640620999_eb759bc232.jpg In September 2006, a group of African American high school students in Jena, Louisiana, asked the school for permission to sit beneath a “whites only” shade tree. There was an unwritten rule that blacks couldn’t sit beneath the tree. The school said they didn’t care where students sat. The next day, students arrived at school to see three nooses (in school colors) hanging from the tree. (Please note, the tree above is not the tree, but a tree at Jena High School.)

The boys who hung the nooses were suspended from school for a few days. The school administration chalked it up as a harmless prank, but Jena’s black population didn’t take it so lightly. Fights and unrest started breaking out at school. The District Attorney, Reed Walters, was called in to directly address black students at the school and told them all he could “end their life with a stroke of the pen.” Black students were assaulted at white parties. A white man drew a loaded rifle on three black teens at a local convenience store. (They wrestled it from him and ran away.) Someone tried to burn down the school, and on December 4th, a fight broke out that led to six black students being charged with attempted murder. To his word, the D.A. pushed for maximum charges, which carry sentences of eighty years. Four of the six are being tried as adults (ages 17 & 18) and two are juveniles.

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  • tremaine

    The whole ordeal is insane and further reminds me that blatant racism is alive and kicking. I blogged about this twice and I have been following the write-ups and updates via some radio talk shows (Michael Baisden: Love, Lust, and Lies). I wish I had the funds to take the trip down in September, I’d be there quickly, but I am going to sign this petition. Thanks Clutch!

  • Nzanya

    Clutch, thank you for displaying the stories and issues that we should be aware of. I just sent an email earlier today to my listserv group to make sure everyone is aware of the “Jena 6” story and that they do their part. It’s such and injustice the way this story hasn’t collected hardly any media attention. Yet, they’ll show us (all day, everyday) how they are going to persecute Mike Vick. May God bless my people!