2

“The first chapter opens up with Michael Brown and Ferguson,” says the textbook’s co-author, Macalester College Professor Duchess Harris. “And then we backtrack to do a historical overview of interactions that African Americans have had with police encounters, historically. Then we return to Trayvon Martin and go all the way up to Baltimore.”

This is what we did. We fought for our voices to be heard and this is what we got, I am so proud. #Love it!

You guys remember that iconic pic of the guy throwing the tear gas canister during the first Ferguson demonstrations?

Ferguson filed charges against him over a year later!

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/55dbc185e4b08cd3359d1fc1

He’s fighting the charges and needs help.

He originally had a GoFundMe but they TOOK IT DOWN!!

Reminder: GFM allowed Darren Wilson’s to proceed unscathed.

Here’s the new funding opportunity: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/c12It9

Mike Brown was murdered 2 years ago today.

Darren Wilson still has not been arrested or charged.

Mike Brown’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, former Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson and former Officer Darren Wilson.

Dorian Johnson has also filed a lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, Darren Wilson, and Tom Jackson.

The 2 lawsuits are headed to federal court as requested by Darren Wilson and Tom Jackson. The Brown family’s lawsuit will head to trial in October 2016.

4

Bernie Sanders Reaches Out To Black Voters In South Carolina

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., Aug 22 (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought his progressive populism to deeply Republican South Carolina, and made a pitch to connect with the black voters that provide most of the Democratic support in the early primary state.

Listen to his inspiring full speech here. 

6

CultureHISTORY: #ConcernedStudent1950 - The University of MIssouri Protests - November 2015 

There is something fucking incredible happening at #Mizzou. 

Sparked by a hunger strike by grad student Jonathan Butler (2nd photo), students, Mizzou Football players and coaches, and now #‎Mizzou‬ faculty are protesting the inaction over racial incidents at the university post-‪#‎Ferguson‬. They are calling for the removal of the university president who many feel has not done enough to address the problems. (Note - Hashtag relates to the year that the first the black student attended Mizzou)

Please see the updated list at http://losttoy.tumblr.com/post/136395727651/black-people-killed-by-police-2015-as-of-jan-1

Black People Killed by Police 2015 (as of Sept 28th):

UPDATE TO ADD (Oct 19th)
Corey Jones, 31, FL
Paterson Brown Jr., 18, VA
Dequan L. Williams, 28, PA
Kaleb Alexander, 25, OH
Jason Day, 40, OK
Bernard Brandon Powers, 23, SC
Jeffery McCallum, 31, IL
Christopher LaShon Kimble Jr., 22, OH
Brandon Johnson, 28, WV

Junior Prosper, 31, FL
James Anderson, 33, IL
Ernesto Medina López, 42, FL
Keith Harrison McLeod, 19, MD
Jeremy McDole, 28, DE
Bobby R. Anderson, 27, LA
Tyrone Bass, 21 , LA
Vincent E. Scott, 49, KS
Carl Devince King, 52, NC
Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, 25, KY
Clifford Butler, Jr., 67, OK
Brandon Foy, 29, IN
Tyrone L. Holman, 37, MO
Angelo Delano Perry, 35, VA
India Kager, 28, VA
La'vante Trevon Biggs, 21, NC
Cedric Maurice Williams, 33, WV
James Carney III, 48, OH
Felix Kumi, 61, NY
James Marcus Brown III, 25, NV
Bertrand Syjuan Davis, 43, TX
Curtis Smith, 34, PA
Thaddeus Faison, 39, NY
Deviere Ernel Ransom, 24, MI
Mansur Ball-Bey, 18, MO
Frederick Roy, 35, TX
Benjamin Peter Ashley, 34, CA
Allen Matthew Baker III, 23, CA
Asshams Pharoah Manley, 30, MD
Garland Tyree, 38, NY
Reginald Marshall, 27, OH
Redel Kentel Jones, 30, CA
Nathaniel Wilks, 27, CA
Andre Green, 15, IN
Tsombe Jashon Clark, 25, NC
Shamir Terrel Palmer, 24, SC
Derrick Lee Hunt, 28, CA
Charles Bertram, 22, TX
Christian Taylor, 19, TX
Troy Robinson, 32, GA
Keshawn D. Hargrove, 20, VA
Darius D. Graves, 31, IL
Filimoni Raiyawa, 57, CA
Khari Westly, 33, LA
Bryan Keith Day, 36, NV
Sandra Bland, 28, TX
Donatae L. Martin. 34, OH
Andre Dontrell Williams, 26, OK
Devon Guisherd, 26, PA
Samuel Dubose, 43, OH
Darrius Stewart, 19, TN
Albert Joseph Davis, 23, FL
Edward Foster III, 35, FL
Chacarion Avant, 20, FL
Salvado Ellswood, 36, FL
Freddie Blue, 20, GA
George Mann, 35, GA
Anthony Dewayne Ware, 35, AL
Jonathan Sanders, 39, MS
Jason M. Hendley, 29, CA
Maximo Rabasa, 52, FL
Robert Elando Manlone, 42, OK
Kawanza Jamaal Beaty, 23, VA
Victo Larosa III, 23, FL
Kevin Lamont Judson, 24, OR
Alfontish Cockerham, 23, IL
Spencer Lee McCain, 41, MD
Damien A. Harrell, 26, VA
Tyrone Harris, 20, PA
Zamiel Kivon Crawford, 21, AL
Kevin Bajoie, 32, LA
Trepierre Hummons, 21, OH
Jermaine Benjamin, 42, FL
Deng Manyoun, 35, KY
arles Allen Ziegler, 40, FL
Fritz Severe, 46, FL
Isiah Hampton, 19, NY
QuanDavier Hicks, 22, OH
Ross Anthony, 25, TX
Demouria Hogg, 30, CA
Andrew Ellerbe, 33, PA
Sherman Byrd, 24, PA
Usaama Rahim 26 Massachusetts
Richard Davis 50 New York
Kevin Allen 36 New Jersey
James Strong 32 Colorado
Kenneth Dothard 40 Georgia
Dalton Branch 51 New York
Anthony Briggs 26 Alabama
Caso Jackson 25 Michigan
Javoris Washington 29 Florida
Jerome Thomas Caldwell 32 South Carolina
Markus Clark 26 Florida
Marcus D. Wheeler 26 Nebraska
Anthony Quinn Gomez Jr. 29 Pennsylvania
D'Angelo Reyes Stallworth 28 Florida
Kelvin Antonie Goldston 30 Texas
Lionel Young 34 Maryland
Dedrick Marshall 48 Louisiana
Nephi Arriguin 21 California
Brendon Glenn 29 California
Jason Champion 41 New Jersey
Nuwnah Laroche 34 New Jersey
Elton Simpson 30 Texas
Alexia Christian 25 Georgia
Jeffery O. Adkins 53 Virginia
Terrance Kellom 20 Michigan
Todd Dye 20 Colorado
Samuel Harrell 30 New York
William L. Chapman II 18 Virginia
Daniel Wolfe 35 New Jersey
Freddie Gray 25 Maryland
Norman Cooper 33 Texas
Thaddeus McCarroll 23 Missouri
Darrell Lawrence Brown 31 Maryland
Frank Ernest Shephard III 41 Texas
Tevin Barkley 22 Florida
Colby Robinson  26 Texas
Karl Taylor 52 New York
Don Oneal Smith Jr. 29 Indiana
Dexter Bethea 42 Georgia
Desmond Willis 25 Louisiana
Paul Anthony Anderson 31 California
Justus Howell 17 Illinois
Walter Scott 50 South Carolina
Darrin A. Langford 32 Illinois
Donald “Dontay” Ivy 39 New York
Eric Courtney Harris 44 Oklahoma
Robert Washington 37 California
Phillip White 32 New Jersey
Ricky Shawatza Hall 27 Maryland
Dominick R. Wise 30 Virginia
Jamalis Hall 39 Florida
Angelo West 41 Massachusetts
Meagan Hockaday 26 California
Jeremy Lorenza Kelly 27 South Carolina
Walter Brown III 29 Virginia
Nicholas Thomas 23 Georgia
Denzel Brown 21 New York
Richard White 63 Louisiana
Brandon Jones 18 Ohio
Kendre Omari Alston 16 Florida
Askari Roberts 35 Georgia
Jonathan Ryan Paul 42 Texas
Terry Garnett Jr. 37 Maryland
Jamie Croom 31 Louisiana
Theodore Johnson 64 Ohio
Terrance Moxley 29 Ohio
Cedrick Lamont Bishop 30 Florida
Anthony Hill 27 Georgia
Monique Jenee Deckard 43 California
Andrew Anthony Williams 48 Florida
Naeschylus Vinzant 37 Colorado
Bernard Moore 62 Georgia
Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. 19 Wisconsin
Tyrone Ryerson Lawrence 45 Wisconsin
Shaquille C. Barrow 20 Illinois
Fednel Rhinvil 25 Maryland
Charley Leundeu Keunang, “Africa” 43 California
Thomas Allen Jr. 34 Missouri
Darrell “Hubbard” Gatewood 47 Oklahoma
Ian Sherrod 40 North Carolina
Cornelius J. Parker 28 Missouri
Glenn C. Lewis 37 Oklahoma
Calvon A. Reid 39 Florida
A’Donte Washington 16 Alabama
Terry Price 41 Oklahoma
Stanley Lamar Grant 38 Alabama
Janisha Fonville 20 North Carolina
Lavall Hall 25 Florida
Phillip Watkins 23 California
Anthony Bess 49 Tennessee
Desmond Luster, Sr. 45 Texas
Natasha McKenna 37 Virginia
James Howard Allen 74 North Carolina
Herbert Hill 26 Oklahoma
Markell Atkins 36 Tennessee
Yvette Henderson 38 California
Ledarius Williams 23 Missouri
Dewayne Deshawn Ward Jr. 29 California
Edward Donnell Bright, Sr. 56 Maryland
Jermonte Fletcher 33 Ohio
Darin Hutchins 26 Maryland
Tiano Meton 25 Texas
Demaris Turner 29 Florida
Isaac Holmes 19 Missouri
Dewayne Carr 42 Arizona
Terence D. Walker 21 Oklahoma
Rodney Walker 23 Oklahoma
Kavonda Earl Payton 39 Colorado
Mario A. Jordan 34 Virginia
Donte Sowell 27 Indiana
Marcus Ryan Golden 24 Minnesota
Artago Damon Howard 36 Arkansas
Andre Larone Murphy Sr. 42 Nebraska
Ronald Sneed 31 Texas
Hashim Hanif Ibn Abdul-Rasheed 41 Ohio
Brian Pickett 26 California
Leslie Sapp III 47 Pennsylvania
Matthew Ajibade 22 Georgia


Black People Killed by Police in 2014

Jerry Nowlin 39 Oklahoma
Travis Faison 24 North Carolina
Michael D. Sulton 23 Mississippi
Calvin Peters 49 New York
Dennis Grisgby 35 Texas
Thurrell Jowers 22 Mississippi
Brandon Tate-Brown 26 Pennsylvania
Xavier McDonald 16 Tennessee
Antonio Martin 18 Missouri
Carlos Davenport 51 Kansas
Gregory Marcus Gray 33 District of Columbia
Carlton Wayne Smith 20 Texas
Terrence Gilbert 25 Illinois
Aura Rosser 40 Michigan
Quentin Smith 23 Florida
Charles Emmett Logan 68 Minnesota
David Andre Scott 28 Florida
Jerame C. Reid 36 New Jersey
Kevin Davis 44 Georgia
David Yearby 27 New Jersey
Eric Tyrone Forbes 28 Florida
Christopher Bernard Doss 41 Texas
Christopher M. Anderson 27 Illinois
William Mark Jones 50 North Carolina
Rauphael Thomas 29 Ohio
Tanisha N. Anderson 37 Ohio
Rumain Brisbon 34 Arizona
Lincoln Price 24 Oklahoma
John T. Wilson, III 22 Nevada
Cinque DJahspora 20 Tennessee
Darnell Dayron Stafford 31 New Jersey
Cecil Chaney Tinker-Smith 37 Washington
Akai Gurley 28 New York
Keara Crowder 29 Tennessee
Myron DeÕShawn May 39 Florida
Leonardo Marquette Little 33 Florida
Tamir E. Rice 12 Ohio
Eric Ricks 30 Texas
Lashano J. Gilbert 31 Connecticut
Qusean Whitten 18 Ohio
Latandra Ellington 36 Florida
Elisha Glass 20 Ohio
OÕShaine Evans 26 California
Tracy A. Wade 39 Kentucky
Miguel Benton 19 Georgia
Balantine Mbegbu 65 Arizona
Iretha Lilly 37 Texas
Vonderrit Myers Jr. 18 Missouri
Aljarreau Cross 29 Nevada
Adam Ardett Madison 28 Alabama
Ronnie D. McNary 44 Ohio
Alphonse Edward Perkins 50 California
Terrell Lucas 22 Indiana
Zale Thompson 32 New York
Shawn DeCortez Brown, II 20 New Jersey
Darrien Nathaniel Hunt 22 Utah
Kaldrick Donald 24 Florida
Christopher Mason McCray 17 North Carolina
Kendrick Brown 35 Ohio
Elijah Jackson 33 Tennessee
Naim Owens 22 New York
Ricky Deangelo Hinkle 47 Alabama
Carrey Brown 26 Washington
Kashad Ashford 23 New Jersey
Ceasar Adams 36 Louisiana
Michael Willis Jr. 42 Missouri
Charles Smith 29 Georgia
John Jolly Jr. 28 Kentucky
Cameron Tillman 14 Louisiana
Nolan Anderson 50 Louisiana
Oliver Jarrod Gregoire 26 Texas
Ronald Singleton 45 New York
Jeremy Lewis 33 Florida
Warren Robinson 16 Illinois
Darius Cole-Garrit 21 Illinois
Eugene Williams 38 Missouri
Marlon S. Woodstock 38 Florida
Arvel Douglas Williams 30 Maryland
Anthony Callaway 27 Georgia
Javonta Darden 20 Georgia
Ennis Labaux 37 Louisiana
Robert Baltimore 34 Louisiana
Anthony Lamar Brown 39 Florida
Dominique Charon Lewis 23 Michigan
Eugene N. Turner III 28 Mississippi
Cedric Stanley 35 Florida
Jacorey Calhoun 23 California
Briant Paula 26 Massachusetts
Michael Laray Dozer 26 California
Daniel Row 37 Ohio
John Crawford III 22 Ohio
Eddie Davis 67 Texas
Michael Brown, Jr. 18 Missouri
Corey Levert Tanner 24 Florida
Frederick R. Miller 38 Maryland
Ezell Ford 25 California
Dante Parker 36 California
Andre Maurice Jones 37 California
Luther Lathron Walker 38 California
Michelle Cusseaux 50 Arizona
David Ellis 29 Pennsylvania
Kajieme Powell 25 Missouri
Roshad McIntosh 18 Illinois
Cortez Washington 32 Nebraska
Vernicia Woodward 26 Georgia
Desean Pittman 20 Illinois
Jerry Dwight Brown 41 Florida
Jacqueline Nichols 64 Michigan
Icarus Randolph 26 Kansas
Christopher Jones 30 Missouri
Charles Goodridge 53 Texas
Tommy Jackson 39 Florida
Tyshawn Hancock 37 Ohio
Tommy Ray Yancy 32 California
Lawrence Campbell 27 New Jersey
Eric Garner 43 New York
Donovan Bayton 54 Maryland
Vamond Arqui Elmore 37 South Carolina
Jonathan L. Williams 25 Arizona
Harrison Carter 29 Florida
Charles Leon Johnson, II 29 Georgia
Briatay McDuffie 19 Maryland
Patrick Small 27 South Carolina
Frank McQueen 34 Pennsylvania
Thomas Dewitt Johnson 28 Florida
Lonnie Flemming 31 Tennessee
David Latham 35 Virginia
Michael Reams 47 California
Steven Thompson 26 Florida
Roylee Vell Dixon 48 Alabama
Broderick Johnson 21 Georgia
Frank Rhodes 61 Mississippi
John Schneider 24 Georgia
Jason Harrison 38 Texas
Devaron Ricardo Wilburn 21 North Carolina
Ismael Sadiq 30 Texas
Samuel Shields 49 Maryland
Denzell Curnell 19 South Carolina
Antoine Dominique Hunter 24 California
Juan May 45 Texas
Lavon King 20 New Jersey
Paul Ray Kemp Jr. 40 California
Samuel Johnson 45 California
Rodney Hodge 33 Texas
Dennis Hicks 29 Delaware
Quentin Byrd 21 Georgia
Londrell Johnson 31 Wisconsin
Nyocomus Garnett 35 Texas
Eddie Macon Jr. 39 Michigan
Pearlie Golden 93 Texas
Armand Martin 50 New Mexico
Jerome Dexter Christmas 44 Louisiana
Devante Kyshon Hinds 21 Alabama
Jonathan Lee Asuzu  Alabama
Joseph Givens 34 Ohio
Justin Griffin 25 Mississippi
George V. King 19 Maryland
James Renee White Jr. 21 California
Charles D. Broadway Jr.24 Kansas
Howard Wallace Bowe Jr. 34 Florida
Jovon Allen 21 Arkansas
Shiquan M. Krouser 27 New York
Damion Foster 37 Florida
Dominique Franklin, Jr 23 Illinois
Jermassioun Viondrey Rodgers 20 Florida
Michael Myers 62 Illinois
Quintico Goolsby 36 Indiana
Montez Dewayne Hambric 26 North Carolina
Duane Erick Strong 18 Florida
Jose Valerio 17 Louisiana
Terry Darnell Heath 45 Ohio
Sandy Jamel McCall 33 North Carolina
Etoine Baucum 44 New Jersey
Dustin Keith Glover 27 Texas
Jameel Kareem Ofurum Harrison 34 Maryland
Gregory Towns 24 Georgia
Daniel Christoph Yealu 29 California
Matthew Walker 55 Florida
Emmanuel Wooten  Mississippi
Joe Huff 86 Illinois
Adrian Williams 29 Pennsylvania
Dontre H. Hamilton 31 Wisconsin
Tyrone Davis 43 Mississippi
Emerson Clayton Jr. 21 Alabama
Treon “Tree” Johnson 27 Florida
Gabriella Monique Nevarez 22 California
Kenny Clinton Walker 23 California
Daniel Martin 47 Oklahoma
Douglas Cooper 18 Rhode Island
Winfield Carlton Fisher III 32 Maryland
Deosaran Maharaj 51 Florida
DeAndre Lloyd Starks 27 Oklahoma
Earnest Satterwhite 68 South Carolina
Anneson Joseph 28 Florida
Raason Shaw 20 Illinois
Anthony Bartley 21 Florida
Zikarious Jaquan Flint 20 Georgia
Alton Reaves 31 South Carolina
D'Andre Berghardt Jr. 20 Nevada
Stephon Averyhart 27 Missouri
Yvette Smith 45 Texas
Keith Atkinson 31 Alabama
Kenneth Christopher Lucas 38 Texas
Cornelius Turner 19 Wisconsin
McKenzie Cochran 25 Michigan
Kendall Alexander 34 Louisiana
Jordan Baker 26 Texas
Gregory Vaughn Hill Jr. 30 Florida
Henry Jackson 19 Oklahoma
Jeffrey Ragland 50 New York
Marquise Jones 23 Texas
Paul Smith 58 California
Eldrin Loren Smart 31 Louisiana

Notes
1-This was put together on Sept 28th using information fromwww.killedbypolice.net. This is my favorite source because it only takes names from confirmed news sources.
1.5-About half of reported civilian deaths by police officers do not include the race. There are most definitely more that we do not know of.
2-Police are not required to report the people they kill, so we know that there has to be more than this that is not reported. Currently the best government data we have on police killings is from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting but these killings are self-reported by law enforcement and participation in the database is voluntary – only about 750 agencies contribute to it, a fraction of the 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States.
3-This passes no judgment on guilt or innocence, just a full list. I am sure some of these names are actual criminals, but the world will never know other than taking the police’s word. Police are not the judge, jury and executioners and these people should be alive to face their crimes or prove their innocence in a court of law. (We have also learned from Walter Scott that police lie on the reports and plant evidence)
3.5-IF they were criminals, does not excuse the police from violating these people’s Fifth Amendment Rights. They were deprived of life without due process of law. Many of these people are shot in the back or unarmed (see below). The major problem is we have violent White criminals like Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, James Eagan Holmes, Jared Lee Loughner, Dylann Storm Roof who are all terrorists who collectively killed hundreds of people and were apprehended without being shot. Meanwhile, black people are being shot for non-violent crimes like jaywalking, having a busted taillight and so on.
4-This does not include police brutality cases like Floyd Dent, Martese Johnson or so many more.
5-This not include people like Travon Martin or Jordan Davis, who were killed by “stand your ground” laws by civilians.
6-This also does not include people like Lennon Lacy and Otis Byrd in what looks like lynchings
7-I also did not include anything pre-2014 since that is when the whole “black lives matter” movement started. This is not a new occurrence.
8-yeah, yeah … not all cops. I am sure they have a hard job, but it does not excuse this list or especially how long it is. There were 127 total police deaths in 2014, including unrelated car accidents, heart attacks and even one 9/11 related illness. It is MUCH more dangerous to be black than a police officer.
9-Yes, there were plenty of white people killed by police. “All lives matter”, BUT black people are 4x more likely to be killed by police than whites. Only 16% of white people killed were unarmed while 47% of black people killed were unarmed. There are deep racial disparities that come from a system of oppression.

However, this list is important. Sure Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddy Gray get the headlines, but every name needs to be remembered.

Please see the updated list at http://losttoy.tumblr.com/post/136395727651/black-people-killed-by-police-2015-as-of-jan-1

8

Janelle Monáe Vows To ‘Speak Up’ On #BlackLivesMatter

Janelle Monáe has been a vocal supporter of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, joining forces with local activists, pushing for change with her powerful lyrics and even delivering an impromptu speech about the platform’s issue on NBC’s “Today” show (even if it was cut short).

Watch the full interview to see more from Janelle Monáe and Jidenna here. 

In today’s news:  A young black kid in Ferguson ended up shot to death in his back yard, surrounded by police. Ferguson PD insisted it was suicide. Even though every witness on the scene claims the cops killed him and there’s an actual audio recording of him begging them not to shoot seconds beforehand.

Originally posted by securelyinsecure

No words any more; only The Oprah Winfrey Look of Sadness and Absolute Disgust ™ can cover it.

10

All Hands on Deck - Art by Damon Davis in Ferguson

Damon Davis is an Emmy Award winning artist from St. Louis and traveling around the country to display his art.

“I tell stories that speak to the human experience. The hands you see are images I have captured of people who have shaped and upheld this movement. The peoples movement. It is our right – to be seen, to be heard…to be validated. It is our collective responsibility. The "All Hands On Deck” project is an ode to that diverse collective dedicated to protecting our human rights, no matter race, age or gender. “All Hands On Deck” is our charge - a call of action to stand with those who stand for us all.“

- Damon Davis

#BlackLivesMatter

stlamerican.com
This 20-year-old is serving the longest sentence from the Ferguson protests
Josh Williams was one of the youngest Ferguson activists protesting the police shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in 2014. He was arrested during the ensuing unrest over social justice issues that engulfed the Missouri city. Now, he’s incarcerated in a prison that holds convicted killers awaiting execution.

Free Josh Williams! Free all Ferguson rebels! 

Incomplete List of Ferguson Rebels currently incarcerated or facing charges.

To Learn More About AMN Collective: Tumblr Facebook Twitter Instagram

By whitewashing the poorest district in Panem, the the filmmakers successfully depoliticized the story. They removed any possibility of Panem being a racist country, of poverty and race somehow being related. Sure, Rue was still black, but Katniss was white. White people are just as oppressed as people of color, therefore race isn’t an issue in Panem. Race is taken out of the equation. Why not just make the tagline #AllLivesMatter? And even though people of color suffer alongside white people, it’s white people whose narratives we follow, white people who are allowed complexity and sympathy, and white people who are allowed to survive in the end… 

The Hunger Games is successful as a franchise because it doesn’t force us to think. By removing racism from the equation, it gives us an easy, non-controversial image of oppression. Oppression is a bad thing done by bad people. It’s sad, it’s hard to watch, and innocent people die, but uncomfortable things like racism are never brought up. It doesn’t explore why social inequality and poverty exist, they just do. Never mind that in Mississippi, the infant mortality rate exceeds that of Botswana, and that black infants are almost twice as likely as white infants to die. Never mind that black and brown people are more likely to be housed in environmentally-hazardous areas, where they’re exposed to dangerous materials more than the average, middle-class white person. No, never mind these things, because they make us uncomfortable, and we don’t want to be uncomfortable when we go see a movie. We want to be entertained. And oppression is only entertaining when the oppressed are conventionally-attractive white people.

In a strange way, The Hunger Games has become a parody of itself. It’s gone from the story of a young woman of color rising up against a racist, totalitarian society and struggling with PTSD, to a glamorized, monetized spectacle in which millions of dollars have been invested. The Capitol didn’t watch simply for the death, it watched for the drama, the star-crossed lovers of District 12, the suffering and betrayal. And we in our own way are the Capitol, consuming the deaths of innocent people for our own entertainment, declaring ourselves “Team Peeta” or “Team Gale,” buying makeup from Covergirl’s Capitol Collection, turning a story of resistance into an extravagant spectacle to be marketed and sold like anything else in a capitalist society. Just as the Capitol watches for the drama, so do we. And I think part of that is inevitable in storytelling. But part of it is also preventable.

We are a country founded on genocide, slave labor, and police brutality. We’re not in danger of becoming Panem; we have always been Panem.

After graduation, Ferguson went to Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky to further his pursuit of becoming a chef. However, he was met with disappointment after discovering his academic funding was only partial. Although excelling in Sullivan’s Culinary Arts program, he started selling drugs on the side to make ends meet.

Fortunately, he was able to graduate but continued to sell drugs & was arrested eight times in 3months. He lost everything he owned, including his place of residence, and eventually became homeless. 

“The last time getting locked up, I remembered being in class & them talking about being a statistic & how once you get in the system you can’t get out,” 

he said. “I started thinking that now I’m the guy that I didn’t want to be. That’s when I told myself that I was going to get serious about something I know that I can do, which is cooking.” He focused on opening his own restaurants. 

Ferguson named his pop-up restaurant SuperChefs, after his nickname throughout his culinary career & his time at 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, where he was one of 22 chefs chosen. After a few years, the 28-year-old chef opened SuperChefs in June, in a 4,500-square-foot space. He now employs approximately 35 people.

Went from selling dope to being super dope! Real hero right there. Especially in the oppressive merican system.