Monday, September 24, 2007

I predict...

Keri Russell will be up for best actress at the Oscars next year. Her new movie, August Rush, is coming out in November - the 21 to be exact. I cannot wait! It's going to be great I think. Speaking of movies...Josh and I were feeling silly on Saturday night and decided to go to a 10:00 showing of Sydney White...laugh if you will. It was super cheesy, but gave us some good laughs. You may be thinking..."wow, josh is a trooper." Untrue. May I emphasize that WE love that Amanda Bynes. Josh will gladly tell you that She's the Man is one of his favorite movies. Anyways, we were in a theater FULL of high-schoolers. They belly laughed at every scene...we felt old. I guess we are old compared to them. Thats sad. To round out the weekend, we also rented Bridge to Terabithia last night. Did you read that book when you were a kid? I did...what a beautiful story. The movie was great - I cried did Josh...thats why i love that guy :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Racism a Reality

Dear friend,
I just learned about a case of segregation-era oppression happening today in Jena, Louisiana. I signed onto's campaign for justice in Jena, and wanted to invite you to do the same.
Last fall in Jena, the day after two Black high school students sat beneath the "white tree" on their campus, nooses were hung from the tree. When the superintendent dismissed the nooses as a "prank," more Black students sat under the tree in protest. The District Attorney then came to the school accompanied by the town's police and demanded that the students end their protest, telling them, "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy... I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen." A series of white-on-black incidents of violence followed, and the DA did nothing. But when a white student was beaten up in a schoolyard fight, the DA responded by charging six black students with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
It's a story that reads like one from the Jim Crow era, when judges, lawyers and all-white juries used the justice system to keep blacks in "their place." But it's happening today. The families of these young men are fighting back, but the story has gotten minimal press. Together, we can make sure their story is told and that the Governor of Louisiana intervenes and provides justice for the Jena 6. It starts now. Please join me:
The noose-hanging incident and the DA's visit to the school set the stage for everything that followed. Racial tension escalated over the next couple of months, and on November 30, the main academic building of Jena High School was burned down in an unsolved fire. Later the same weekend, a black student was beaten up by white students at a party. The next day, black students at a convenience store were threatened by a young white man with a shotgun. They wrestled the gun from him and ran away. While no charges were filed against the white man, the students were later arrested for the theft of the gun.
That Monday at school, a white student, who had been a vocal supporter of the students who hung the nooses, taunted the black student who was beaten up at the off-campus party and allegedly called several black students "nigger." After lunch, he was knocked down, punched and kicked by black students. He was taken to the hospital, but was released and was well enough to go to a social event that evening.
Six Black Jena High students, Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16) and an unidentified minor, were expelled from school, arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. The first trial ended last month, and Mychal Bell, who has been in prison since December, was convicted of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery (both felonies) by an all-white jury in a trial where his public defender called no witnesses. During his trial, Mychal's parents were ordered not to speak to the media and the court prohibited protests from taking place near the courtroom or where the judge could see them.
Mychal is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31st, and could go to jail for 22 years. Theo Shaw's trial is next. He will finally make bail this week.
The Jena Six are lucky to have parents and loved ones who are fighting tooth and nail to free them. They have been threatened but they are standing strong. We know that if the families have to go it alone, their sons will be a long time coming home. But if we act now, we can make a difference.
Join me in demanding that Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco get involved to make sure that justice is served for Mychal Bell, and that DA Reed Walters drop the charges against the 5 boys who have not yet gone to trial.

Do your part to create change.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

this one's for you

julie belle. I've heard your plea for an update, and I've responded. If nothing else, just to give you something to read while you sit at work. :)

So, I signed up for a cardio kick-boxing class through the city. I went to a free trial class this past Saturday, and felt a strange sense of deja vu come over me. The instructor, who is a ripped out 60ish year old woman, asked us, "so, have any of you done kick-boxing before?" My first thought should have been, "sure, I did some tae-bo video workouts back in my college days," but no. The very, very first thought I had was doing an 80's tae-bo skit with Julie belle, ben dunbar and betsy barko (don't know her new last name) way back in the day at one of our high school winter retreats. Julie was our "billy banks" if you will, and ben, betsy and I were her class. We wore hilarious workout gear including leg warmers, belts, spandex, side ponytails and headbands and "kicked" it 80's style. What a great, yet odd thing to remember.

Now, I'm guessing when amazing old instructor woman asked if we had kick-boxed before, she probably wasn't looking for a reply like mine. So, I nonchalantly kept that to myself and shook my head with a smile on my face. :)