Category Archives: NOLA

Sister Helen Prejean on the death penalty

Sister Helen Prejean

St. Bonaventure University hosted Sr. Helen Prejean’s talk on Nov. 11, 2008 regarding her vocation helping the poor and crusade to abolish capital punishment. Following bio is an 8-part YouTube video of her presentation.

“Sister Helen Prejean was born on April 21, 1939, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille (now known as The Congregation of St. Joseph) in 1957 and received a B.A. in English and Education from St. Mary’s Dominican College, New Orleans in 1962. In 1973, she earned an M.A. in Religious Education from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, Canada. She has been the Religious Education Director at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in New Orleans, the Formation Director for her religious community, and has taught junior and senior high school students.

Sister Helen began her prison ministry in 1981 when she dedicated her life to the poor of New Orleans. While living in the St. Thomas housing project, she became pen pals with Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers, sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison.

Dead Man Walking

Upon Sonnier’s request, Sister Helen repeatedly visited him as his spiritual advisor. In doing so, her eyes were opened to the Louisiana execution process. Sister Helen turned her experiences into a book that not only made the 1994 American Library Associates Notable Book List, it was also nominated for a 1993 Pulitzer Prize. Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States was number one on the New York Times Best Seller List for 31 weeks. It also made the International Best Seller List and has been translated into ten different languages.

In January 1996, the book was developed into a major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen and Sean Penn as a death row inmate. Produced by Polygram Pictures, the film was directed and written by Tim Robbins. The movie received four Oscar nominations including Tim Robbins for Best Director, Sean Penn for Best Actor, Susan Sarandon for Best Actress, and Bruce Springsteen’s “Dead Man Walkin'” for Best Song. Susan Sarandon won the award for Best Actress.”

http://www.prejean.org/

http://www.sisterhelen.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Prejean

[Note- the following is an 8 part video. Click at upper right for continuation or click onto Youtube for Parts 2-8]

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Filed under Anti Death Penalty, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Human Rights, NOLA, racism, Work of Comrades

Lenny Kravitz, Mos Def and More Jam for Gulf Aid

“It Ain’t My Fault”

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Filed under Environmental, Movement & Message Music, NOLA, Obama Administration, The Bush Administration, The Obama Administration

Jaribu Hill | Obama, Afghanistan, War

 “You retire when we’re free. You retire when there’s no war left that our children are going to fight. You retire when everybody has health care and a hospital bed when they get sick. You retire when every prop up dictator is crushed. You retire when every glossy, pedigree, trickster, even if it happens to be the newest president, you retire when all of them are checked, and exposed. That’s when retirement comes…”

Jaribu Hill, Exec. Dir. of the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights speaking on the panel “Perpetual War or Rule of Law?” October 17, 2009 at The National Lawyers Guild Law for the People 2009 Convention in Seattle.

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Filed under American Progressive Politics, anti-war, Black Politics, Feminist Leaders, Friends & Comrades, Middle East, NOLA, Obama Administration, Peace, Political Ideology, The Obama Administration, white supremacy

NOMC on NBC Nightly News | WED ( August 26)

New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation
New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation

Please tune in if you can to see the New Orleans Musicians Clinic “making a difference” segment that will tentatively air WED ( August 26) at the end  of NBC Nightly News with Brian Willams.

But that is subject to change.  If it get’s bumped, watch on Thursday and Friday.

 The New Orleans Musicians Clinic is an important cause that everyone should consider supporting.

For more information contact:

Bethany Ewald Bultman
PRESIDENT
New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation

nomaf.org

neworleansmusiciansclinic.org
New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic
504 895-4396 NOMAF/NOMC Admin. OFC.

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Filed under American Progressive Politics, ART | CULTURE | WRITING, Black Culture | United States, NOLA

Jordan Flaherty | Homeless and Struggling In New Orleans

 

Jordan Flaherty
Jordan Flaherty

On the Fourth Anniversary of Katrina, New Orleans is Still Far From Recovery

 

Crawling through a hole in a fence and walking through an open doorway, Shamus Rohn and Mike Miller lead the way into an abandoned Midcity hospital. They are outreach workers for the New Orleans organization UNITY for the Homeless, and they do this all day long; searching empty houses and buildings for people, so they can offer services and support. “We joke about having turned criminal trespass into a fulltime job,” says Rohn.

Up a darkened stairway and through the detritus of a thoroughly scavenged building, Rohn and Miller enter a sundrenched room. Inside is Michael Palmer, a 57-year-old white former construction worker and merchant seaman who has made a home here. Palmer – his friends call him Mickey – is in some ways lucky. He found a room with a door that locks. He salvaged some furniture from other parts of the hospital, so he has a bed, a couch, and a rug. Best of all, he has a fourth-floor room with a balcony. “Of all the homeless,” he says, “I probably have the best view.”

Mickey has lived here for six months. He’s been homeless since shortly after Katrina, and this is by far the best place he’s stayed in that time. “I’ve lived on the street,” he says. “I’ve slept in a cardboard box.” He is a proud man, thin and muscled with a fresh shave, clean clothes and a trim mustache. He credits a nearby church, which lets him shave and shower.

But Palmer would like to be able to pay rent again. “My apartment was around $450. I could afford $450. I can’t afford $700 or $800 and that’s what the places have gone up to.” Keeping himself together, well-dressed and fresh, Mickey is trying to go back to the life he had. “I have never lived on the dole of the state,” he says proudly. “I’ve never been on welfare, never collected food stamps.” Palmer rented an apartment before Katrina. He did repairs and construction. “I had my own business,” he says. “I had a pickup truck with all my tools, and all that went under water.”

Palmer is one of thousands of homeless people living in New Orleans’ storm damaged and abandoned homes and buildings. Four years after Katrina, recovery and rebuilding has come slow to this city, and there are many boarded-up homes to choose from. The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center counts 65,888 abandoned residential addresses in New Orleans, and this number doesn’t include any of the many non-residential buildings, like the hospital Mickey stays in. Overall, about a third of the addresses in the city are vacant or abandoned, the highest rate in the nation. UNITY for the Homeless is the only organization surveying these spaces, and Miller and Rohn are the only fulltime staff on the project. They have surveyed 1,330 buildings – a small fraction of the total number of empty structures. Of those, 564 were unsecured. Nearly 40% of them showed signs of use, including a total of 270 bedrolls or mattresses.

Using conservative estimates, UNITY estimates at least 6,000 squatters, and a total of about 11,000 homeless individuals in the city.

[For more click Masthead]

Dissent Voice

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/features/Katrina-s-victims-still-left-without-homes

 

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Filed under American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Politics, Civil Rights, Human Rights, NOLA

Edwin Hampton | Legendary Band Director at St. Aug’s, dies at 81

“Ernest Withers taught me about the extraordinary high school bands in Memphis that led directly to Stax, Hi, and a bunch of other great music.
 
Well, New Orleans had its own schooling in this field. The great second lines, brass sections, and soloists didn’t just appear; they came up through a long rich tradition. One of the prime mentors in that tradition just died. Check the names of some of the folks who were taught by Edwin Hampton. Or maybe this one photograph says it all?” Daniel Wolff 
Legendary band director Edwin Hampton

Legendary band director Edwin Hampton

Legendary band director Edwin Hampton, “a beloved community pillar, mentor to thousands of musicians and founder of the iconic St. Augustine High School Marching 100, died Monday night at home in his sleep. He was 81.”

Edwin Hampton

Edwin Hampton

Mr. Hampton will forever be remembered for the look and sound of his Purple Knights, the purple-and-gold-clad band members who march each year in Carnival parades. But his contributions to his school and community extended far beyond parades and football halftime shows.”

 

St. Augustine Marching 100 at Rex 2007.

St. Augustine Marching 100 doing the OJays’ “The Backstabbers”

READ FULL STORY : http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/07/edwin_hampton_band_director_at.html

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Filed under American Culture, Black Culture | United States, Grassroots Historical Figures, Music History, NOLA, PASSINGS | HOME-GOING

PATOIS | The Sixth Annual New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival

The 6th Annual New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival

The 6th Annual New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival

March 26 – April 5, 2009
patoisfilmfest.org

This year, PATOIS will be better than ever. More than 50 films, 8 world premieres, 20 filmmakers presenting their films, food provided by at least six different New Orleans restaurants, workshops, panels, and live performances by local and national musicians at venues around the city, as well as out in the streets!

Complete information about our programming is available online at patoisfilmfest.org, and programs are available at spots all around New Orleans.

We have discounted and free tickets available for youth, and for others who might not otherwise be able to afford tickets. For more information, please write emily@nolahumanrights.org.

SOME OF THIS YEAR’S HIGHLIGHTS:

Thursday, March 26
Opening Night Film
7:00pm
American Violet
Canal Place Landmark Cinema, 333 Canal Street

Filmed in New Orleans, the film confronts racial profiling through the inspiring story of a 24-year-old African American single mother living in a small Texas town who chooses to fight the local district attorney and the unyielding criminal justice system he represents.  Starring Nicole Beharie, Academy Award nominees Michael O’Keefe and Alfre Woodard, plus Tim Blake Nelson, Charles S. Dutton and Xzibit. Director Tim Disney will present the film and answer questions.

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Filed under Actions | Events, American Culture, American Politics, Black Politics, Community Economic Development, Criminal Justice, NOLA