Gang Member Speaking at Baltimore Rally May 2 2015

This is is from my audio files of the Baltimore rally following the indictment of the six officers responsible for Freddie Gray’s death in police custody.

I’m practicing – i.e. learning – my video editing on clips that I really think should be shared with or without inclusion in my final short-form documentary project. This is just audio with a couple of photos I took at rallies and marches, so it was relatively easy to put together.

This young man was one of several speakers who made quite an impression. I started recording after his introduction so I missed his name; he may be an ex-gang member, but “ex” was not in my notes. There were many gang members at the rally wearing their colors but standing in unity. It was quite the sight.

His main points were: (1) the top three destroyers of the Black Community are poverty, oppression and ignorance. (2) God gave us all the gift of life. (3) We need opportunities, jobs. We need to create our own jobs and support each other’s businesses. (4) This is what democracy looks like.

Gang Member Speaking at Baltimore Rally May 2 2015 from LaShawnda Jones on Vimeo.

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“An Appeal to the World : A Statement of Denial of Human Rights to Minorities…” by W.E.B DuBois

If however the effect of the color caste system on the American Negro has been both good and bad, its effect on white America has been disastrous. It has repeatedly led the greatest modern attempt at democratic government to deny its political ideals, to falsify its philanthropic assertions, and to make its religion a vast hypocrisy. A nation which boldly declared “All men equal,” proceeded to build its economy on chattel slavery; masters who declared race-mixture impossible, sold their own children into slavery and left a mulatto progeny which neither law nor science can today disentangle; churches which excused slavery as calling the heathen to God, refused to recognize the freedom of converts or admit them to equal communion. Sectional strife over the vast profits of slave labor and conscientious revolt against making human beings real estate led to bloody civil war, and to a partial emancipation of slaves which nevertheless even to this day is not complete. Poverty, ignorance, disease, and crime have been forced on these unfortunate victims of greed to an extent far beyond any social necessity; and a great nation, which today ought to be in the forefront of the march toward peace and democracy, finds itself continuously making common cause with race hate, prejudiced exploitation and oppression of the common man. Its high and noble words are tuned against it, because they are contradicted in every syllable by the treatment of the American Negro for three hundred and twenty-seven years.If however the effect of the color caste system on the American Negro has been both good and bad, its effect on white America has been disastrous. It has repeatedly led the greatest modern attempt at democratic government to deny its political ideals, to falsify its philanthropic assertions, and to make its religion a vast hypocrisy. A nation which boldly declared “All men equal,” proceeded to build its economy on chattel slavery; masters who declared race-mixture impossible, sold their own children into slavery and left a mulatto progeny which neither law nor science can today disentangle; churches which excused slavery as calling the heathen to God, refused to recognize the freedom of converts or admit them to equal communion. Sectional strife over the vast profits of slave labor and conscientious revolt against making human beings real estate led to bloody civil war, and to a partial emancipation of slaves which nevertheless even to this day is not complete. Poverty, ignorance, disease, and crime have been forced on these unfortunate victims of greed to an extent far beyond any social necessity; and a great nation, which today ought to be in the forefront of the march toward peace and democracy, finds itself continuously making common cause with race hate, prejudiced exploitation and oppression of the common man. Its high and noble words are tuned against it, because they are contradicted in every syllable by the treatment of the American Negro for three hundred and twenty-seven years.If however the effect of the color caste system on the American Negro has been both good and bad, its effect on white America has been disastrous. It has repeatedly led the greatest modern attempt at democratic government to deny its political ideals, to falsify its philanthropic assertions, and to make its religion a vast hypocrisy. A nation which boldly declared “All men equal,” proceeded to build its economy on chattel slavery; masters who declared race-mixture impossible, sold their own children into slavery and left a mulatto progeny which neither law nor science can today disentangle; churches which excused slavery as calling the heathen to God, refused to recognize the freedom of converts or admit them to equal communion. Sectional strife over the vast profits of slave labor and conscientious revolt against making human beings real estate led to bloody civil war, and to a partial emancipation of slaves which nevertheless even to this day is not complete. Poverty, ignorance, disease, and crime have been forced on these unfortunate victims of greed to an extent far beyond any social necessity; and a great nation, which today ought to be in the forefront of the march toward peace and democracy, finds itself continuously making common cause with race hate, prejudiced exploitation and oppression of the common man. Its high and noble words are tuned against it, because they are contradicted in every syllable by the treatment of the American Negro for three hundred and twenty-seven years.If however the effect of the color caste system on the American Negro has been both good and bad, its effect on white America has been disastrous. It has repeatedly led the greatest modern attempt at democratic government to deny its political ideals, to falsify its philanthropic assertions, and to make its religion a vast hypocrisy. A nation which boldly declared “All men equal,” proceeded to build its economy on chattel slavery; masters who declared race-mixture impossible, sold their own children into slavery and left a mulatto progeny which neither law nor science can today disentangle; churches which excused slavery as calling the heathen to God, refused to recognize the freedom of converts or admit them to equal communion. Sectional strife over the vast profits of slave labor and conscientious revolt against making human beings real estate led to bloody civil war, and to a partial emancipation of slaves which nevertheless even to this day is not complete. Poverty, ignorance, disease, and crime have been forced on these unfortunate victims of greed to an extent far beyond any social necessity; and a great nation, which today ought to be in the forefront of the march toward peace and democracy, finds itself continuously making common cause with race hate, prejudiced exploitation and oppression of the common man. Its high and noble words are tuned against it, because they are contradicted in every syllable by the treatment of the American Negro for three hundred and twenty-seven years. (W.E.B. DuBois, 1947) {Click to read the full statement.}

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