Also, Check Out Mychal Bell's Father, Marcus Jones, And Radio Personality/Activist Tony Brown On Tha Artivist Presents…W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Sunday Oct. 28, 2007 Edition…Click The Link Below To Listen:
I wanted to share the updates of the “The Strangefruit: Jena 6 Story” event which took place Friday Oct. 26, 2007 from 6pm-9pm @ Washington University in St. Louis. It seems that the mainstream media is trying to change the truth, but I wanted to provide some facts.
The internet is a great vessel to get important information out…I wanted to provide you a hot off the press scoop, in hopes that you will share with others:
Tha Artivist With Some Jena 6 Fellas: (left to right) Bro. Tony, R2C2H2 and Bro. Marcus Jones (photo by r2c2h2)
Bro. Tony who initially broke the Jena 6 story with the Hangman Noose Incident in September 2006 and who was responsible for coining the phrase Jena 6 is a radio personality out of Central Louisiana…He owns and produces his own radio show, Eyes Open With Tony Brown http://www.eyesopenwithtonybrown.com/, which is the most popular call-in talk radio show in the state Louisiana and which can be heard five days a week from 6am-8am Central time in three states (Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi) and over 200 cities…
Bro. Tony, a proud Kappa, shows Black Greek Love to Sis. Molisa Thomas, a proud Delta. (photo by r2c2h2)
To me Bro. Tony is a true unsung hero and pioneer…He is continuing the tradition of some of the best Black journalism ever…He is definitely doing and carrying out the important work of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, William Monroe Trotter, and Frederick Douglass…I hope that he continues to be a guiding light for truth and justice!!!
When we were sitting in the hotel lobby at the Sheraton in St. Louis Friday night, Bro. Marcus and I started discussing baseball because the World Series just started earlier in the week…Bro. Marcus told me of his fondness for baseball and of his love for softball…When he started to talk his mind began to wander back to the time he was playing a softball game…His son Bro. Mychal, who was eight at the time, was in attendance…Somebody on the opposing team started to taunt Bro. Marcus when he came up to bat…Little Mychal, not liking anyone to disrespect his dad defiantly walked up to home plate and told his dad and the person taunting him that nobody can talk about his daddy that way and that he will be willing to hit for his father!!! When Bro. Marcus finished telling the story as if it happened just yesterday, it really struck a chord in me…It blew me away the love that his son had for his father and vice versa…And I can tell as he told this story how hurtful it feels that he couldn’t protect his son now the same way his son wanted to protect him…However, his son's life serves a grand purpose and it was an honor to finally meet the father of the son of the new American Civil Rights Movement for the 21st Century…
Moving The Crowd Jena 6 Style: Bro. Tony Brown making the packed 609 Club audience in St. Louis aware that Bro. Marcus Jones, the father of Mychal Bell, is in the building. (photo by r2c2h2)
This was the first time ever that Marcus Jones and Tony Brown actually participated in a format together interacting with the public...From the responses afterwards it was received very, very well...If you are interested in having Bro. Marcus Jones and Bro. Mychal Bell come to your school, town, church, meeting, event etc.,…Please feel free to contact them by e-mail: (Tony Brown ) firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com ...You can also reach them by visiting Bro. Tony Brown’s radio show website http://www.eyesopenwithtonybrown.com/
True Southern Gentlemen: Bro. Tony and Bro. Marcus introducing themselves to Sis. Adrienne Glore, the Dean of Student Activities @ Washington University in St. Louis. (photo by r2c2h2)
2. The District Attorney Reed Walters is also the lawyer that defends the La Salle Parish School System or the school board. He was the one who recommended that all boys were expelled not only from the La Salle Parish Schools System, but the whole state of Louisiana along with them being put on trial in the criminal justice system and the juvenile justice system. This seems like a conflict of interest.
3. All of the boys have served a minimum of 4 months in jail before they got bail monies. In reality this should have been treated as a school fight within the La Salle Parish Schools System and handle in that manner with the punishment being given.
4.When the Appeals Court overturned the sentencing of Mychal Bell as an adult and he went to Juvenile Court after serving 10 months in adult prison, the Judge only gave him 1 day for the 10 months served and arrested him for violating his probation. And the Judge took the $45,000 in bail monies knowing that he was only going to give him a few days out of jail and charge him for parole violation.
5. The judge also is trying to make the parents of Mychal Bell pay $600 a month while he is incarcerated along with the court cost. Failure to meet this monthly payment will lead to the imprisonment of both Mychal Bell’s parents. This is being appealed.
6. Marcus Jones, Mychal Bell’s father, lost his job a few days prior to them going to court. This was done to insure that Marcus Jones would not have the money to pay his son’s monthly incarceration fees ($600 a month)
7. They are using the illegal release of Mychal Bell’s juvenile records to try to portray him as a risk to society. Many of his juvenile offenses have been misrepresented. For instance, one of the incidents was wrapping a car with toilet paper and the other one was getting into a fight with a basketball player. In reality these incidents should be dealt with on a school administrative/board level and without the intervention of the judicial system.
8. The State of Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate per capita in the whole world.
Louisiana locks up more Black males than any state in the union known as the United States. Seventy-five percent of their prison population is African American. Sixty percent of those African Americans are imprisoned for non-violent offenses. The notorious Louisiana prison known as Angola still uses chain gangs to pick cotton.
9. In 2004, Louisiana spent $96,713 to incarcerate each child in detention, and $4,724 to educate a child in the public schools.
10. Mychal Bell in his 11th grade year had received over 10 scholarships for football. Some of them were UCLA and LSU. He has received many honors for his talent as a football player. Not long ago, Bell became the 1st African American football player in Louisiana to be selected for two combine games…These are games where talent scouts from the pros and college evaluate talent and rate players. It seems that Mychal Bell was well on his way to becoming a highly prized college recruit and professional National Football League player.
11. The following was stated: La Salle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters convinced an all-white jury of people who were more than twice the age of Mychal, that the 17-year-old's tennis shoes were his weapon of choice. During his trial no one gave testimony that they even saw Mychal kicked the so-called victim, Justin Barker. Many students say Barker taunted Bell all morning the day of the fight even using the term “nigger” profusely to describe Bell. Since then Justin Barker has been expelled for a year, according to Louisiana Law, for bringing a gun on the Jena High School campus.
12. The original lawyer for Mychal Bell, Blane Williams (who’s a Black man), was a public defender and he didn't call anyone in Mychal Bell’s defense.
13.) Coach Benjy Lewis, the only adult witness to the incident, stated that another student, Malcolm Shaw, was the initial attacker…He was only able to positively identify one other student, not Bell…Coach Lewis was not called to testify in Bell's trial.
14.) All six members of Mychal Bell's jury were white. The 150-person jury call included Black citizens, who make up 12 percent of the Jena's population, but none of the 50 potential jurors who showed up were black…One of the jurors was a high school friend of the victim's father.
15.) Mychal Bell’s father also talked about the lack of support from Jena’s Black community concerning the Jena 6…Many Blacks fear retaliation from Jena’s White community through the fear of losing their lives and jobs if they speak out or stand up…No place in town or Black Churches in Jena except for the one led by 25 year old Rev. Brian Moran of Antioch Baptist Church, would let the Jena 6 Defense Committee meet.
16.) Entertainment Mogul Tyler Perry, a Louisiana native, has donated full scholarships to any school of their choice for all Jena 6 defendants.
17.) Mychal Bell’s hearing is scheduled for December 6, 2007 (On his father’s Marcus Jones’ birthday) and Bryant Ray Purvis hearing is on November 4, 2007.
18.) There are only two Black owned businesses in Jena: a car wash and funeral home.
19.) There is only one Black person on the La Salle Parish School Board.
20.) Black residents are not allowed to participate in the political life of Jena meaning that they cannot vote for the mayor, alderman, city council, fire chief and/or school board because the Jena officials have the Black neighborhood zoned out of the city limits…They have a city ordinance saying that if you don’t live in the city limits you can’t vote…This also eliminates the Black community from getting federal and state grants…This is ironic considering that the Black neighborhood is considered Jena by the U.S. Postal Service due to zip code location.
21.) Black residents in Jena make up about 12% of the population of Jena which has approximately 3,000…This means that there are at least 360 Black folks living in Jena, La…About 85% of Jena’s population is White…
22.) Jena was named for Jena, Germany, where French Emperor Napoleon I won the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt in 1806.
The Jena 6 Defense Committee
PO Box 2798,
Jena, LA 71342
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