spotlight on Jena

The past week was a busy one in Jena. Thursday’s Day of Action drew thousands of supporters for the six young men who have been subjected to Jim Crow style injustice. While charges against Mychal Bell of aggravated second-degree battery have been thrown out, the young man remains in jail, where he has been since December of last year. Additionally, the families of the Jena 6 have received a series of threats, including a white supremacist website that has been set up and purportedly reveals the addresses of these families. Two other “noose” incidents, in Louisiana and in North Carolina, are continuing to fuel interracial antagonism and violence. Suddenly it’s feeling like the 1950s all over again.


About jennifer williams

Jennifer D. Williams is a writer and professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies. She has published in academic journals and online at, PopMatters, among other sites. Jennifer is currently working on a book that looks at black women's urban literature between the Depression and the civil rights era.

One response to “spotlight on Jena

  1. One of the many fascinating things about this issue is the way that the mainstream media is totally flummoxed by the fact that black people were able to mobilize themselves via the Internet to act and also distribute information in the absence of media coverage of the Jena 6. There are all these commentators who are amazed at the existence of “Black Bloggers” like all black people are luddites or so illiterate and “inarticulate” that they don’t/can’t use the Web. I hope that the energy behind this can be sustained and directed towards black people taking action on other issues.

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