The Case of the Jena 6

Episode 006 – Interview with a Law School Student Activist.mp3

On Thursday, September 27, 2007 from 1pm to 2 pm in the Student Lounge, several student organizations are co-sponsoring an event to raise awareness of the case of the Jena 6. This week, activists converged on Jena to protest the unjust prosecutions of 6 Black high schools students, accused of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder after a school-yard fight.

Josie Beets, Brooklyn Law 3L who is working with the National office of the Student Hurricane Network, will speak about the Jena 6 and how BLS students can assist the defense team. Lunch will be provided by the grandest coalition of students groups ever assembled at BLS, as this event will be presented by the NLG, SHN, BLSA, BLSPI, LAW, ACLU, CLS and ILS! Come learn how you can support the Jena 6.

Theme Music: Tim Young Band, New Orleans. (Tim Young Band’s music is available through

Please see an article from this week’s Washington Post at

History, Healing, and the ‘Jena 6’ Case

Sherrilyn Ifill, a law professor of the University of Maryland, in Baltimore, writes at BlackProf that she has been feeling grim this month since a noose was left hanging near the office of the Black Faculty and Staff Association at Maryland’s College Park campus. Ifill has also been concerned about the “Jena 6” case, in which six African-American teenagers have been severely prosecuted after a spiraling series of violent conflicts at a Louisiana high school. Critics have accused the local authorities of being much more lenient toward the white teenagers involved in the incidents. (The Jena case, which was the subject of large protests across the country yesterday, appears not to have been on the radar screens of most legal bloggers.) But Ifill writes that she has been comforted by attending this week’s “Maafa commemoration” at Brooklyn’s St. Paul Community Baptist Church. The annual event, which centers on the crimes of the Atlantic slave trade, is “a real community treasure — an incredible creative expression of ownership of our history and of our healing,” Ifill writes. (A similar event is being held this week at Georgia State University.)

Earlier this year, Ifill published a book about the history of lynching in the United States, and the prospects for healing its wounds by using tribunals modeled after the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. And yesterday she published a related essay in Baltimore’s Sun. In 2002, The Chronicle explored scholars’ attempts to make sense of lynching and other forms of ritualized racist violence.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education
Footnoted: from academic blogs (September 21, 2007)