Category Archives: Education

33 Movies for Black History

We've included 21 full-length movies you can watch now on your computer or device and 12 additional movie trailer recommendations to watch during black history month and beyond. Unfortunately, we cannot possibly list every good move related to black history and there are plenty of excellent movies not included on this list. However, we hope you discover something new and enjoy watching.

Full Movies Which Were Available on the Date of Publication

The Vernon Johns Story (1994 Full Movie)

Vernon Johns (April 22, 1892 – June 11, 1965) was an American minister at several black churches in the South. He is best known as the pastor 1947-52 of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama. He was succeeded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The video has been deleted, trailer now shown below.

King (1978 Full Movie)

King was a television miniseries based on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. It aired for three consecutive nights on NBC from February 12 through 14, 1978. 

The Rosa Parks Story 2002

Something the Lord Made (2004 Full Movie)

Based on the true story of Vivien Thomas, a carpenter that wanted to be a doctor, unable to attend college he works for a real doctor as a janitor. Realizing what this young man is capable of the doctor gives him real tasks and as a team, they go to conquer what other people thought impossible. Based on a true story. Vivien Thomas became a black cardiac pioneer and his complex and volatile partnership with white surgeon Alfred Blalock, the world famous "Blue Baby doctor" who pioneered modern heart surgery.

Keep the Faith, Baby – Adam Clayton Powell Movie 2002

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (November 29, 1908 – April 4, 1972) was a Baptist pastor and an American politician, who represented Harlem, New York City, in the United States House of Representatives (1945–71). He was the first person of African-American descent to be elected from New York to Congress. Oscar Stanton De Priest of Illinois was the first black person to be elected to Congress in the 20th century; Powell was the fourth. Re-elected for nearly three decades, Powell became a powerful national politician of the Democratic Party and served as a national spokesman on civil rights and social issues. 

Deacons for Defense 2003

The Deacons for Defense and Justice was an armed self-defense group of African-Americans that protected civil rights organizations in the U.S. Southern states during the 1960s.

The Tuskegee Airmen 1995

The Tuskegee Airmen was a group of the first African-American military aviators (fighter and bomber) in the United States Armed Forces who fought in World War II. Officially, they formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. All black World War II military pilots who trained in the United States trained at Moton Field, the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and were educated at Tuskegee University, located near Tuskegee, Alabama.

Ghost of Mississippi 1996

A Mississippi district attorney and the widow of Medgar Evers struggle to finally bring a white racist to justice for the 1963 murder of the civil rights leader. Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was a black civil rights activist from Mississippi who worked to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi and to enact social justice and voting rights. He was killed by a white segregationist.

Panther 1995

In October of 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was created in response to challenge police brutality in Oakland.

The Marva Collins Story 1981

Marva Delores Collins (August 31, 1936 – June 24, 2015) was an American educator who started the highly successful Westside Preparatory School in the impoverished Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago in 1975.

Introducing Dorothy Dandridge 1999

Dorothy Jean Dandridge (November 9, 1922 – September 8, 1965) was an American film and theater actress, singer and dancer. She is perhaps best known for being the first African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1954 film Carmen Jones

The Josephine Baker Story 1991

Josephine Baker, born in St. Louis, MO, was a singer and entertainer who skyrocketed to international fame as a performer in Paris. Baker renounced her U.S. citizenship because of racism and became a French national and war hero during WWII.

The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992)

Based upon the history of the Jackson family, one of the most successful musical families in show business, and the early and successful years of the popular Motown group The Jackson 5.

The Temptations 1998

Biography of the singers who formed the hit Motown musical act, The Temptations.

Miss Evers Boys

The true story of the U.S. Government's 1932 Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, in which members of a group of black test subjects were allowed to die, despite a cure having been developed.

The Jackie Robinson Story 1950

Biography of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player in the 20th century. Traces his career in the Negro Leagues and the major leagues.

The Spook Who Sat By the Door 1973

A black man plays Uncle Tom in order to gain access to CIA training, then uses that knowledge to provide tactical training to street gang members to plot a Black American Revolution.

Sounder 1972

About a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers in Louisiana in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, facing a serious family crisis when the husband and father, is convicted of a petty crime and sent to a prison camp.

A Woman Called Moses 1978

Based on the life of Harriet Tubman, the escaped African American slave who helped to organize the Underground Railroad, and who led dozens of African Americans from enslavement in the Southern United States to freedom in the Northern states and Canada.

Ray 2004

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles.

Hoodlum 1997

A fictionalized account of the gang war between the Italian/Jewish mafia alliance and the Black gangsters of Harlem that took place in the late 1920s and early 1930s based on real events and characters. The film concentrated on Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson (Laurence Fishburne), Dutch Schultz (Tim Roth), and Lucky Luciano. 

The video has been deleted, trailer now shown below.

12 Black Movie Trailers to Stream or Rent

Rosewood 1997

Based on historic events of the 1923 Rosewood massacre in Florida, when a racist white lynch mob killed blacks and destroyed their black community.

Amistad 1997

Based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the slave trade managed to gain control of their captors' ship off the coast of Cuba, and the international legal battle that followed their capture by a U.S. revenue cutter. The case was ultimately resolved by the United States Supreme Court in 1841.

Roots 1977

Roots was an American television miniseries based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family; the series first aired on ABC-TV in January 1977. (Goodbye Uncle Tom is another 70s Slave Movie which was virtually banned from the U.S.)

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Hidden Figures 2016

Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film about female African-American mathematicians at NASA.

Malcolm X 1992

Malcolm X is a biographical drama about key events in Malcolm X's life: defining childhood incidents, his criminal career, his incarceration, his conversion to Islam, his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam and his later falling out with the organization, his marriage, his pilgrimage to Mecca, and his assassination on February 21, 1965. 

American Violet 2008

A single mother struggles to clear her name after being wrongly accused and arrested for dealing drugs in an impoverished town in Texas.

Belle 2013

Based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th century England.

A Soldier's Story 1984

Not a true story, but an excellent look at the what was at stake for black people through the lens of the perceived humanity of our black soldiers.

Glory 1989

The film is about one of the first military units of the Union Army during the American Civil War to be made up entirely of African-American men (except for its officers), as told from the point of view of Colonel Shaw, its white commanding officer. 

The Cotton Club 1984

The Cotton Club was a famous night club in Harlem. The story follows the people that visited the club, those that ran it, and is peppered with the Jazz music that made it so famous. The Cotton Club was whites only but featured all black entertainment during the 1920s Harlem Renaissance.

Mississippi Burning 1988

Two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

The Retrieval 2013

A fatherless 13-year-old black boy, who survives by working with a white bounty hunter gang who sends him to earn the trust of runaway slaves and wanted black men.


Part of the Court.rchp.com 2017 Black History Month Series

Charles Hamilton Houston – The Man Who Killed Jim Crow

One of the most influential figures in African American life between the two world wars was Charles Hamilton Houston. A scholar and lawyer, he dedicated his life to freeing his people from the bonds of racism.  Houston played a significant role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws, which earned him the title "The Man Who Killed Jim Crow".

Charles Houston grew up in a middle-class family in Washington, D.C. His father, William Le Pre Houston, was an attorney, and his mother, Mary Hamilton Houston, a seamstress. 

Charles Houston with his Father and Mother

Houston enrolled at Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was one of six valedictorians in 1915. Determined to be a lawyer like his father, Houston taught English for a couple of years back in Washington in order to save enough money to attend Harvard Law School. Houston noticed while teaching, that blacks had not advanced meaningfully in the past 20 years and were becoming increasingly victimized by segregation in the public and private sectors.

As the U.S. entered World War I, Houston joined the then racially segregated U.S. Army as an officer and was sent to France. Houston was an artillery officer in France. He witnessed and endured the racial prejudice inflicted on black soldiers. These encounters fueled his determination to use the law as an instrument of social change. 

Lieutenant Houston in Artillery Unit, World War

Houston returned to the U.S. in 1919 and attended Harvard Law School. He was a member of the Harvard Law Review and graduated cum laude. Houston was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He received his JD from Harvard in 1923 and that same year was awarded a Sheldon Traveling Fellowship to study at the University of Madrid. When he returned to Washington to join his father’s law firm, he began taking on civil rights cases. He was admitted to the Washington, DC bar in 1924.

William Houston practiced law in Washington, D.C., for more than four decades, and taught legal office management at Howard University’s law school.

Howard University School of Law: Preparing for Struggle

Mordecai Johnson, the first African-American president of Howard University, named Charles Houston to head the law school in 1929. Houston brought an ambitious vision to the school, he set out to train attorneys who would become civil rights advocates. At the time, courses were offered only part-time and in the evening. Houston created an accredited, full-time program with an intensified civil rights curriculum. In Houston's capacity as Dean, he had a direct influence on nearly one-quarter of all the black lawyers in the United States, including former student Thurgood Marshall. Houston transformed a second-rate law school into a first class institution that churned out generations of brilliant black lawyers. His determination to train world-class lawyers who would lead the fight against racial injustice gave African Americans an invaluable weapon in the civil rights struggle.

Howard Law School Course Syllabus

Houston diversified the course offerings and made sure students received more rigorous training for work in the field of civil rights. 

This 1931 memorandum from Houston asked all law school staff to provide an overview of their courses and stated his intention to strengthen the curriculum.

Original HU Law School Building

This row house in downtown Washington was the home of the Howard University law school when Charles Houston was dean. He strengthened the school’s academic standards and instilled a sense of social mission. Under Houston, the law school graduated a group of highly effective civil rights lawyers, the most illustrious of whom was Thurgood Marshall.
Professors at the law school plan a year of coursework.

Houston knew many of the foremost legal minds of his day and brought them to Howard as program advisors and speakers.

In this photograph he poses with Mordecai Johnson, president of the university, and Clarence Darrow, the famed lawyer who defended the theory of evolution in the Scopes trial in 1925.

Charles Houston arguing a case in court

Houston continued to argue cases in court and work for equality in the legal community during his years as dean of Howard’s law school. When the American Bar Association refused to admit African American attorneys, he helped found the National Bar Association, an all-black organization, in 1925.

A New Legal Team at the NAACP

In 1934 Charles Houston left the Howard University School of Law to head the Legal Defense Committee of the NAACP in New York City. Seeking out bright, dedicated attorneys to join the mission, he built an interracial staff that defended victims of racial injustice. Among the lawyers recruited was Thurgood Marshall, Houston’s star student from Howard’s law school.

In July 1938 policy disagreements and health problems caused Houston to relinquish the leadership of the NAACP legal committee to Thurgood Marshall. Summing up Houston’s contribution to the struggle against segregation and racism, Marshall later remarked, “We owe it all to Charlie.”

Through his work at the NAACP, Houston played a role in nearly every civil rights case before the Supreme Court between 1930 and Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Houston's plan to attack and defeat Jim Crow segregation by demonstrating the inequality in the "separate but equal" doctrine from the Supreme Court's Plessy v. Ferguson decision as it pertained to public education in the United States was the masterstroke that brought about the landmark Brown decision. In Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada (1939), Houston argued that it was unconstitutional for Missouri to exclude blacks from the state’s university law school when, under the “separate but equal” provision, no comparable facility for blacks existed within the state.

Houston’s efforts to dismantle the legal theory of “separate but equal” came to fruition after his death in 1950 with the historic Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision, which prohibited segregation in public schools.

 

In the documentary "The Road to Brown", Hon. Juanita Kidd Stout described Houston's strategy, 

"When he attacked the "separate but equal" theory his real thought behind it was that "All right, if you want it separate but equal, I will make it so expensive for it to be separate that you will have to abandon your separateness." And so that was the reason he started demanding equalization of salaries for teachers, equal facilities in the schools and all of that." 

Houston took a movie camera across South Carolina to document the inequalities between African-American and white education.

Then, as Special Counsel to the NAACP Houston dispatched Thurgood Marshall, Oliver Hill, and other young attorneys to work to equalize teachers' salaries. Houston led a team of African-American attorneys who used similar tactics to bring to an end the exclusion of African-Americans from juries across the South.

Charles Houston was one of the most important civil rights attorneys in American history. A lawyer, in his view, was an agent for social change—“either a social engineer or a parasite on society.” 


Part of the Court.rchp.com 2017 Black History Month Series


Much of the content above has been republished under license from the Smithsonian and Wikipedia

Hidden Racism of Charter Schools

There was an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today, "Some St. Louis charter schools worry their popularity threatens diversity". The article stated, "A few of the city’s charter schools are becoming so popular that they’re struggling to stay accessible to low-income families." On the surface, this may seem like some innocent accident, but it may have been part of the design.

The easiest way to hold back or control a group is people is to control their education. Just as Southern slave owners understood that denying slaves an education reduced the capacity of slaves to think, substandard education reduces the capacity to do for yourself and increases reliance upon others. See our Educational Oppression page.

The St. Louis Public School System has and will continue to decline. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I taught in the St. Louis Public Schools. Even then, you could see the games being played with the desegregation program.

Many of the best and brightest black students were being taken out of the city system and the county was transferring some of its poorly performing or trouble maker white students into the city system. Hundreds of millions of city school dollars ended up going to county schools which helped pay for modern facilities and amenities. The obvious results were declining enrollment, older facilities in disrepair and lower student performance which opened the door for charter schools.

Charter schools stripped, even more, dollars from the public school system and were not accountable in the same ways as public schools since they were considered independent even though they were funded with public education funds.

Below you will find excerpts and links to three different sources that make a pretty good argument for the racist nature whether planned or unintentional.

The Racist History of the Charter School Movement

The now-popular idea of offering public education dollars to private entrepreneurs has historical roots in white resistance to school desegregation after Brown v. Board of Education (1954). The desired outcome was few or, better yet, no black students in white schools. In Prince Edward County, Virginia, one of the five cases decided in Brown, segregationist whites sought to outwit integration by directing taxpayer funds to segregated private schools.

Two years before a federal court set a final desegregation deadline for fall 1959, local newspaper publisher J. Barrye Wall shared white county leaders’ strategy of resistance with Congressman Watkins Abbitt: “We are working [on] a scheme in which we will abandon public schools, sell the buildings to our corporation, reopen as privately operated schools with tuition grants from [Virginia] and P.E. county as the basic financial program,” he wrote. “Those wishing to go to integrated schools can take their tuition grants and operate their own schools. To hell with 'em.”  

Attorney David Mays, who advised high-ranking Virginia politicians on school strategy, reasoned, “Negroes could be let in [to white schools] and then chased out by setting high academic standards they could not maintain, by hazing if necessary, by economic pressures in some cases, etc. This should leave few Negroes in the white schools. The federal courts can easily force Negroes into our white schools, but they can’t possibly administer them and listen to the merits of thousands of bellyaches.” 

NAACP Sounds the Alarm on Charter Schools, Warns of Racist Discipline Policies, Segregation, Lack of Oversight and Accountability

The NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, recently passed a resolution at their national convention in Cincinnati calling for a ban on privately managed charter schools.  The resolution said the following:

* “Charter schools have contributed to the increased segregation rather than diverse integration of our public school system.”

* “Weak oversight of charter schools puts students and communities at risk of harm, public funds at risk of being wasted, and further erodes local control of public education.”

* “[R]esearchers have warned that charter school expansions in low-income communities mirror predatory lending practices that led to the sub-prime mortgage disaster, putting schools and communities impacted by these practices at great risk of loss and harm…”

Understanding the “New” Racism through an Urban Charter School

In 2005, a research paper, published by Beth Hatt-Echeverria, a White female assistant professor of Education at Illinois State University and Ji-Yeon Jo, a Korean female independent researcher, discuss a subtle form of racism based uncovered by research conduct at Eagles Landing Charter School. Excerpts from their findings are below.

“There is a charming story by Dr. Seuss…In a society of beings called Sneetches, there were plain and star bellied speeches. The star-bellied Sneetches were the ‘best’ and dominated the plain-bellied folks. Recognizing the injustice of the situation, the oppressed Sneetches decided to paint stars on their own bellies. Now there was equality! But not for long. The original star-bellied Sneetches had their stars painfully removed and claimed, of course, that plain bellies were now marks of superiority. Power structures do not crumble easily.”

Even though there has always been racism in American history, it has not always been the same racism. Political and cultural struggles over power shape the contours and dimensions of racism in any era”. The “contours and dimensions of racism” change as if dancing with civil rights to ensure that White privilege remains the lead dancer. As legislation and policies occur to provide opportunities for people of color, Whiteness shifts to make certain White privilege remains dominant. Giroux (1999) claims that the new shape of racism is a White, conservative backlash to racial minority rights and changing demographics of U.S. cities such as increases in the U.S. Latino population.

As race became paramount in shaping U.S. politics and everyday life from the 1980’s on, racial prejudice in its overt forms was considered a taboo. While the old racism maintained some cachet among the more vulgar, right-wing conservatives, a new racist discourse emerged in the United States. The new racism was coded in the language of ‘welfare reform,’ ‘neighborhood schools,’ ‘toughness on crime,’ and ‘illegitimate births.’ Cleverly designed to mobilize White fears while relieving Whites of any semblance of social responsibility and commitment, the new racism served to rewrite the politics of Whiteness as a ‘besieged’ racial identity.

One of the ways that racism transforms and shifts to maintain White privilege is through the (re)defining of Whiteness as what is “moral” and “normal” in such a way that Whites, especially the upper middle class, benefit.

Eagles Landing Charter School arose from a group of White parents and White educators being frustrated with the local school system. All of the original Board members were parents and teachers connected to one local middle school. A key characteristic of the middle school was that over the past five years it had become more racially integrated. Students of color were beginning to become a majority in the school.

The following statements seemed to be the mantra of the original board members: Class sizes are too large. Too much violence. Too many drugs. Teachers should be allowed more voice. These statements are similar to Giroux’s (1999) description of the new racism as involving coded language that addresses issues of race indirectly by discussions of “Toughness on Crime,” “Welfare Reform,” and “Illegitimate Births.” When interviewing White students, teachers, and parents, the majority of them mentioned some form of the statements above as an explanation as to why they were going to the charter school. Additionally, many of them had left the previously mentioned middle school. On the contrary, many of the African-American students chose to attend the charter school because it was located close to their homes.

Initially, Echeverria and Jo saw the school positively, but then they both felt like the school was almost too perfect. The school staff had maintained some control concerning the student interviews. However, a group of Black students wanted to speak to the researchers without any school staff present. 

For these Black students, the school was not only a very negative experience but it was directly influencing their school achievement. They were experiencing differential treatment, lower expectations by teachers, and alienation. It was the hidden transcript that encouraged us to ask how the ideals and realities were so different in the school and how the teachers and administration constructed their “innocence” in contributing to the experiences of the Black students.


Additional articles:

Charter Schools Propping Up the School-to-Prison Pipeline – US News& World Reports

In Missouri, Race Complicates a Transfer to Better Schools – New York Times

Colonizing the Black Natives: Charter Schools and Teach for America – Seattle Education

School types: The difference between public, private, magnet, charter, and more

Public, Private, Charter, Magnet – What's the Difference?

School-to-Prison Pipeline Complete — New Law Makes Schoolyard Fights Felony

By Justin Gardner

Schoolyard fights now a felony.

On January 1, 2017, the state of Missouri will implement a public school policy sure to accelerate the descent into police state dystopia. See, Missouri Revised Statutes 565.054 and 565.056.

The Hazelwood School District put out a memo to parents and guardians stating that, according to Missouri statute, fights at school or on buses will be treated as felonies — which can result in up to four years of prison, fines or probation.

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We want to make you aware of a few new State Statutes that will go into effect on January 1, 2017, which may have a drastic impact on how incidents are handled in area school districts.

The way the new statue reads, if a person commits the offense of an assault in the third degree this will now be classified as a Class E Felony, rather than a misdemeanor. If he or she knowingly causes physical injury to another person (hits someone or has a fight with another individual and an injury occurs) – one or both participants may be charged with a Felony.

Gone are the days when teachers broke up fights and sent the kids home, calling the parents and perhaps suspending the kid if it was a serious incident. “School Resource Officers” or local cops now arrest the kids and, if there is any perceived injury (an arbitrary judgment), will charge them with third-degree assault – treating children cooped up in school as if they are violent adults on the streets.

What does this mean for students?

For example, if two students are fighting and one child is injured, the student who caused the injury may be charged with a felony. Student(s) who are caught fighting in school, bus or on school grounds may now be charged with a felony (no matter the age or grade level), if this assault is witnessed by one of the School Resource Officers/police officers (SRO) or if the SRO/local law enforcement officials have to intervene.”

It doesn’t stop there. Even attempts or threats to cause harm will be treated as a Class A misdemeanor, which can bring up to a year of prison time. If the assaulted person is considered a “special victim,” a Class D felony can be imposed which can mean up to seven years in prison.

The Free Thought Project has reported on numerous examples of how public schools are increasingly relying on armed cops to carry out discipline, thereby criminalizing the age-old reality of children behaving badly.

This has resulted in the increasingly prevalent phenomenon known as the “school to prison pipeline.”

The Arizona State Law Journal found that over the last three decades, there has been a marked shift in public schools to using law enforcement instead of school administrators and teachers for students violating school rules.

Approximately 260,000 students were referred to law enforcement during the 2011-2012 school year, and about 92,000 students were arrested on school property. Unsurprisingly, these numbers affect disadvantaged minority students the most.

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) documented disturbing examples of children being subjected to law enforcement, just as a shocking video emerged of a cop brutalizing a teenage girl in the classroom for misbehaving.

”Some police actions involve alarming physical altercations, with kids subdued and handcuffed. Others may be handled without much force. But law-enforcement involvement in school discipline has routinely resulted in kids—some as young as elementary school-age—summoned to court to answer charges that they committed crimes. Frequently, charges include battery or assault in connection with schoolyard fights or disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace at school —issues that some believe should be handled by school officials, not cops.”

The worst state is Virginia, with a rate of 16 students per 1,000 being referred to law enforcement. One school had a shocking 228 students, most between 11 and 14, that were referred to cops. A 12-year-old girl was charged with obstruction of justice for clenching her fist at a cop. 11-year-old Kayleb Moon-Robinson, who is autistic, was slammed to the floor for walking out of class too early, and then was charged with felony assault on a police officer and disorderly conduct.

Other shocking examples include five- and six-year-olds being handcuffed, arrested and booked into jail for throwing temper tantrums. Dress code violations, tardiness, and even passing gas have all led to students being referred to law enforcement.

CPI describes how early exposure to law enforcement and the “justice system” has a devastating impact on the mental health of children, and makes it more likely they will grow up to live all or part of their lives behind bars.

“…prosecuting kids in court for low-level accusations like disorderly conduct and battery is actually backfiring; kids become stigmatized, develop records and often disengage from school. The risk increases that they’ll progress to more serious trouble, especially if core emotional or mental-health or learning problems go unresolved or inadequately treated.”

The Arizona State Law Journal confirmed that incarceration increases delinquency and future involvement in the justice system, and “the official processing of a juvenile law violation may be the least effective means of rehabilitating juvenile offenders.”

“No one should underestimate the negative consequences associated with incarcerating a juvenile, both to our society as a whole and to the youth themselves, which is the end result of the school-to-prison pipeline. Empirical research demonstrates that incarceration produces long-term detrimental effects on youth, including reinforcement of violent attitudes and behaviors; more limited educational, employment, military, and housing opportunities; an increased likelihood of not graduating from high school; mental health concerns; and increased future involvement in the criminal justice system.”

By enacting their draconian new rules, the state of Missouri is completely ignoring science, instead, falling back on uniformed state agents with badges and guns – trained to confront the worst of society – to deal with misbehaving kids in school.

Missouri is ignoring the proven benefits of “restorative justice.”

“Thus, rather than excluding the student from the school community for misbehaving, which potentially can cause resentment, disrupt that student’s educational progress, and lead to recidivism and dropping out of school, one of the primary goals of restorative justice is to integrate the offender back into the school community as a productive member.

In essence, restorative justice practices are conflict resolution tools that involve victims, offenders, and other members of the school community. Using formal and informal conferences, or “circle groups,” victims share with offenders how they have been harmed by the offender’s behavior, offenders have opportunities to apologize to the victims, and, with the help of the victims and the other members of the school community, conference participants devise remedies for the harmful behavior.”

Instead of smart approaches like restorative justice, Missouri is set to plunge its children into a police state nightmare — guaranteeing a long-term rise in prison population and further destroying the mental health of the most vulnerable individuals.


Justin Gardner writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. Republished here under a fair use exemption.

Congratulation Class of 2016

The son of one my closest friends just graduated from college and will soon be moving to Texas to begin a new career and working towards his masters. Unfortunately, life happened and I didn't get to know my friend's children as well as I would have like to. However, I couldn't have been prouder when I received the graduation notice.

President Obama delivered a moving commencement address at Howard University to the class of 2016.  I'm posting this in honor of my friend's son and to all the graduates of 2016. CONGRATULATIONS! Now go change the world.

Racist Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) Chant

Members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), University of Oklahoma chapter, dressed in formal wear while on a bus, were caught on video singing a racist chant. SAE is the first national fraternity to be established in the deep south, it was founded at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, on 9 March 1856 and is one of America’s largest college fraternities. The group reportedly was on their way to a day party to celebrate the fraternity's founder's day.

How many of the members shown in the video or others with similiar views will be future public defenders, prosecutors, judges, government administrators, political office holders or even police officers?

This is why developing information about our legal and justice system is crucial, especially for those that are the targets of this type of behavior. The video below does not bleep out any word and is offensive, also the text of the chant is shown below the video.

 

Text of chant: "There will never be a nigger at SAE, there will never be a nigger at SAE, you can hang him from a tree, but they'll never sign with me, there will never be a nigger at SAE!"

SAE national headquarters has closed its Oklahoma Kappa chapter and the university president said the university's affiliation with the fraternity is permanently done as a campus group and called for the expulsion of fraternity members. This is the type of swift decisive action that was called for in Ferguson and is to be expected in situations such as this.

Racism and bigotry will remain in our country for a very long time, but when there are no consequences for participating in this type of dispicable behavior, future instances of the same behavior is encouraged and validated.

In contrast, Ferguson, MO in their effort to protect the questionable actions of a single police officer, resulted in million of dollars of property damage, a Justice Department investigation, the firing of several city employees, the loss of their municipal court system and staining their city's reputation to the point where they are now the new face and ground zero for a resurgent national civil rights movement. Even President Obama invoked Ferguson during his speech about the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Al.