In Prison, With Dad | Lumumba Wins In Jackson | Interrace Marriages Up
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June 8 – June 21, 2017
On The Dock This Issue:
In Prison, With Dad
One widely ignored source is the families of the already incarcerated. This phenomenon sometimes creates a scenario where fathers and sons share a prison cell.
Africa’s Lessons for Trump’s America
For a country that believes it has a monopoly on democracy, lecturing Africa and other parts of the world about how to do it well, the US has failed miserably in democratising the franchise.
The Other Side
In Prison, With Dad
Many unfortunate dynamics feed the criminal justice system. One widely ignored source is the families of the already incarcerated. This phenomenon sometimes creates a scenario where fathers and sons share a prison cell. This source of incarceration first caught my attention when I learned about a father who met his son for the very first time in the Maryland Penitentiary. I soon learned that this situation is not uncommon.
According to Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, author of “Race, Law, and American Society,” “Given the horrible disparities in incarceration rates, the chances are elevated that relatives (who are Black) would be placed in the same institution.” OK, Browne-Marshall, I get it.
So, I sought out and found several men in this situation and they shared with me their unique experiences. I agreed to utilize pseudonyms to protect their privacy.
George, 65, emphatically recalled a story to explain the most difficult part of sharing a cell with his son. He said, “My son came to visit me and informed me about a robbery that he was going to do and that he was going to use the money to get me a lawyer.” With hesitation, he continued, “I told him not to do it, but he did it anyway and got caught.“ His son Tony is 39.
Kenneth, 44, acknowledged his family’s hope that his incarceration would be a learning experience for his son LaDarien, 24. “Some (family members) were upset that I had been fighting to get out of here for 20 years; now he’s locked up. Ready to interject, LaDarien recalls family members saying, now father and son will get to spend more time together. “It’s a shame it had to be in prison, but at least he’s with someone one he knows.”
George and Tony, and Kenneth and LaDarien, are not alone. A 2004 Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics report indicates that 50 percent of the approximate 600,000 parents of minor children in state prisons had a family member who is now or previously incarcerated.
“A relationship between a father and son is always better on the outside . . . because you have no limitations over your head.”
Marcus, 51, found his son joining him in prison a difficult thing to lock in his mind, though his son Trey, 34, does not blame him. “We (mother and father) gave him choices of either college or the military.” However, police arrested Trey 17 times until he was finally charged with the possession of two guns and sentenced to six years. Trey added, “I had every opportunity and just didn’t take advantage of them.”
Tony doesn’t blame his father George either, but George feels responsible. “My son wanted to help me get a lawyer; I wish he would have gone to law school. However, George believes that incarceration has brought Tony and him closer, “because we have each other’s back.”
LaDarien feels like the situation has enabled him and his father Kenneth to finally get to know each other better. It “feels like two men in a cell. I respect him as a father; he respects me as a son,” Kenneth said. “I still correct him. Sometimes he does not want me to though,” he continued.
However, Tony’s father George surmised the feeling they all have experienced. He said, “A relationship between a father and son is always better on the outside . . . because you have no limitations over your head.”
Jackson, MS Elects Lumumba for Mayor
The capital city of what many consider to be the most backwards and racist state in the United States, has elected social justice activist Chokwe Antar Lumumba as its mayor
. According to the Jackson Free Press, the 34-year-old is a defense lawyer like his father, former Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba Sr., and older sister, Rukia Lumumba.
He ran for mayor after his father died, while in office, in 2014, but lost to current Mayor Tony Yarber.
In the crowded Democratic 2017 primary, he won with 55 percent of the vote, despite many of the other candidates being better funded and one being the incumbent.
Lumumba plans to carry on the work of his late father after winning 93 percent of the vote June 6. Trump supporter Jason D. Wells got only 4 percent of the vote.
The elder Lumumba referred to himself as a Fannie Lou Hamer Democrat. He was the attorney for Tupac and leader of the Republic of New Afrika, an organization that advocated for an independent predominantly Black government in the southeastern United States and reparations for slavery.
Jackson is 80 percent Black, with about 170,000 people. It ranks second, just behind Detroit, with the highest percentage of Blacks amongst cities with at least 100,000 people.
After a march to unionize Nissan workers at its Mississippi plant, The Nation reported the new mayor saying, “[The] struggle does not cease and so we’re constantly in the battle of how we create self-determined lives for people. And we believe in human rights for human beings and you cannot support human rights if you’re not prepared to support workers’ rights. And so, we live in a world where you have so many with so little and so few with so much. And so, we’re trying to change that dynamic right here [in Mississippi]—we want to change the order of the world.“
The Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University graduate’s campaign slogan: When I become mayor, you become mayor.
Africa’s Lessons for Trump’s America
During the African Studies Association annual meeting held in Washington, DC in December 2016, Ghanaian scholar Dr. Takyiwaa Manuh wittily encouraged Americans to “consult Africa on how to trump your Trump.”
On the surface, she was alluding to how Africans have perfected the art of outmanoeuvring leaders who do not have a legitimate mandate. But there’s a more profound element to the suggestion made by Manuh, now a senior manager at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Trump’s victory has exposed the emperor’s nakedness. For a country that believes it has a monopoly on democracy, lecturing Africa and other parts of the world about how to do it well, the US has failed miserably in democratising the franchise.
Now, Africa was never a permanent fixture in any US presidential debate leading up to the 8 November election, nor did the continent feature prominently in public discourse. Yet, one thing remains clear to me. For a region that barely got a sideways glance, it remains a continent to which Americans must look for inspiration now more than ever before.
Let’s begin with the presidential candidates themselves and the US’s unique brand of vote weighing. The least qualified US presidential candidate of all time beat the most qualified through a deeply flawed electoral college system.
Read the Whole Story
Anyone wondering whether people in or nearing retirement are up to speed on creating a viable retirement income plan got an answer when the American College of Financial Services released the results of its Retirement Income Literacy Quiz
. It was sobering: Nearly 75% of the 1,244 adults ages 60 to 75 who were interviewed online for the test got a big fat F (a score of 60% or less), while fewer than 6% received an A (91% or better) or a B (81% to 90%).
The quiz measures your understanding of issues such as when is the best time to retire, how to maximize Social Security and employer-provided benefits, and how much can be safely withdrawn from a portfolio - - subjects that are critical to a secure retirement. There are 38 quiz questions.
Click below to see how you do and to learn something new about retirement income planning. If you want to know more about the survey, watch the webcast
Publisher’s Note: With a score of 55 percent, I got an F, too.
See our Money Talks
More Americans Are Marrying People of Other Races Then Ever Before
On June 12, 2017, it will have been 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Americans should in fact be allowed to marry a partner of whatever race
they want. Since then, many American couples have availed themselves of that right, although White people remain much less likely to marry another race than people of other races, according to a new report from Pew Research
The largest increase was among African Americans; since 1980, the number of Black spouses who intermarried has increased from 5% to 18%.
Gender matters more in some races than others. In 2015, Black grooms (24%) were twice as likely to have a partner of a different race or ethnicity as Black brides (12%), a trend that hasn't budged much in the past few years. Conversely Asian brides (36%) were much more likely to have walked down the aisle toward a partner of a different race than Asian grooms (21%) were to be waiting for one.
While the intermarriage numbers represent a considerable change, they are dwarfed by the adjustment in attitudes towards it. In 1990, almost two thirds of Americans who weren't Black said they would be opposed to a close friend or relative marrying someone who was. That figure is now at 14%, a dramatic drop. Disapproval dropped among all other races as well.
Read the Whole Story
Getting More Out of Your Vacation for Less
“I could have stayed another hour,” said George Gunn of Woodbridge, Virginia after the “Getting the Most of Your Vacation for Less with Bernadette Champion” event. Champion made the hour presentation during “A Port Of Harlem Spring at the Alexandria Black History Museum.”
Champion spoke of her love for Black history and integrating it with her love of travel. “Unless you know where you are going, everything you see will look westernized,” said one participant. “But don’t let that stop you for seeing our history – our history is everywhere,” Champion admonished.
Champion went on to share stories of taking groups to Australia to see all the icons, but making sure the group she led had “knee deep” experiences with Aboriginal culture. Even in majority Black Bahamas, she suggested hitching up with a People to People tour to visit areas beyond the tourist traps. In Israel, her group went off the beaten trail to visit a recently discovered mosaic featuring the lives of ancient Black people.
Travel agents have difference niches she says; her niche is creating “cultural experiences,” for groups. Her passion is learning about, seeing, and interacting with the African Diaspora.
Brandi, Champion’s daughter, accompanied her for the event. Her son, Mark, also works for the family company, Champion Services Travel
, and he and or Brandi accompanies groups on trips when their mother is unable or if the group is large and their mother needs assistance.
“How many people do you need to create a group?” asked museum staff member Melissa Hand-Leathers. “Usually about 20, depending upon where you are traveling,” answered Champion. As a woman of color, she added, “I can say with experience, that if you are travelling with other Blacks, you will stand out. But, that usually makes the group bonding stronger.”
She also gave these tips:
- Ask if the travel agent has gone on the suggested trip
- Ask if the travel agent or his/her representative is going on trip, too
- When applying for a VISA, make sure you request a 54-page VISA. It cost the same as a standard 24-page VISA
- One cannot fly internationally with a Passport Card
- When at the airport, before the agent print out your boarding pass, make sure it is for the seat you requested, if seating location is important to you
- Use the internet to compare prices and if you see what you want on the Internet, don’t be afraid to call the company and see if you can get a better deal
“It was like a live documentary,” commented Jeff Williams of Alexander, VA as he praised Champion for her passion as she vividly shared memories of her trips to six continents while giving tips. “This was a good event. She was passionate and sincere,” he added.
Previous Event: Highly Engaged Discussion: Post Slavery African Immigration
Saturday, June 17, 11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Discussion - Fatherless Daughter Reconciliation - project founder, journalist, and author Jonetta Rose Barras and discussion leaders share their stories about their loss due to father absence or parental abandonment and its harmful affects on their lives. They will encourage participants to join the discussion-in-the-round, seeking to effect self-reconciliation, greater self-appreciation, self-love, and forgiveness while diminishing potential violence against themselves and others. We encourage adults to bring their teenage children to the discussion. Co-sponsored by Esther Productions.
Fee $5.00 | Register
Jazz from an African-Latin Perspective
performed by the Pepe Gonzalez Quartet
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Pl, SE
Sat, Jun 10, 2p, free
3rd–7th Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Sun, Jun 11, free
DC Jazz Fest at The Yards
BZB Jazz Fest MarketPlace
Fri, Jun 16-Sun, Jun 18, $
Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum
300 Oella Avenue
Sat, Jun 10-Sun, Jun 11; 10a-4p, $5 parking
10th Annual Juneteenth Celebration
Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum
300 Oella Avenue
Sat, Jun 17; 12p-3p, free
Taste of Chicago
Wed, Jul 5–Thu, Jul 9
Grant Park, Admission is free
LakeEffect Street Expo
Lake Street Shopping District
Sat, Jun 17, 12p-8p, free
Digital Wellness Workshop
Metropole Hotel Plot 51/53 Windsor Crescent
Fri, June 23, 2017
8:30a–4p EAT, free
Puerto Rican Day Parade
Sun, Jun 11, 11a-5p, free
Concert for Unity – Harlem Chamber Players
Immigrants and Refugees are Welcome Here
127 W 127th Street
Th, Jun 15, 7p, $10-$20
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Fri, Jun 23, 8p, $
In Theaters Fri, Aug 4, $