The Jena 6, One Year Later

The way I see thing’s today, we have 6 cases of Jena 1’s rather than 1 case of Jena 6 (like it was immediately following the fight at school).  As time passed, the situations of the six students in Jena grew apart.  Mychal Bell, the most famous of them all, spent another 9 months in jail despite copping a plea.  Another young man moved to Dallas to live with an uncle and became tangled with the law over there (stemming from a fight at his new school).  Another juvenile’s name was not mentioned in many articles and news reports so he received less harassment than the rest, his parents believed that the lawyer they had would be able to make the situation go away.  Trial dates for the remaining teens have been pushed further and further back.   Though at least one has been banned from the football team, my understanding is that all are back in school now.

Though the young men remained close throughout this ordeal, there were divisions and disagreements among adults important to this situation that weakened the collective struggle.  Pressure from non-profits and national social justice figures (such as Sharpton and Jackson) wanting to use this situation to gain more funding, opportunistic lawyers infatuated with fame, and a racist media pulled everyone in different directions.


I think the people who hailed 9/20/07 as the dawn of a new civil right
movement were exaggerating.  Truthfully, that day showed a common anger
that black people today have and perhaps a desire to stand together and
say “enough is enough”. However, prolonged movements need more
structure and organization.

At the end of the day, there were too many people trying to be in
charge in Jena.  There were too many people trying to use the 6
families for personal gain.  In my opinion, the families in Jena and
black community around the nation, were not unified enough before the
case to be able to stick together through it and beyond.

On the bright side, it was important that so many went down to Jena.
And without us, the six defendants would have received ridiculously
long sentences.  Most likely, they would all be unjustly behind bars
right now.  So, we did make a difference, and we should recognize and
be proud of that.  However, this was not the final showdown.

Times like this remind me that we are engaged in a long, long (multi-generational) struggle.

It’s important we don’t let each other get too high or too low.

-James

MXGM, New Orleans

8 thoughts on “The Jena 6, One Year Later

  1. white cornerback says:

    the jena 6 are a disgrace … to the black race. :angry:  This is what the civil rights movement has come down to.  A bunch of thugs who beat up a white kid (hate crime) are now considered heroes.  And look what they’ve turned into. Anyone honestly think any of these six will ever do anything with their lives?   👿

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  2. questioner says:

    this is interesting. obviously someone who wasn’t very close to the organizing.
    has anyone bothered to notice that mychal bell’s father is an abuser? to mychal and his mother? did anybody bother to notice the fact that he sabotaged the plans of all the families at every turn?
    i think its important that people look at the whole situation before condemning this as another nonprofit failure. of course things could have been done better, and egos are always trying to get more attention.
    but if theres anybody who undid this whole mess, its mychal bell’s father breaking people’s doors down and terrorizing his family.

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  3. Monifa says:

    Your racism is showing! Referring to black children as thugs and white children who commit hate crimes as “kids”….? We will not allow our children to be victimized at school or within the criminal justice system. Self-defense is a human right. Read the facts of the case before formulating your white supremacist remarks. It will help you better disguise your pathology and possibly appear more intelligent.

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  4. Malekah Tyehimba says:

    My opinion perhaps a bit late. We always get stupid ignorant reports from people who have a supremacist attitude so what do u expect. We still must fi9ght fire with fire

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  5. Malekah Tyehemba says:

    It is clear that the questioner  had not done her research, or either was simlply following the media. i wonder when the questioner saw the man kick down the door etc and i wonder how she knows any of the stuff she spits out here.
    Also do u have a husband questioner? probably not and that is the problem..its women like you who are lonely frustrated and alone..AT NIGHT who always blame the man..How about the racist system?

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