Voices from the Gulf

Showing stories 1 through 10 of 774 total stories.

The Africatown community and other residents within the boundary of Mobile's District 2 received what amounts to "a public lashing" a few weeks ago as the city council voted by a count of 6 to 1 to approve an ordinance that will allow more storage tanks to be constructed within city limits. This ordinance was not wanted, asked for and did not deserve to be dumped on the citizens of Mobile.

The "okey-doke, as defined by Urban Dictionary and Africatown folklore means to pull the wool over your opposition's eyes, to outsmart your opposition, to say one thing and mean another or to gain the upper hand by using trickery. President George W. Bush once famously said,"Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me."

Of the 65 plus years I have spent on this earth, nearly 60 of those years I have been a resident of the Africatown Community and The City Of Mobile. I spent 4 years away in Virginia earning a Business Degree in College and 2 years of active Military Service in The Marine Corps. I am probability one of the few Africatown natives in Mobile that can successfully name all 4 swimming holes within the Africatown community utilized by Africatown residents during the 1950's and 1960's.

I am a community organizer with Steps Coalition, a grass roots social justice organization in Biloxi, Mississippi.  In 2014, we were invited by a group of residents living in the Cherokee subdivision to help support their organizing efforts to reduce their exposure to industrial pollution.  The subdivision is located near Bayou Casotte Industrial Complex in Pascagoula, which houses the largest Chevron refinery in the world, two sandblasting and paint operations, two chemical plants, and a BP processing plant and gas exporting facility. 

Community Blight can normally be cleared up in two ways: by restoring the structure considered as blight or by tearing it down. Typically, it is easier and cheaper to tear something down than to repair it.

The Africatown Community is different than most African - American Communities because about 50 percent of the community has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and should be protected and restored at all costs.

Written by: Monique Harden, Dorothy Felix & Rebecca Johnson*

Days before accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech in 1964 about the struggles for racial justice taking place in the United States and South Africa. A recording of the speech was recently discovered and aired on Democracy Now!. In this speech, Dr. King conveyed the unity of purpose of these struggles for freedom and justice.

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