August 2020

Features:

Amadou Kromah witnessed the birth of a new civil rights movement through his camera lens. Long hours of hauling camera equipment and dodging police launched tear gas didn’t stop him.
Remove National Guard presence from Black Lives Matter marches. Declare racism as a statewide emergency. Remove community resource police officers from public schools. Defund the police. Hire more Black teachers.
Dr. Alex Gee was fresh from conducting a virtual training on white allyship for 70 people on when he spoke to UMOJA’s Jeff Brown on Monday, July 6. Gee, lead pastor at Fountain of Life Covenant Church and founder of the Nehemiah Center of Urban Leadership Development, has added documentary filmmaking to his portfolio—“Justified Journey,” an account of Gee’s genealogical research and his trip to Mississippi and New Orleans to meet some of his white relatives, premiered on June 29.
In 2013, three radical Black organizers — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi — created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman.
The First Amendment protects your right to assemble and express your views through protest. However, police and other government officials are allowed to place certain narrow restrictions on the exercise of speech rights. Make sure you’re prepared by brushing up on your rights before heading out into the streets.
There is no list of reading material books that could ever encompass the complexity of Black history and the underpinnings of systemic racial injustice. But if you're looking to educate yourself on the history of racial inequality and the Black Lives Matter movement, these books are a good place to start. … It’s a start, not a panacea.
The Black Lives Matters Movement will be noted as a movement that caused the re-awakening of America’s social conscience. It took the public execution of a Black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to once again disclosed that deadly and excessive use of force has become a standard practice in Black citizen and police encounters all over America. This and other deaths have ignited one of America’s largest Social Justice Movements. Now is the time to examine and begin to fix injustices across the board.
A racist nun’s verbal attack was the catalyst for my career pursuit in journalism.
George Floyd plead for his life for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, as a cop knelt on the handcuffed man’s neck, until he stopped moving. Floyd was suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.
Brandi Grayson’s cellphone buzzed with back-to-back texts and posts on her Facebook page filled up. Minutes earlier a video was making the rounds. A smug faced, white cop using his knee to crush the life out of a restrained Black man, flooded social media and television air waves like a tsunami.

UMOJA Inside:


Know Their Names

These are the names of Black men and women who have died at the hands of police. The list is not complete, but paints a picture as to why Black lives should matter.



Photographing the Frontline of Madison’s Black Lives Matter Protests

Amadou Kromah witnessed the birth of a new civil rights movement through his camera lens. Long hours of hauling camera equipment and dodging police launched tear gas didn’t stop him.



Justice Now!

Remove National Guard presence from Black Lives Matter marches. Declare racism as a statewide emergency. Remove community resource police officers from public schools. Defund the police. Hire more Black teachers.



Black Lives Matter Solidary March: ‘Justice does not have a religion.’

On June 7, an estimated 10,000 members of faith communities gathered side-by-side in the Black Lives Matter Solidarity March organized by the African American Council of Churches. It was the ninth day of demonstrations in Madison as Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Jews gathered chanting “Say his name!” and “We can’t breathe.” Moments of reflection, coupled with freedom ballads, accompanied marchers as they made their way from the intersection of University Avenue and Park Street to the foot of the Capitol building.



Dr. Alex Gee answers: Where do we put our anger and regain our spirit?

Dr. Alex Gee was fresh from conducting a virtual training on white allyship for 70 people on when he spoke to UMOJA’s Jeff Brown on Monday, July 6. Gee, lead pastor at Fountain of Life Covenant Church and founder of the Nehemiah Center of Urban Leadership Development, has added documentary filmmaking to his portfolio—“Justified Journey,” an account of Gee’s genealogical research and his trip to Mississippi and New Orleans to meet some of his white relatives, premiered on June 29.



From a Phrase to a Movement, the Her-story of #BlackLivesMatter

In 2013, three radical Black organizers — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi — created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman.



Know Your Rights

The First Amendment protects your right to assemble and express your views through protest. However, police and other government officials are allowed to place certain narrow restrictions on the exercise of speech rights. Make sure you’re prepared by brushing up on your rights before heading out into the streets.



Essential Reading to Learn More About Black History, Racism and Social Justice

There is no list of reading material books that could ever encompass the complexity of Black history and the underpinnings of systemic racial injustice. But if you're looking to educate yourself on the history of racial inequality and the Black Lives Matter movement, these books are a good place to start. … It’s a start, not a panacea.



The Movement Forward

The Black Lives Matters Movement will be noted as a movement that caused the re-awakening of America’s social conscience. It took the public execution of a Black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to once again disclosed that deadly and excessive use of force has become a standard practice in Black citizen and police encounters all over America. This and other deaths have ignited one of America’s largest Social Justice Movements. Now is the time to examine and begin to fix injustices across the board.



Rev. Dr. Marcus Allen is Calling ‘I Got Next’

Mt. Zion Baptist Church is among the largest Black congregation in Madison with more than 500 members. It has served its community for 109 years. Taking up the reins of that congregation would be a daunting task for any pastor considering its legacy. The Rev. Dr. Marcus D. Allen accepted the challenge in 2015 and has thrived as the church’s leader, social justice advocate, listener, entrepreneur and community organizer.



New $3 Million Endowment Will Enable UW Odyssey Project to Continue to Combat Inequities

In the midst of a highly insecure time, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Odyssey Project secured $3 million in gifts, a base for the future of Odyssey and its transformational work in breaking the cycle of generational poverty through access to education. Odyssey graduates, over 90% of whom are students of color, have journeyed from homelessness to UW–Madison degrees, from incarceration to community leadership.



HERE BY ASSIGNMENT: The Archie Lee Ivy Story

Anew biography highlights the remarkable life of Reverend Archie Ivy who is the senior pastor at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee. He has been pastor there for 25 years and has made New Hope an integral part of Milwaukee’s central city. His church ministry has made a significant difference in the city including housing a charter school, offering a food bank and working for economic justice for the poor. He says “the church must instill hope in people and help them discover a better way of life.”



UMOJA SHORTS — August 2020

Farewell Aunt Jemima And Uncle Ben—Brand Symbols Are Falling— Written in Forbes  Announcements by the companies that own Aunt Jemima pancake mix, Uncle Ben’s rice, Eskimo Pies ice cream bars, and many others, that they will be “retiring” brand names and visual identities that are considered offensive to many is just one more reminder of [...]



I Can’t Breathe!



UMOJA Publisher/Editor: Reporting While Black

A racist nun’s verbal attack was the catalyst for my career pursuit in journalism.



. . . While Being Black

George Floyd plead for his life for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, as a cop knelt on the handcuffed man’s neck, until he stopped moving. Floyd was suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.



The Unstoppable Brandi Grayson

Brandi Grayson’s cellphone buzzed with back-to-back texts and posts on her Facebook page filled up. Minutes earlier a video was making the rounds. A smug faced, white cop using his knee to crush the life out of a restrained Black man, flooded social media and television air waves like a tsunami.