You should see ‘The 13th,’ not as a movie that gives you all the answers, but as one that compels you to ask questions about what’s going on all around us. James Baldwin once wrote that “people are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” Ava DuVernay’s film can’t free us, but it does make you think about things that, like it or not, are part of what’s trapping us.
—  John Powers on ‘The 13th,’ a documentary about mass incarceration 

NEWSHOUR ART BEAT: An intimate portrait of black fatherhood in East New York

As thousands of people in cities across the U.S. took to the streets in recent years to protest the police killings of black men, photographer Phyllis Dooney noticed something missing.

In all the media coverage of these killings, “there’s so little mention that these guys are fathers,” she said.“I see this gaping hole in terms of representing people of color, especially the black man, as a family member, as a father, as somebody who loves.”

Dooney said that omission is the result of a racially-charged stereotype of black fathers as neglectful. But that stereotype does not account for the complex social effects of mass incarceration, the War on Drugs and other events that have disproportionately affected black families. She decided to document their stories in East New York, a Brooklyn neighborhood that lies between the southernmost reaches of Queens and the shallow marshes of Jamaica Bay, where approximately one-third of residents live below the poverty line. “What I found was a lot of strength, resolve, character and self reflection,” she said.

Raheem Grant, 39, poses for a portrait with his daughter, Nature Grant. “When I was growing up I didn’t have a father. My little one, she gets scared of the dark: ‘You don’t have to be scared because Daddy is here.’ Just knowing that I am there for them makes me feel like I accomplished a lot.” 

David “Prince” Pierce, 22, poses for a portrait with his son, Prince David Pierce, in East New York, NY on March 29, 2015. “I think about this all the time: who am I doin’ this for? Can I really make this work with his mother or am I just running away from it ’cause I still want to live my life? I don’t want to be tied down. I know a lot of cats that didn’t see 21, didn’t see 25, didn’t see 30.” 

Ariel “AJ” Jones, 25, poses for a portrait with his daughter, Lexi Preston, in East New York, NY on July 12, 2015. 

Ramall Thomas, 24, poses for a portrait in East New York, NY on April 19, 2015. “[As a father] you can’t teach a woman to be a woman, but you can show her what it’s like to be loved by a man, what type of man would she want to look into [later on]. Hopefully it would be somebody like her dad.”

Willie Johnson, 33, poses for a portrait in East New York, NY on Feb. 13, 2016.

See more

(All photos courtesy of Phyllis Dooney)


This judge had exactly the right reaction to the shameful way nonviolent prisoners are treated in US jails

A woman was denied pants or tampons after being arrested for not completing a diversion course that was part of her sentencing from a shoplifting charge. But see how the judge reacts when she finds out that the prisoner’s humiliating treatment is apparently routine.

Gifs: Raw Leak



My sis Rell (Twitter: Awkward_Duck, Tumblr: swearimnotangry), did some investigative work today and found that Donald Sterling has ties to private prison investments, which led the two of us to an excellent discussion about the private prison industry.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. With contract mandates specifying 90% occupancy rates, private prisons feed directly into our problem with mass incarceration.

The private prison industry has become a lucrative business with some of our financial institutions heavily investing in them (Not to mention the music industry invests in them also, but I wont go there today). 

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) & GEO are the nations leading providers of correctional services. CCA has flourished as a business and has done so well ensuring that states maintain that 90% occupancy rate, that last year their Board of Directors authorized a $675 MILLION dividend to its shareholders. -_____-

I don’t even need to tell you who these prison beds are occupied by as I’m sure you all know the stats and demographics, but feel free to check out the links below.

Financial institutions that invest in private prisons:

CCA authorizes $675 million dividend to shareholders:

CCA being sued for widespread abuse in prisons:

I’ll tell you the most believable thing about [Orange Is The New Black] is the idea that Piper only got 15 months for running dope money…I’m a white blonde girl who went out and willfully fucked up and committed armed robbery, and I got five years. There were tons of black girls in my prison who were holding onto a bag of dope for a couple of days, and they always seemed to get, like, 10 years. If you ever find yourself in prison and wonder why there’s tension between white and black, shit like that is probably one of the reasons.

The statistics won’t come as a shock to those aware of the “school-to-prison pipeline,” a series of policies and practices that push students, especially those most at-risk, from classrooms to the criminal justice system at a young age. 

It’s time we change the conversation and the policy that leads to more incarceration, inequality and hopelessness for so many.

Join the Issue Time discussion on the school to prison pipeline. 

Ask our experts a question by Wednesday 10/5 and follow @the-movemnt for the answers this Friday 10/7!


DailyPBO: The President & The Federal Correctional Facility Visit – July 2015 

Three full-grown men in a 9-by-10 cell,” Obama said, as he looked at the cell’s meager furnishings, among them a toilet, sink, bunk bed and a third bed placed against a wall. “Overcrowding like that is something that has to be addressed.”

For the first time in our nation’s history, a sitting president visited a Federal prison. President Obama toured the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma, spoke with prison officials and had a sit-down with some inmates. 


Father is freed from Philadelphia jail after 25 years.

44-year-old Anthony Wright spent 25 years behind bars for the crime he didn’t commit. This was made possible only after the DNA evidence showed he was NOT GUILTY of rape and murder. In October 1991 he was convicted of raping and stabbing his 77-year-old neighbor Louise Talley. 

Ofc the police imprisoned the first Black man they suspected. However with the help of DNA test Wright was cleared of all charges on Tuesday. Finally, he got a chance to reunite with his family and see his two granddaughters for the first time.

25 years of his live was stolen because of racial prejudice, but Anthony Wright was tough and survived. How many more innocent Black people were falsely imprisoned and have been waiting for justice?