The need for a new moral and cultural compass is why I and my co-founder Kimberly Griffin are announcing a new media project today called the Mississippi Free Press, which, like my newspaper, is named in homage to a Civil Rights Movement newspaper in Jackson.
If the last week has proved anything, it's that people in the U.S., in Mississippi and especially in the Jackson metropolitan area are excited about a political newcomer, Shanda Yates, defeating a long-time incumbent for the District 64 seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives.
"TV networks may live and die on ratings and people screaming opinions at each other from two "sides," but our democracy really can't take much more of this kind of dangerous political gamesmanship."
Election season was tough for Mississippi women as usual. It was a time for broken promises and slights as we watched male candidates, and their women enablers, show little apparent interest in our safety, prosperity, health and voices and be elected to all statewide offices.
What a week. The last 10 days saw not only the official demise of the Mississippi Democratic Party, at least the way it's run and strategized now, but it was filled with disillusioning encounters with local representatives of national media corporations for us, revealing a certain callous regard of other reporters and editors.
Prominent novelist Angie Thomas is planning to leave Mississippi due to the toxic politics here, on prominent display in last night’s election outcome. The wildly successful graduate of Belhaven College grew up in Georgetown in Jackson and travels frequently to Atlanta, Los Angeles and beyond. Her first novel became a popular feature film, and now her second film is in production.
Republicans are already sending out glossy mailers warming up the crowd in Mississippi and other southern states to the necessity of electing Trump apologists and enablers—that is pretty much what Reeves' whole campaign is about at this point.
If you've been reading Seyma Bayram's coverage of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors and my previous Friday columns, you know that she was shocked to discover that the county voted one month ago to destroy a long list of documents spanning 23 years.
"We must breathe through it all—the physical pain, anguish, stress, disappointment. We must just be present in our lives and accept and release whatever happens. Honestly, I can't imagine a better Zen practice than recovering from cancer while being a woman newspaper editor in a conservative state."
Multiple women are accusing Jody Owens, who won the Democratic primary and faces no challenger in November, of inappropriate and sexual behavior and comments from his time as the managing attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Jackson office.
Power brokers like former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott can always find a sympathetic, or least non-questioning, ear back in the Magnolia State.
A key figure in Trump's impeachment inquiry has an ongoing and paid association with lobbying firm BGR Group, started by former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, as well as a paid position as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Arizona.
Dehumanizing other human beings, as Trump does with about any person of color who dares criticize him, is ripping our country apart, just like it did during the Civil Rights Movement and back when the South fought the Civil War to continue its right to dehumanize and enslave human beings and to force new states to allow it.
The Jackson Free Press scored a transparency victory this week, at least for now, when the Hinds County Board of Supervisors provided us a list of the documents it plans to destroy, which I addressed in last week's Dossier after reporter Seyma Bayram learned about the impending destruction.
The City is set to vote on a proposal to limit protest activities outside the state's only abortion clinic.
"I'm officially launching my new weekly Dossier, which will spotlight our accountability journalism, whether about how ICE raids are conducted or when public officials aren't being transparent or not following proper protocols for informing the public about how they reach their decisions and the motivations behind policy."
"Y'all get all this crap in there about this damn illegal raid on these illegal aliens that stole jobs from American citizens," he lectured. "I think that really sucks because I wanted to read about football."
The City of Jackson, a defendant in a lawsuit over how it is handling the current water-billing crisis, sent out two press statements Wednesday night announcing a victory for its defense in the legal action.
It is vital to stop treating elections like a fun, two-sided thrill ride, which (usually male) political reporters and campaign strategists love—and they're getting paid either way, even if your hospital closes.
"(Donald Trump) is terrifying this community. People who have done nothing to anybody else posed no threat to America. So there's no other reason to raid this community than to terrify this community. And that's exactly what he's done," Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said in Canton this morning.
Congressman Bennie Thompson sent an eight-page letter and attachments to U.S. Attorney General William Barr demanding answers on why many children were "separated from their parents and terrified because they did not know where their parents were taken and detained.
After news broke Wednesday of the workplace immigration raids in Mississippi, with 696 arrests and leaving many children stranded at school with nowhere to go, local ministers, advocates and lawyers began mobilizing and compiling resources to share with the public.
Scott County Youth Court Prosecutor Constance Slaughter-Harvey watched Thursday morning as a few children reunited with and embraced parents whom, just a day before, they had been separated from after U.S. federal ICE agents arrested them.
Jody Owens, a civil-rights attorney running on a "decarceral" platform with national backing, will become Hinds County's new district attorney following the Aug. 6 primary.
Each of us must use our gifts to heal our city, our state and our nation. We are kicking off our #MSCitizensAgenda to better understand challenges facing Mississippians through public gatherings, social media and deeper reporting.
The late Cedric Willis is the honoree of a youth-crime forum tonight in Jackson where participants will brainstorm both causes and solutions of violence in the capital city.
The national trend of reforming the criminal-justice system, even from inside prosecutors' offices, emerged dramatically in Hinds County during the current campaigns for the next district attorney, who will be decided in the Aug. 6 Democratic primary, or a run-off if needed.
During the run-up to the Hinds County primaries on Aug. 6, the word "reform" flies around a lot in the two races that have the most direct effect on the local criminal-justice system—district attorney and sheriff.
"When you get into this crazy business for the express purpose of having positive impact, you make it happen no matter what and find people who share the same drive to help you."
Cedric Willis had to claw his way to freedom while living in hell. Then he returned to a community that, until to the present, has never collectively decided to tackle and prevent violence rather than thinking that the police can do that.
Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba announced today that the City of Jackson has filed a lawsuit against Siemens Industry Inc. and associated divisions in the U.S. and Germany, along with multiple local subcontractors.
Some things are universal, or should be. That includes never forcing a woman to have a child, lose her contraception or forbid a safe way to help her have a baby.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba announced his endorsement of former Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance for Hinds County Sheriff at a press conference outside the Hinds County Courthouse on May 24.
"Anyone with half a brain should see that confronting and defeating the insane misogyny here is a huge step toward lifting Mississippi to higher and more successful ground for all its citizens."
It's tough being a woman in Mississippi. In fact, it's probably the most difficult state for women to speak our minds and publicly engage on political and policy fronts, and we routinely watch our basic rights come under attack, often without any of us invited to the table.
Members of the Mississippi Legislature have jumped into the middle of serious and historic problem that the City of Jackson has grappled with over the last year—whether or when law-enforcement officers who shoot and/or kill non-police should be identified.
The public-transparency efforts of the City of Jackson in the last year may be for naught if legislation working through the Mississippi Legislature to protect identities of officers who shoot people becomes law.
After about a year of asking, the Jackson Free Press learned the names, current status and in eight out of nine cases, the details of officer-involved shootings since Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba took office in July 2017, promising transparency and police reform.
Officer Anthony Veasey was involved in three separate shootings in Jackson in 14 months since November 2017, including an exchange of gunfire that hit an 18-year-old two times in the back and five times in the leg, the teenager's family tells the Jackson Free Press.
After asking for more than a year, the Jackson Free Press finally received the names and current status of Jackson police officers who shot people in the capital city since Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba became mayor in July 2017.
The mayor will not reveal the names of officers accused of killing George Robinson with a head blow, but the City of Jackson finally provided names and details about 12 officers involved in nine shootings since 2017.
Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba is joining 15 mayors from cities in the U.S. in a Mayors for Smart Crime Initiative, the Center for American Progress, announced today.
The head of the Mississippi state agency that sent out a tweet this week honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee once attended a rally of a racist organization that refers to black people as a "retrograde species of humanity."
The City of Jackson sent out a cryptic and short press statement at 5:12 p.m. today, indicating that an older man may have died from an encounter with Jackson police on Sunday, Jan. 13, after a low-level misdemeanor stop.
Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba sent out a statement addressing several murders that roiled the capital city over the weekend—from a preacher killed in the Washington Addition to a teenager killed in a Walmart parking lot.
Terun Moore and Benny Ivey will be Jackson's first official, trained "credible messengers," working to prevent violence in the metro area.
Wearing a long coat, she stood in front of a statue of Elvis Presley when she told the crowd that if her friend Colin Hutchinson "invited me to a public hanging, I would be on the front row."
It's hard to know whether it cost him votes, but there was a moment during Mississippi Rep. David Baria's unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate that caused a surprised buzz around a state where the conventional wisdom is that criticizing odes to the Confederacy is a political death knell.
Dear Mississippi Republican leaders: Like much of the recent 40 years, your actions toward African Americans in our state in the last 10 days have been atrocious.
As state and national controversy swirls around U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s comment about a public hanging” in her race against an African American opponent, Gov. Phil Bryant opened a press conference this morning implying that black women are participating in “the genocide of 20 million African American children” through legal abortions