People sometimes say the story of Ferguson began with a body in the road. But Ferguson attracted attention not because of a body but a person, Michael Brown, and those who loved him—a community who took to the streets in anguish and grief. On a hot August day, Brown’s family, friends and neighbors surrounded the scene of what they deemed murder by cop. They refused to remain silent about Brown’s death, but at the same time were hesitant to speak out. Before Ferguson became a buzzword dropped by pundits and politicians, it was a tale told with reluctance.
One year later:
- A year after Michael Brown’s fatal shooting, unarmed black men are seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire
- Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won't end.
- In Ferguson, Anniversary of Killing Begins Mostly Quietly
- 11 Striking Photos That Show A Forever-Changed Ferguson.
- A Year After Ferguson: Obama Tells NPR He Feels 'Great Urgency'.
- 'Things will never be the same': the oral history of a new civil rights movement.
"Here are some essential readings from several astute activists, journalists and writers that have inspired, angered and challenged readers everywhere this past year. While this is in no way an exhaustive list, the following offers insider and outsider views of Ferguson, pushing all of us to consider the radical spirit and collective beauty illuminated in mass mobilized protests. "
Only a few weeks after becoming an independent media company, This American Life covers "The Problem We All Live With" -- namely, why desegregation is still the only proven way to improve bad schools, and what happens when one school district accidentally has to attempt it.
This March, I spent several days at his home. Wilson, who is twenty-nine, started receiving death threats not long after the incident, in which Brown was killed in the street shortly after robbing a convenience store. Although Wilson recently bought the house, his name is not on the deed, and only a few friends know where he lives. He and his wife, Barb, who is thirty-seven, and also a former Ferguson cop, rarely linger in the front yard. Because of such precautions, Wilson has been leading a very quiet life. During the past year, a series of police killings of African-Americans across the country has inspired grief, outrage, protest, and acrimonious debate. For many Americans, this discussion, though painful, has been essential. Wilson has tried, with some success, to block it out.
Cleveland Police Officer Acquitted of Manslaughter in 2012 Deaths [New York Times]
A police officer who climbed onto the hood of a car after a chase in 2012 and fired repeatedly at its unarmed occupants, both of them black, was acquitted of manslaughter on Saturday by an Ohio judge. The trial of the white officer, Michael Brelo, following harrowing episodes in communities such as Baltimore, Staten Island and Ferguson, Mo., played out amid broader questions of how the police interact with African-Americans and use force, in Cleveland and across the country.[more inside]
The Real Purpose of Libraries, by Ferguson Library Director Scott Bonner (SLReading Rainbow)
"This is a profound transformation, and one we barely talk about. " Anarchist anthropologist David Graeber sees the FBI Ferguson report as a window into how American democracy is changing. [more inside]
Today, the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division released its report on the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department, whose officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown in August 2014, prompting large-scale, nationwide protests, which only increased following a grand jury's choice not to indict Wilson for the killing. [more inside]
Tom Schweich, Missouri's state auditor and a candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary, died in an apparent suicide on Feb. 26. [more inside]
“As deep as my words moved people, if I’d not had him onstage with me I can’t promise you that I would have been strong enough to make it through in the way I did. I wouldn’t have been strong enough to resist the urge to compel people to do something bad, or approve of something violent. But that night, on that stage, a white man, the more privileged in American society, stood in solidarity, silently, stoically, quietly, staunchly, with his friend, as his friend neared physical breakdown because of the pain, and let him know: ‘I’m there.’ That’s a shining example of what I as a man should do for a woman, what I as a straight man should do for gay people, it’s what the tough kid should do to the kid who’s getting bullied around by the fuckass tough kid, you know what I mean?”In The Guardian, Alexis Petridis interviews Killer Mike and El-P talking about Run the Jewels, their friendship and especially the show they did in Ferguson the night the grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown.
No other lyrics more perfectly captured the spirit bubbling under the surface of hip-hop in the latter half of 2014 than those sung in J. Cole’s cracking, raspy-voiced performance of “Be Free” on The Late Show on December 10. Clad in a “Fuck Money Spread Love” hoodie, and rocking the post-natural, 2014 version of the revolutionary ’fro, Cole used the venerable Ed Sullivan Theater as a pulpit, bringing attention to Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. He provided an anthem for protests taking place just blocks away.What’s Going On: Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, J. Cole, Kanye West, and the New Sound of Protest Music.
A black teenager two miles outside Ferguson, Mo. has been shot by police and subsequently died. [more inside]
Report: Darren Wilson's Key Witness Lied About Everything: A summation of the findings of The Smoking Gun's investigation into Sandra McElroy also known as "Witness 40", a key witness for Officer Darren Wilson which may have been instrumental in preventing an indictment for the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. [previously]
"Rap music wasn’t just the black CNN: it was the black Psychic Friends Network. In fact, the history of rap music could be viewed as a litany of complaints about the police that seems to have predicted this current state of unrest."A pair of articles: one tracing the evolution of rap's relationship with police, from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and Public Enemy, to Lil' Wayne and Run The Jewels (previously) and a more personal look at how RUN-DMC and Parliament allowed a writer to embrace his African-American heritage. [more inside]
The death of Eric Garner is a rare subject that conservatives and liberals seem to agree on. Since the decision not to indict , the conservative blogosphere has been filling with outrage– not at protesting hippies, but at the police. The right-wing site Hot Air described it as a moment that "unites left and right" and collected angry tweets from conservatives, some comparing Garner to the Founding Fathers. National Review, which was unsupportive of the Michael Brown protests, is now running pieces by multiple conservative pundits suggesting an "Enough!" moment. Even torture apologist Andrew McCarthy has ventured to suggest that "I thus cannot in good conscience say there was insufficient probable cause to indict Officer Pantaleo for involuntary manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide." Libertarians have long been active and highly effective critics of police violence, but Reason magazine's support for a federal investigation is unusual.
Dear White Allies: Stop Unfriending Other White People Over Ferguson. "...Please try and remember how USEFUL you could be should you decide to be brave enough to speak up to the folks more likely to hear YOU than me." [more inside]
59 years after an all-white jury in Mississippi acquitted Emmett Till's murderers, a majority-white grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the man who killed Mike Brown. [more inside]
Audio recordings show that airspace restrictions over Ferguson following the killing of Mike Brown, supposedly due to shots fired at helicopters, were actually to keep the media out. Meanwhile federal charges against Darren Wilson are looking increasingly unlikely.
Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs For Feminism (YouTube; NSFW), FCKH8's new video campaign, has gone viral - attracting both praise & criticism. FCKH8's campaigns have sparked similar mixed reactions before. [more inside]
Keene, New Hampshire tried to set a new world record for most pumpkins carved at their 2014 Pumpkin Festival, but failed to reach their goal. Instead, the news coverage of the Pumpkin Festival is for the vaguely related mayhem that erupted in neighborhoods near Keene State campus. It has been reported that the chaos was due to an influx of young people, up to 2,000 congregated in some areas, who threw billiard balls, rocks, debris and bottles full of liquor, and overturned at least one car. Police used tear gas and pepper balls to quell the crowds, and arrested 84 individuals. There were dozens of injuries, but no fatalities. In the larger discussion of various group gatherings and actions and the police response to such events, comparisons have been made between the Keene "pumpkin riot" and Ferguson. To which Luke O’Neil wrote Keene Is Not Ferguson—Despite the Police, Fires, and Tear Gas. Jordan Lebeau responded with a piece titled Actually, Comparing Keene to Ferguson Is Precisely What You Should Do (last two articles on Boston.com). [more inside]
God bless Mike Brown and his family. This young man's murder has exposed corruption and evil and incompetence at every level in Missouri. Shaun King lays it all out on Ferguson. Previously, originally.
Drive along an approximately 10-mile stretch along the east-west Route 115 (also known as the Natural Bridge Road), and you’ll cross through sixteen different municipalities. “Theoretically, you could be driving home from work on this road, and if you have expired tags or no inspection sticker, you could get pulled over 16 different times in 16 different towns, and written up for the same violations each time”. How St. Louis County, Missouri profits from poverty.
Matt Zoller Seitz writes about his personal experience with coming to understand his own white privilege, in particular with interactions with police. [more inside]
Why the Ice Bucket Challenge is bad for you: "The ALS campaign may be a great way to raise money – but it is a horrible reason to donate it" [more inside]
Jesse Thorn tells a story from his childhood about police violence. Story starts at the four-minute mark.
We are now entering day 10 of protests in Ferguson, MO, protesting the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by local law enforcement officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. [more inside]
Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson? - According to the police of Fergusson, Missouri it was because he reached for an officer's weapon, necessitating that he be shot multiple times as he ran away empty handed. Eyewitness tell a different story. Whatever happened the killing has prompted demonstrations and looting. Ferguson police responded in full force, firing teargas and wooden rounds into crowds of protestors and sealing the area off from the media. In the wake of the tragedy questions of racial profiling, the paramilitarization of police and media depictions of black shooting victims have been raised. Meanwhile the shooter has not been named to preserve his safety.
Before retiring in May 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson spent 26 seasons as the manager of Manchester United, the English football (soccer) club that ranks among the most successful and valuable franchises in sports. During that time the club won 13 English league titles along with 25 other domestic and international trophies—giving him an overall haul nearly double that of the next-most-successful English club manager. In 2012 Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse had a unique opportunity to examine Ferguson’s management approach and developed an HBS case study around it. Now she and Ferguson have collaborated on an analysis of his enormously successful methods.
"From the day of it's release in 1977, every time you heard it, you knew 2 things - you had never heard anything like it and this was something special. Energy, sophistication, soul. Birdland." | Weather Report live in 1978 at Stadthalle Offenbach | Maynard Ferguson Big Band live in 1982, Maynard Ferguson Band, live at Disneyland '83 (decent audience recording), Maynard Ferguson Band live on TV (year unknown) and a studio recording of Maynard Ferguson | Bruce Kaphan Quartet recording Birdland in their studio | Manhattan Transfer Vocalies Live in Tokyo in 1986, the same year when Weather Report disbanded | Future Corps, live
Kirby Ferguson's fourth and final installment of Everything is a Remix: System Failure has been released. (Also on YouTube.) It covers intellectual property rights, the derivative nature of creativity, patents and copyright. Transcript. [more inside]
Craig Ferguson of The Late Late Show gives Britney Spears some advice. (12:30m YouTube. It's a monologue. And it's not really about Britney all that much.)
Here's a dot . an octave and a half above high C for the legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, who has passed away at 78. Building on the experimental wanderings of Miles Davis, Ferguson fused jazz and rock in creating what is quite probably the signature big band sound of the psychadelic and disco eras. (See, e.g., "Rocky" (.wav).) He was well-known for astounding technical proficiency and his tight-lipped embochure created one of the largest ranges of any trumpeter. (Here's Ferguson playing and conducting "Round Midnight" in a very early clip [youtube]). But legions of former high school trumpet geeks full disclosure: I am one will remember him best for his commitment to signing promising young players for his tours and his reaching out, with tireless touring at tiny venues, to high school and college bandies and drum corps-types who at one time or another came across his repertoire.