Sunday, September 23, 2007


"Jenacide" - another manifestation of white supremacy characterized by an obsession with exonerating whites from all manners of evil toward Black people while simultaneously punishing Black people for retaliating against the injustice perpetrated against them. The term gained popularity in 2007 when six Black boys were handed harsh jail sentences for responding to three nooses being hung from a schoolyard tree in the northern Louisiana town of Jena (pronounced "JEE-nah")...

Joy DeGruy Leary, author of The Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and I went to Jena last Thursday in support of the "Jena 6" --- Robert Bailey, Carwin Jones, Mychal Bell, Theodore Shaw, Jesse Beard and Bryant Ray Purvis. By now you have heard about the escalating white supremacy/racism toward them after a schoolyard fight with a white boy who taunted them with racial threats and slurs. You can find out the details of by simply googling "Jena 6". Some thoughts on the rally...

1. There were more young Black people there than there were older Black folks. Like others, my heart was warmed and encouraged by this generation's unselfish support AND organizing around the Jena 6. It is truly a young people's movement that will not end in Jena. While others criticize younger Black folk over their obsession with bling, slavish devotion to fashion and selfishness, I saw thousands of young people who were organizing against injustice and making better plans for follow-up than the older leaders present at the rally.

2. This was a turning point in the use of Black radio to mobilize and organize Blackpeople. Hats off to Michael Baisden and other radio talk show hosts around the country who pulled off a stunning rally of nearly 100,000 (not the CNNizing crowd count for Black people of "15-20000 demonstrators") similar to how talk show hosts help make the 1995 Million Man March a success. It shows the power of the airwaves as a "town hall for Blackpeople" and revisits how radio was used as an organizing tool during the civil rights era.

3. Blackpeople are increasingly aware of how agent provocateurs attempt to disrupt meetings where Blackfolk are organizing. One of the first things that Al Sharpton noted was the loud noises from some unknown group of Blackfolk who were deliberately shouting their "anger" at the unjust incarceration of Mychal Bell. These agents feign "uncontrollable rage and anger" and can paralyze a meeting in a matter of seconds. They are the police and Blackfolk finally are beginning to see them for who they are --- buckdancing slaves of law enforcement injected into Ourmeetings for the purpose of disruption.

4. What are we going to do next? The white supremacists in Jena gave the middle finger to Blackpeople when they refused to grant bail to Mychal Bell on Friday. The Jena judge basically told Us that he didn't care how many Blackpeople rallied in "his" town; he wasn't letting Mychal go. In other words, Blackpeople, it's your move. We must always have a "Plan B, C, and D" in place when confronting white supremacy, otherwise we will be left dazed and confused by the white supremacists.

5. The wearing of Black around the country in solidarity for the Jena 6. I called friends in Chicago, Cleveland and California and was struck by the thousands of folk who wore Black on Thursday as a sign of solidarity. This shows the power of an idea and how we can mobilize on anything when we want. Economic boycotts are something that immediately comes to mind, but what about our portrayal in all forms of media, Katrina and other Jenacidal crimes against us in Amerikkka?

6. What you can do to help the Jena 6. The families of these young men have suffered mightily. They have mortgaged their homes, have to pay private tuition because the one high school in town won't let them attend, and sent them away to other locales because of threats to their lives.. You can help by donating to their defense fund. Put your money to work against jenacide and "Free the Jena Six"!...


  1. I too feel a comforting surge of hope at the organized response of all the young people. It is good that something important continues and extends through them. etabu (larry dunn, chicago)

  2. Anonymous3:33 PM

    I am grieved and I can not figure out why. Perhaps this America is so complexed and distorted or perhaps what I've learned as Christian is perplexing me even more. Whatever the case may be. I belive that America is repeating another racial tensed era and if America is not prepared, I'm afraid that our young vibrant youth of today is preparing for____? We, the US had better begin to be concern about all human rights, especially the human rights of African Americans. I'm afraid that were heading into the unknown. It is clear that around the world America is not being taken serious about human rights issues. No wonder many people walked out of the UN meeting when President Bush was speaking. You must walk the walk that you talk about. Heads up to all of the people who supported(s) the Jena6 and and their efforts which will affect communities country-wide. Just look at what happened in Virginia yesterday, five (5) black young men jumped on (beat-up) a 13 year old white male (reason is not yet clear, but it was alleged that the activity was not race related). Let's stay alert, supportive, aware, educated and motivated for the cause...

  3. If someone would have told me *40 years ago* we would still be struggling as a nation over racism, I would have laughed at them. We are and I'm no longer laughing. In light of the Bush's "foreign policies" for the past six years, I fear that irreparable damage has been done in the area of racial tolerance not only internationally but domestically as well.

    "Keeping hope alive", is increasingly a very difficult thing to do...