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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Voices of protest, crying for change, ring across US, beyond

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Fred Hampton was one of two Black Panther Party leaders killed in a 1969 police raid in Illinois; in February, Jefferson had his face tattooed on his arm. He plans to add to another tattoo — a line from scripture, Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

It is a reminder to fight for equality.

“That,” he said, “is a life worth living.”

— By Heather Hollingsworth



Voices of Protest

Jahmal Cole, founder of My Block, My Hood, My City, speaks on Sunday, June 7, during a peace march and food give-away organized by his nonprofit group in Chicago. “I feel there’s ways we can resist constructively,” he says. During the march, he said he understands the anger over police brutality and recent killings of African Americans. He suggested channeling the anger by working together and demanding more investment in low-income neighborhoods. 



Associated Press



“There are other ways to protest”

Even at 36, Jahmal Cole recites the pledge from his preschool graduation: “We the class of 1988, determined to be our best at whatever we say or do, will share a smile and lend a hand to our neighbor …”

“It really became the mission statement of my life,” says Cole, the founder of a Chicago organization called My Block, My Hood, My City.

He has started a relief fund for small business in low-income neighborhoods damaged in protests. Youth in his organization’s mentoring program are helping with the cleanup, sweeping up glass and erasing graffiti.

He’ll march. He’ll shout and express his anger. But he draws the line at destruction.

“We got residents who gotta go 20 minutes away to get some milk right now,” he tells a crowd assembled for a peace rally and food give-away in Chicago’s largely African American Chatham neighborhood,. Its commercial district was hard hit by looting.

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