Posted inPolitics & Policy

Ousted Tennessee Democrats Are Returning to the House, but the State’s Problems Run Deeper

Even with the successful votes to reinstate Tennessee Democrats Justin Jones and Justin J. Pearson, the predominantly white Republican-led House of Representatives’ act of retaliation raises concerns about the state of democracy in Tennessee. “The expulsions don’t make the Top 10 list of the most antidemocratic or unfair things affecting Black people here,” explained Sekou […]

Posted inPolitics & Policy

‘This Is Not Democracy’: Read Justin J. Pearson’s Comments on His Expulsion in Tennessee

Tennessee state Rep. Justin J. Pearson — one of two Black Tennessee lawmakers who were expelled on Thursday — fit himself into a long history of civil rights activism when he told reporters that he’ll “never shirk back from civil disobedience” because that kind of defiance is “what built this country.” Like his fellow Democrat […]

Posted inPolitics & Policy

‘The World Is Watching’: Read Justin Jones’ Comments on His Expulsion in Tennessee 

Justin Jones made it clear that “there comes a time when people get sick and tired of being sick and tired.” During an emotional seven-hour session on Thursday, Jones didn’t mince words. He was the first of two Black Tennessee lawmakers, both Democrats, to be expelled from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Hours later, his […]

Posted inEducation, K-12

The Surprising Gap in How Democratic- and GOP-led School Districts Talk About Diversity

Classrooms have reemerged as sites of political conflict over discussions about identity — and these tensions are reflected in how public school districts frame their educational values to students, according to an analysis released this week by the Pew Research Center. Pew found that in Democratic-voting areas, 56% of districts note their diversity, equity, and […]

Posted inPolitics & Policy

What This Historic Moment Reveals About Trump, the GOP, and Accountability

Some Republican lawmakers are calling a Manhattan grand jury’s decision to indict Donald Trump a politically motivated witch hunt. But, really, the move is a measure of accountability that could return legitimacy to a justice system that unfairly punishes Black people. “The question,” explained Marcia Chatelain, a professor of history and African American studies at […]

Posted inPolitics & Policy

Alvin Bragg Isn’t the Only Black Prosecutor Taking on Trump

A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Donald Trump on Thursday, according to multiple news sources — the first time a current or former U.S. president has faced criminal charges. Last week, when Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office was poised to issue an indictment against the former president, Trump called for Bragg’s arrest and […]

Posted inCriminal Justice

Rasheem Carter’s Death Shows the Fault Lines of Jim Crow Still Run Through Mississippi

The investigation into the killing of Tiffany Carter’s son sheds light on a rigid pattern in which Black Americans find themselves at odds with the very institutions they’re supposed to trust. While Rasheem Carter’s death wasn’t the result of officer-involved violence — and while there are many unknowns about what happened — the case has […]

Posted inPolitics & Policy

How an Anti-Drag Bill Is Creating Fear Among Some Black LGBTQ Tennesseans

Alexia Noelle Paris has been a drag artist for six years, performing nearly every weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives, or in California. For her, drag isn’t merely a form of entertainment — it’s an outlet. “I’ve always appreciated drag, even though initially I didn’t think that it was something for me,” Paris said. […]