmed member of the organization and bombed the home leading to its destruction and the death of 11 people. Resulting trials would see allegations of police wrongdoing thrown out while several surviving MOVE members would be convicted and spend decades in prison.
Tag: <span>prison reform</span>
“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander tackles the complex issues of mass incarceration. Other sources have discussed how the raw figures have grown over time. But as a civil rights attorney and legal scholar, Alexander provides an intriguing exploration of the history of the policies, reforms, and social attitudes that have contributed to the creation of the prison industrial complex.
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead tells the story of Elwood Curtis, a Black young man growing up in Tallahassee during the 1950s and 60s. Elwood is surrounded by the injustice of segregation but inspired by the early Civil Rights Movement. Raised with the love of his strict and religious grandmother, Elwood is a serious hard-working boy who is unable to turn a blind eye to injustice. It sets him apart from the other boys in his neighborhood but puts him in danger when he’s sent to a corrupt reform school.
A profile of the Scottsboro Boys, nine Black teens who were falsely accused and convicted of rape resulting in Supreme Court rulings that set precedence for future civil rights cases.
In the May 2020 edition of Noire News, I share some feel good stories about folks who are doing some good in the midst of COVID. There are also a few feature stories about the injustice system, progress in Sudan, and Joe Biden’s ignorance. As always there’s also a monthly memorial for those we’ve lost during the month.