Strange Fruit: The Jena 6 Story

The Problem

After hearing and reading about the Jena 6 situation and the injustice that was being done to Mychal Bell one of the defendant in the case, I was moved to try to get the story out to my school, Washington University in St. Louis and the Greater St. Louis area. I decided to organize a forum entitled: "Strange Fruit: The Jena 6 Story" and invited the father of Mychal Bell, Marcus Jones and radio personnel, Tony Brown that broke the story and named the group "Jena 6." I received both gentlemen contact information from my brother, Ronald Herd II. My brother has created his own internet talk show, WeAllBe Radio (www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe) and created his own internet Alternative News entitled WeallBe. Below is a small description of the case: Mychal Bell and five other black teens face trial for the December 4, 2006 beating of a white student, Justin Barker, who was attacked and briefly knocked unconscious. That incident capped months of violent racial tension in Jena set off after a black student asked school administrators for permission to sit beneath a shade tree in the high school courtyard traditionally used only by whites. I personally wanted to create a forum that allowed the public to hear the actual story of the injustice that was happening in Jena, Louisiana to 6 black youths from an actual source. Although, I couldn't attend the march on September 20th, I felt that by organizing a forum it would allowed the movement to continue to be heard and in the end would help to secure the release and freedom of all Jena 6 defendants along with stopping Jena 6 incidents throughout the country. I began organizing the forum and had my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Omega City-Wide Chapter to assist me along with getting the sponsorship and help from the following organizations: Washington University African and African American Studies, and George Warren School of Social Work. I also sought out the assistance of my academic advisor and brother to assist with the planning of the event. I had a friend whom is a graphic art designer to create the poster. The forum was a success. Over 200 individuals attended the forum, and Marcus Jones was able to talk at a local radio station about the the incident. The forum made individuals aware of what was actually going on with the case and why Jena 6 is not just for the defendants, but rather to stop injustice of any African American male that is being trailed by the justice system improperly. I have received inquiries from other groups that want to also have a forum that have Marcus Jones and Tony Brown along with my brother to speak. My goal is to start a voice across the country make people aware of injustices such as Jena 6 and others that affect our African American males (both youths and adults). The goal is to provide knowledge and factual information on these injustices. To allow individuals to start getting involve with their senators, congress representatives, local/state representices, courts and if they have to to take it to the Supreme Court. We can no longer allow the system to be un-equal to the African American male. I am not asking for people to be free because they are African Americans, but rather to give them the same court system that their European counterpart receive and to not imprison to terms that don't fit the crime. I want to awaken any one and everyone to these injustices and go back to what the Civil Rights Movement was trying to do. In the end, we are our brothers keeper and we must take an interest in all mankind. Regardless, I plan on continuing this cause in that I am not in it for the short run, but rather until justice is equal for all. I believe in the impossible.

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