Sol Collective held a screening of “13th” and Paul Willis, the facilitator of the event, talked about what he hoped would come from the knowledge. Time will tell if what he hopes for come true.
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This coming Wednesday, March 8th, from 6 pm to 9 pm, Sacramento activists are going to have a screening of Ava DuVernay’s “13th”, a documentary about the history and current criminalization of the black community. It will be at Sol Collective on 2574 21st street in Sacramento.
The community is coming together to do a screening and discussion of the documentary 13th. Pizza, spicy popcorn, and drinks will be available. If you want to know more about the event and time, look here for the Facebook event page.
“All of a sudden, a scythe went through our black communities,” Pat Nolan of Prison Fellowship said in 13th. “Literally cutting off men from their families. Literally huge chunks just disappearing into our prisons, and for a really long time.”
Criminalization of African Americans began once they got their freedom, and was amplified by the film The Birth of a Nation. African Americans were lynched and murdered by mobs between reconstruction and World War II.
“The demographic geography was shaped by that area,” Bryan Stevens of Found, Equal Justice Initiative said in the documentary 13th. “We have African Americans in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Boston, New York, and very few people appreciate that the African Americans in those communities did not go there as immigrants looking for economic opportunities, they went there as refugees from terror.”
Once mob lynching became unacceptable, African Americans civil rights activists were portrayed as criminals for breaking segregation laws. The civil rights act and voting right act finally turned things around for African Americans.
Around the time the civil rights movement was gaining popularity, crime rates were beginning to rise in this country. The baby boom generation was reaching adulthood by this time, however, politicians were quick to put the blame on the African Americans. Nixon started to crack down hard on drugs and crime, calling it the War on Crime.
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon white house after that had two enemies: the anti-war left, and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black…” John Ehrlichman, Nixon adviser said. “But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities… we could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
This set the future for America, cracking down on crime and drugs. The Three Strikes You’re Out Law also increased the sentence for people who were incarcerated. With these harsher and longer sentences for people, one would imagine that all races would be incarcerated more, however, 1 in 17 white males have a likelihood of being imprisoned within their lifetime. 1 in 17 is a lot less likely of being incarcerated than the statistic for the black community, which is 1 in 3 being imprisoned within their lifetime.
Watch 13th on the 8th of March to get more details about criminalization of the black community.
“Redlining” was a legal practice from 1932 to 1964. It directly affected minorities living conditions and housing options. Today, among other factors such as the wage gap and the pricey cost of higher education, redlining continues to affect people of color and other minorities.
During the 1930s, the Federal Housing Administration and the Home Owners Loan Corporation worked together to finance over $120 billion dollars worth of housing. However, they did not make this housing available to minorities. They would purposefully exclude minorities, and even went as far as to mark on a map of where the majority of colored people were, so that way the would not finance homes in that area.
This affects people to this day, as homeowners in the redlined areas have a harder time financing their homes, due to the area being poorer than the surrounding communities. This in turn brings down the value of the entire neighborhood. In these redlined areas, the houses also tend to be more decrepit, and the cost of repairs become more expensive.
However, redlining isn’t the only reason minorities are having a hard time. A study done by the Survey of Consumer Finances shows that there is a wage gap between minorities and their white counterparts. The wage gap refers to the phenomenon where one person gets paid less than another due to prejudice rather than skill or adequacy.
With this gap in pay, it makes it a lot harder to attend college in hopes of a higher education. With the price of tuition on the rise, it’s becoming harder and harder for poor people to climb out of their predicament.
Redlining, coupled with the wage gap and pricey education, makes it extremely hard for minorities to pull out of this poor crisis. Solving this issue would not happen quickly, and there are more factors that go into poverty than most people realize, but a good place to start would be to make education more affordable. Also, encouraging affordable houses in nicer areas, and fixing up less desirable areas would be a great place to start.
This video is about the Heart Walk project held Saturday 11th at the La Familia Center. This video contains a recap of the event, as well as interviews with the organizers. Also discussed is the partners that helped bring the program together.
916 Ink, a non-profit organization, is seeking youth-written contributions as they work to compile a comic book about South Sacramento and its history. The comic book title is “How Did We Get Here?” and should contain 1-2 pages of the writer’s personal experience, or the experience of someone who has lived in South Sac. 916 Ink is paying $50 for narratives from youth, and the deadline is February 23rd. Entries need to be emailed along with release forms for youth.
916 Ink is a non-profit organization that establishes writing classes for children and teens. Their goal with this project is to compile a comic book about all the children’s and teen’s stories that they send in.
“We are collecting local narratives of how discriminatory land use, housing, and transportation policies and investments resulted in segregation, fewer opportunities for low-income communities and communities of color, and poorer health outcomes in specific neighborhoods.” Said Nikki, Cardoza, Director of Programming.
Entries are not limited to just personal experiences. People who want to enter can interview others about their experiences in South Sacramento as well as give their own. The entry can be about policies in South Sac that has affected them, the history of South Sac, and anything else that has shaped South Sacramento, and its people. Though the stories can be positive, they mainly want to focus on the adverse aspects of South Sacramento, focusing on policies that have discriminated against people.
“Each comic book will be published and distributed locally,” says Nikki Cardoza, Director of Programming from 916 Ink, “And then we hope that all 5 comics will eventually be combined into an anthology the shows how public policies throughout the last 100 years have created communities in different areas of California.”
The comic book may not contain all the stories they receive, but all who enter will get a $50 cash card. The deadline is due February 23rd, and the comic will be available to buy August of 2017.
This video contains a recap of the Hurley Way Harvest event, as well a an interview with Dominic Allamano, and a home owner who allowed the volunteers to pick fruit from trees on her house.
The Sacramento’s Women’s March, which began at Southside Park and ended at the State Capitol, was held on January 22nd. The march started at 10:00 AM, and ended at 3:00 PM. Marchers were told to wear rain gear, however, the skies showed no rain until around 2:00, when there was a light drizzle. There were many speakers at the event, including Tracie Stafford, Shauna Heckert, Kathy Kneer, Jessica Bartholow, Alejandra Valles, Sheryl Evans Davis, Emily Bender, and many more.
“I have never been afraid that we would go backward in women’s rights,” said Stafford, in reference to the Presidential Inauguration days before, “…but this, this scares me.”
An estimated 20,000 people marched to the capitol on Saturday, not just to protest the inauguration of President Trump, but also to show their support for human rights. Protesters wore rainbow flags, Mexican flags, and other flags that were indicative of the human rights protesters were supporting.
“We cannot let our eyes adjust to the darkness,” Davis told the crowd. “The light of truth must stay on.”
“I came because… I don’t want to be silent,” said Joan Bartosik, a protester who traveled to Sacramento from New Cassa. “I don’t want my silence to show support for what’s going on.”
The protests stayed peaceful throughout the event, despite the very controversial topics that were being discussed. There were little tensions between police and protesters, and many of the protesters were friendly. Some handed out bottled waters and cookies to other people attending the event. There were even school buses that had pulled up to the Capitol so that students could see the protests.
“I think the turnout’s great. Very enthusiastic,” Bartosik said about the Women’s March. “There’s been no problems that I see. It feels comfortable. There’s kids, there’s dogs; very peaceful.”
Despite many protesters being geared up for rain, it only sprinkled towards the end of the rally. However, Stafford did have this to say in relation to the weather and inauguration, “I just got news that a storm is coming in, but the storm has already come.”
Harvest Sacramento, created by Soil Born Farms, is a project designed to take unwanted fruit and distribute it back into the local community. The next couple of fruit gatherings, or “gleanings”, will occur on January 16th and 21st.
Harvest Sacramento is a collaborative effort between residents, volunteers, and nonprofit organizations including Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services to bring food to the community. The next gathering will be on 34th street, at the Edible Sacramento High School. This event will run from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM on January 16th. Another event at the Colonial Heights Library will be held in January on the 21st, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. To find out more about the upcoming events, interested residents can check out Harvest Sacramento’s Facebook page here.
The fruit itself comes from generous donors who allow the volunteers of Harvest Sacramento to come and glean their fruit. The gleaned fruit from the local fruit trees is distributed to the volunteers, residents, and given to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. This ensures that none of the fruit goes to waste.
No matter the age, anyone who is wanting and able can contribute to Harvest Sacramento’s efforts.
“It’s all ages,” says Dominic Allamono, Program Coordinator for Harvest Sacramento. “We’ve had 2 year olds and 92 year olds in the same group before.”
Anyone who would like to know more about the organization can check out Soil Born Farms website here.
Featured Image by Yeshahyah Yisrael
In this video, I go to Carmichael Park to discuss the different types of activities that they hold there. I also discuss how Carmichael Park allows Visions in Educations to hold their activities at the park as well.