Producing radical journalism requires radical action. That includes self-care.
To that end, the staff of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism is taking a break this week to rest and regroup. We will return on Sept. 6 and the newsletter will resume Sept. 12. During our downtime our social media will be silent and no stories will be published on our website.
In the meanwhile, we’d like to leave you with some things we’ve read that deepened our knowledge and inspired us to keep doing the work we do.
- Big hurt, tiny fines: When workers’ comp firms harm people, Tennessee does little to help: This terrific story by The Commercial Appeal’s Daniel Connolly examines how the state’s system overwhelmingly favors companies when workers are injured on the job.
- “We need to take away children”: A devastating investigation into this country’s family-separation policy published in The Atlantic magazine.
- Vast New Study Shows a Key to Reducing Poverty: More Friendships Between Rich and Poor: Remember housing and development reporter Jacob Steimer’s investigation into low-income housing credits? This recent New York Times piece illustrates another way that kind of segregation matters and can have long-term consequences.
- The TVA is dumping a mountain of coal ash in Black south Memphis: This Washington Post story does a nice job of telling the story of how a community that scored one environmental justice victory soon after got hit with another challenge and how these things seem to always happen in Black communities. It features great photography from MLK50 contributor Brandon Dill.
- Broken Ground: And speaking of South Memphis, the fifth season of the Southern Environmental Law Center’s podcast focuses on how the community fought off the Byhalia oil pipeline. We especially like the fourth part. (Hint, hint: We in there!)
- Mother Country Radicals: In this podcast, a son born to parents who were members of the Weather Underground Organization talks about a life with radicals hunted by the FBI.
- How to Survive the End of the World: Sisters Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown host this podcast that explores the practices we need as a community to thrive. We especially like the July 28 episode “Love the Job: Finding the Labor We Love,” which uses the work of bell hooks to guide listeners into ways to love the work they do.
- Fault Lines: 51 Years Behind Bars: A key issue in the Shelby County District Attorney’s race was the transfer of youths to adult court. This documentary, produced by Al Jazeera and available on YouTube, personalizes the issue by telling the story of Almeer Nance, who at 16, was one of three people involved in a 1996 felony murder. He didn’t pull the trigger but he received a sentence of 51 years — essentially a life sentence. His story highlights the dangers of this approach.
- Jackson: Although this documentary on Amazon Prime was made in 2016, it still feels urgent. It’s a look at abortion access through the lives of three women and the now successful effort to close the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.
This story is brought to you by MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit newsroom focused on poverty, power and policy in Memphis. Support independent journalism by making a tax-deductible donation today. MLK50 is also supported by these generous donors.