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The 16-year-old, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, was taken into custody and

charged with assaulting a police officer. The driver of the car, Coby Chavis, 41,

was also taken into custody, and charged with driving with expired plates.



Police Repression of the Black Community

Outrageous Myth or Persistent Reality?

White Officer Suspended After Tape Shows Handcuffed Black Youth Was Punched

By Barbara Whitaker


Los Angeles

July 9, 2002

July 8 - A white police officer in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood was relieved of duty today after a bystander videotaped a confrontation on Saturday evening in which a handcuffed black teenager was thrown against a police car and then punched in the jaw.

"It was very disturbing," Mayor Roosevelt F. Dorn said of the videotape, which has by now been widely televised. "It appears that the officer picked this youngster up and body-slammed him on top of the front end of the car and then punched him."

"From the video I saw, there was one officer that was involved," Mayor Dorn said. "As a matter of fact, one of the other officers seemed to be stepping in to prevent any further conduct by this officer." The officer involved, Jeremy Morse, was removed from duty by the mayor pending the results of an investigation.

No action was taken against the three other Inglewood police officers at the scene, or against any of at least two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who were also there. The Inglewood police said Officer Morse had no comment, and the police union also declined to comment. But the Sheriff's Department, whose deputies had pulled over the car in which the youth was riding, said he had become unruly before the events that were videotaped.

The episode began, said Deputy Steve Jauch, a Sheriff's Department spokesman, when the car was stopped about 5:10 p.m. for expired license plates. "During the investigation, the 16-year-old passenger became involved in an altercation with our deputies and Inglewood police," Deputy Jauch said.

The 16-year-old, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, was taken into custody and charged with assaulting a police officer. The driver of the car, Coby Chavis, 41, was also taken into custody, and charged with driving with expired plates. As a result of the tape, recorded by a man standing at a nearby motel, three investigations are under way: one by the Los Angeles County district attorney, another by the Sheriff's Department and a third by the Inglewood Police Department.

Mayor Dorn said it appeared the incident was isolated. "I have not received any information that would cause me to believe that this type of conduct is going on in the department," he said.

Nor, he said, does he expect the incident to ignite racial tensions. "I can tell you without any question," he said, "this matter will be handled with dispatch, and appropriately."

Source: NYTimes

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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)  / Gil Scott-Heron & His Music  Gil Scott Heron Blue Collar  Remember Gil Scott- Heron

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The Heart of Whiteness

By Robert Jensen

The first, and perhaps most crucial, fear is that of facing the fact that some of what we white people have is unearned. It's a truism that we don't really make it on our own; we all have plenty of help to achieve whatever we achieve. That means that some of what we have is the product of the work of others, distributed unevenly across society, over which we may have little or no control individually. No matter how hard we work or how smart we are, we all know — when we are honest with ourselves — that we did not get where we are by merit alone. And many white people are afraid of that fact. A second fear is crasser: White people's fear of losing what we have — literally the fear of losing things we own if at some point the economic, political, and social systems in which we live become more just and equitable.Robert Jensen  

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 7 February 2012




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