In another victory, here’s another story where you can take a piece of the credit. Thanks to the your hard work and that of Color of Change, the Jena 6 have been released.

Find an account of today’s hearing with more pictures here.

It’s worth noting once more that the NAACP and many other civil rights organizations were not all the ball for the Jena 6. The NAACP originally raised only $20,000, $10k of which was from David Bowie. Pitiful. But black bloggers, Color of Change and YOU made the difference to ensure that justice was served. Nice work, brothers and sisters. Here are more deets courtesy of CoC. applauds plea deal in Jena 6 case

Online civil rights group raised more than $275,000 for legal defense

Oakland, CA- The organization that led the online mobilization in support of the Jena Six today applauded news that five of the young men have pleaded no contest to greatly reduced charges—a development the group called a just resolution to the racially-charged case.  Though the defendants had initially been charged with attempted murder and conspiracy, they ultimately pleaded no contest to simple battery, and will serve a sentence of just 7 days of probation. said Friday that the plea deal marked an acknowledgement by officials that the Louisiana justice system initially treated the then-teenage boys too harshly, privileging white students’ accounts of a schoolyard fight over those of black students in the largely segregated town of Jena.

“Today’s plea deal shows that the original charges in the case were unfair and vastly overblown,” said James Rucker,’s executive director. “The story of the Jena 6 was an extreme example of what can happen when a justice system biased against black boys operates unchecked.  But it’s also an example of what can happen when hundreds of thousands of people across the country stand up to challenge unequal justice. Together, we drew the country’s attention to this case and raised the money necessary to fund a strong legal defense.”, the first national organization involved in supporting the Jena 6, was instrumental in drawing national attention to the case, working alongside local activists in Jena and black bloggers across the country to spread word of the excessive charges and the story behind them.
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Today, the House passed a major and historic clean energy bill (ACES). In the midst of all the Michael Jackson coverage, you may miss a little-engine-that-could story of how a group of unlikely allies secured key “equity provisions” in the bill. It also shows that Green for All remains a potent force for good even as founder Van Jones has moved into the White House and Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, the new CEO of Green For All, has led us to a big win for the African-American community at large. As you know, both Van and Phaedra have blogged here at JJP. In the video above, you can see President Obama speaking in the Rose Garden to urge passage of this bill. You and all JJP community members can also take credit for this victory (go ahead, pat yourself on the back)!

For all the discussion about consumer protection from rising energy prices, ACES was a 1,000 page bill without a word about economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities.  Pretty outrageous for legislation that President Obama called “a jobs bill”.

As it turns out, this is also a story of a CBC Member of Congress coming to the rescue.  Thanks to Representative Bobby Rush, the national advocacy organization Green For All, and their partners, the bill passed with key provisions to ensure inclusion of low-income communities.

The two equity provisions that actually fulfill Green for All’s inspirational call that we give the jobs that most need doing to those who need them most are (drum roll, please) :

1. $860 million allocated to the Green Jobs Act. The Green Jobs Act, a major legislative victory for Green For All last year, creates training opportunities for workers who need new skills for clean energy jobs.  Such programs promise to be the first step out of poverty for many who are in desperate need of work.

2. Local access to quality jobs, through the creation of a green-construction, careers-demonstration program.
Rep.Bobby Rush authored this demonstration program, which will promote middle-class careers and quality employment practices in the green construction sector. The language in the bill empowers the Secretaries of Labor and Energy to ensure job quality standards for these green construction jobs.  It also ensures that a portion of the jobs will be accessible to low-income and local workers.
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Evening Open Thread #2

26 Jun 2009

Yes, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has their own doll.

Good Evening.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And continue to have a peaceful day.

Evening Open Thread

26 Jun 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama applauds while standing on stage with daughters Sasha and Malia while US President Barack Obama speaks during the luau for members of Congress and their families June 25, 2009 at the White House in Washington, DC. At right is his daughter Sasha.

Good Evening.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And continue to have a peaceful day.

bwb_2009groupphotoLast week, I spoke at Blogging While Brown. It was fantastic and I had an ever-better-than-expected time. It was probably twice as big this year as last year. It was cool to be a mentor to other bloggers while meeting bloggers I look up to like Afrobella and Concrete Loop.

You can see the slideshow presentations from the AT&T sponsored panel on “The Latest Tools and Techniques to Grow Your Blog” with Naoko McCracken, Happiness Engineer at Automattic (parent company of WordPress) after the jump. We focused on cutting edge stuff like mobile blogging and community building software. You can also watch lots of clips from this historic day at the Blogging While Brown website.

Below are a couple of recaps that you might find of interest from other sources.

From the Bay State Banner (fantastic summary, btw – read the whole thing):

One theme that ran through the two-day conference was the hope of many attendees that more members of the black community will embrace the Web in campaigns about important issues.

Gina McCauley, who writes the blog What About Our Daughters (, founded Blogging While Brown last year to build the network of bloggers of color and help them stay at the forefront of the new online frontier.

“There is so much to learn about the Web because it is changing so fast,” McCauley said. “There is so much potential on the Internet that the black community can take advantage of.”


“Our blogs are read all over the world,” Contee told attendees. “You would be amazed by who is reading you.”

While there’s room for growth, the black blogosphere has made significant strides. Cheryl Contee, a social media strategist and blogger at Jack and Jill Politics (, said that the online activism of the black blogosphere helped propel Obama to the Oval Office.

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Not good. It’s a black eye on the face of the Congressional Black Caucus to be sure.

From ABC:

Monica Conyers, the wife of the powerful chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., pleaded guilty to one count of bribery in a federal court in Detroit, this morning.

Wife of Judiciary Chairman Conyers Pleads Guilty to Bribery

In this Sept. 5, 2005 file photo Monica Conyers sits with her husband, Democratic U.S. Rep. John… Expand

(AP Photo)

According to court documents, in late 2007, Mrs. Conyers, president pro tem of the Detroit City Council, twice accepted envelopes filled with cash, once in the parking lot of a Detroit McDonalds.

Crossposted from

We just received word that the final House version of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) includes the equity provisions we’ve been fighting so hard for!

We now have a small window of opportunity to help pass ACES. The House of Representatives will vote today, and many members are still on the fence. Call now.

The critical equity improvements to the bill simply would not have happened without a grassroots push. In the past 48 hours alone, Green For All supporters have made close to 1000 phone calls to their Representatives.

Thank you to all who spoke up for opportunity and investment in our communities!

Now, the bill provides opportunity for low-income communities and communities of color. Now, there are protections in the bill that ensure that working families don’t bear the cost for big polluters. Now, there is significant funding for green job training programs that build pathways out of poverty. And now, these good jobs will be accessible to low-income and local workers. Read the rest of this entry »

Afternoon Open Thread

26 Jun 2009

Good Afternoon.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And continue to have a peaceful day.

Friday Open Thread

26 Jun 2009

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Good Morning.

TGIF and spend some of it with JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

Honor the talent. We know all too well about the demons.

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The true tragedy of Michael Jackson is that his genius died long before he did. He remains one of the most seminal artists of the late 20th century. But his innovations stopped as he retreated into a dark strange world of excess. He was an incredible philanthropist who also was sadly accused of being a pedophile.

He forever changed dance – his choreography and cinematic talents are still in use today by popular artists like Britney Spears and Beyonce and many many others. So at least some of his gifts are timeless.

For black people, he leaves a mixed legacy. His famous family’s music is iconic yet their dysfunction was humiliating. He was at one time perhaps the most famous and wealthiest black person in the world and it’s likely to take a week or two or three of tributes, remembrances and gossip for the global consciousness to absorb this shock.

Bigger than Coretta Scott King, way bigger than James Brown – this will be the biggest black tv funeral ever. I just hope his crazy family doesn’t act the fool internationally.

Most of all, I feel for his children who are still so young. There will be many questions about mj’s life and death from which they will not be well protected. His estate was in disarray – I only hope that something is left for them when they come of age. I urge the media to refrain from exploiting their loss at this time. He worked so hard, perhaps too hard, to protect them from the exploitation he suffered as a child star.

I also both hope and dread the Mormon Tabernacle’s version of “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”. And “Beat It.”

Hat tip: Ta-Nehisi Coates


Michael Jackson Dies
Posted Jun 25th 2009 5:20PM by TMZ Staff

We’ve just learned Michael Jackson has died. He was 50.

Michael suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon at his Holmby Hills home and paramedics were unable to revive him. We’re told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back.

A source tells us Jackson was dead when paramedics arrived.

Once at the hospital, the staff tried to resuscitate him but he was completely unresponsive.

We’re told one of the staff members at Jackson’s home called 911.

La Toya ran in the hospital sobbing after Jackson was pronounced dead.

Michael is survived by three children: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince “Blanket” Michael Jackson II.

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Hat tip:Muzikal


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a school’s strip search of an Arizona teenage girl accused of having prescription-strength ibuprofen was illegal.

In an 8-1 ruling, the justices said school officials violated the law with their search of Savana Redding in the rural eastern Arizona town of Safford.

Redding, who now attends college, was 13 when officials at Safford Middle School ordered her to remove her clothes and shake out her underwear because they were looking for pills _ the equivalent of two Advils. The district bans prescription and over-the-counter drugs and the school was acting on a tip from another student.

“What was missing from the suspected facts that pointed to Savana was any indication of danger to the students from the power of the drugs or their quantity, and any reason to suppose that Savana was carrying pills in her underwear,” Justice David Souter wrote in the majority opinion. “We think that the combination of these deficiencies was fatal to finding the search reasonable.”

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Afternoon Open Thread

25 Jun 2009

Good Afternoon.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And continue to have a peaceful day.


I know I’m not the only little Black girl who used that curling iron to give themselves the Farrah Flip. This poster was a huge part of pop culture ‘ back in the day’.


Farrah Fawcett Dies At 62
BOB THOMAS | June 25, 2009 01:11 PM EST |

LOS ANGELES — Farrah Fawcett, whose luxurious tresses and blinding smile helped redefine sex appeal in the 1970s as one of TV’s “Charlie’s Angels,” died Thursday after battling cancer. She was 62.

The pop icon, who in the 1980s set aside the fantasy girl image to tackle serious roles, died Thursday shortly before 9:30 a.m. PDT in a Santa Monica hospital, spokesman Paul Bloch said.

She burst on the scene in 1976 as one-third of the crime-fighting trio in TV’s “Charlie’s Angels.” A poster of her in a clingy swimsuit sold in the millions.

She left the show after one season but had a flop on the big screen with “Somebody Killed Her Husband.” She turned to more serious roles in the 1980s and 1990s, winning praise playing an abused wife in “The Burning Bed.”

She had been diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006. As she underwent treatment, she enlisted the help of actor Ryan O’Neal, who had been her longtime companion and was the father of her son, Redmond, born in 1985.

This month, O’Neal said he asked Fawcett to marry him and she agreed. They would wed “as soon as she can say yes,” he said.

Her struggle with painful treatments and dispiriting setbacks was recorded in the television documentary “Farrah’s Story.” Fawcett sought cures in Germany as well as the United States, battling the disease with iron determination even as her body weakened.

“Her big message to people is don’t give up, no matter what they say to you, keep fighting,” her friend Alana Stewart said. NBC estimated the May 15, 2009, broadcast drew nearly 9 million viewers.

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Who We Are

Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats


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