The Charleston Shooting and the Potent Symbol of the Black Church in America

The Junto

Emanuel landscapeLast night, Dylann Storm Roof entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, sat through an hour-long meeting, and then opened fire on those in attendance. Reverend Clementa Pinckney, a state senator, was among nine individuals who were killed. Many are shocked at not only the grisly nature of the shooting, but also its location. “There is no greater coward,” Cornell William Brooks, president of the N.A.A.C.P, declared in a statement, “than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture.” Yet this experience is unfortunately, and infuriatingly, far from new: while black churches have long been seen as a powerful symbol of African American community, they have also served as a flashpoint for hatred from those who fear black solidarity, and as a result these edifices have been the location for many of our…

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11 kid robbers arrested in Ibadan

Teen pregnancy, teen rape, teen delinquents and now teen robbers?
Eleven kid robbers, between the ages of 12 and 14, were arrested in Ibadan, Oyo state.
The teenagers who were arrested on June 15th, are to be taken to the rehabilitation centre, the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Katsina, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.

  
Apparently, these kids conspired and invaded a house around the Challenge Area of Ibadan, where they stole the sum of N11,000.
“Based on information, the Anti-Robbery Squad of the command was sent out immediately and they were surprised to see kids of 12 and 14 years of age coming out to make confessional statements,” he said.
Katsina, who also expressed pity on the plight of the kids, explained that they voluntarily narrated to the police details about their activities. He lamented that the involvement of the kids in robbery activities could be attributed to lack of parental care and poverty.
“Most of these children are from broken homes and I wish parents can learn from the plight of these kids and take proper care of their children.
“One thing that keeps disturbing me is the voluntary narration and sincerity of the kids. They have no shelter of any sort and to them, their future starts and ends on the bridge. “Their only means of livelihood is to savage innocent members of the public, be involved in pick pocketing, robbery and related criminal activities,” he said.
Katsina noted that 90 per cent of the kids arrested were not residents or indigenes of Oyo State.
“Some of them are from Benin Republic in search of greener pastures in Nigeria, in a negative way,” he said. The police boss disclosed that one of the 11 kid robbers, a 12-year-old boy, was apprehended in Ogbomoso in a robbery-related conduct.
“In the course of the arrest, he led us to six other members of his group, where four of them were minors and the two others adults. “The boy is from Kwara State, as we got to know from his confession. He confessed that his father was living happily with his mother until he married a second wife.
“As a result of that, there was a problem and the mother moved out with the kid robber and relocated to Ogbomoso,” he said. Katsina, however, added that the command was currently taking care of the 11 arrested minors. He also said that Governor Abiola Ajimobi had promised to assist in the rehabilitation and provision of adequate care for the kids.
“When I spoke with him, he said that there were rehabilitation centres in Ibadan, where the kids would be provided with basic care amenities. The governor also said that the state government would assist to provide job opportunities for unemployed youths in the state at the newly-inaugurated Waste-to-Energy projects.”
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Tags: armedIbadanrobbersteen

The MFA Vs. Everyone Not a Straight, White Male

The MFA Years

I am a black woman. I consider myself lucky that I chose a program that houses other black women, making me not the token for the first time in my experience of higher education. I chose a program that even has black men, and other types of people of color in it. I chose a program that has people in it who fight for the voices of marginalized populations as their daily bread, in and out of what they do for writing or for work.

However, even paradise (which I consider my program to be) has its flaws. I came to the program brimming with enthusiasm, and ready to write. My first fiction workshop made me self-conscious. I was the only black woman in that class. I, coming from a predominantly white institution for undergrad, have been known to carry the weight of race. I felt conflicted. I didn’t want…

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Chef Portraits: Kyle Proulx

Last week I had the opportunity to catch up with and shoot the second member of the Bytown Chefs Collective (BCC), Kyle Proulx, Head Chef at Lowertown Brewery.

kyle proulx

I met up with Kyle at his new restaurant, Lowertown Brewery, in the uber-busy Byward Market in downtown Ottawa. Lowertown Brewery is the latest addition to the Ontario craft beer scene, which has really become a major part of Ottawa. Literally working around the corner from his friend and Bytown Chefs Collective partner Paul Dubeau (my first shoot in the series), Kyle’s restaurant and working style posed a stark contrast to Paul’s, which I think (and hope) help makes this series an interesting one.

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In my first shoot at Stella, Paul’s kitchen was exactly what I imagined a restaurant kitchen to be – compact; efficient; hidden from view; and with the head chef at the centre of the action…

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Musings on Mumhood- Feminism, Love and Grief

The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive

Edit: for some reason this post is showing as May 18th. I wrote it on June 11, so go figure!

I’m currently writing this at 11.30pm, in the garden, where a fairly stiff breeze is blowing. This is the only place I know I won’t run to the baby if he cries (Robert is in the house with him, in case you think I’ve just left him). I’ve wanted to get some thoughts down about motherhood for months, but it’s been rather hard to write. Not just due to the new occupant of my lap. But because my feelings are hurricaning through me and evolving every day.

When I was pregnant, I finally kicked a nasty, expensive habit that garnered me more than my fair share of tuts and frowns.

Bad for your health. And your vocabulary. Bad for your health. And your vocabulary.

Part of the reason I read these exploitative trashmags is that I love peoples’ stories…

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Eat Memory: Tiffin, by Rukmini Srinivas

The Growlery

During one of my parents’ many moves, tragedy struck our household. Of the 80-odd boxes that left their home to trundle across the country to their new home, one box didn’t make it. According to the checklist, it was a box with “papers” in it, but that was something of an understatement. Among those “papers” were two tattered exercise books from a bygone era. In them were recipes. One was filled with my grandmother’s perfect, calligraphic handwriting. She’d written them out for my mother so that my mother would stop pestering her for them. Another one was more of a scrapbook, of recipes my mother had gathered over the years — from Woman’s Weekly, strangers on trains, restaurants, all sorts of places.

There are few moments when I’ve seen my mother allow herself something as wilty as tears of sadness. Losing those two notebooks was one of those rare occasions…

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Great lies of our time: “journalists and coders should sit together to create amazing stuff” (updated)

The Overspill: when there's more that I want to say


The Thomson Reuters newsroom. Note papers stacked all over the place. No idea if journalists and developers “sit together” here – but I’d bet they don’t. Photo by Targuman on Flickr.

I keep seeing people saying “you know how journalism and the internet can work better? Have the news org’s journalists and coders sit beside each other. Wonderful things will happen.”

Postscript, but at the top: this post generated a lot of reaction – so be sure to read the followup, which pulls together the many people saying that it can and does work./Postscript.

Let me tell you: when someone spins you this line, it’s pure unadulterated 100% bullshit. Anyone who says this has never looked at what happens when you do this, or considered the differences in work patterns between the two. (It pains me to point out that Wolfgang Blau is only the latest to suggest…

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