People on Zoom

The theme of the salon was “ Building Community for Black Liberation.” It was available live on Zoom and Facebook Live.

Link to salon video

Mark Stansbery, Free Press Board member, started out the February salon by introducing Aramis Malachi-Ture Sundiata, Executive Director of the  People's Justice Project. He spoke about colonialism and how the struggle for African people began when the first African was kidnapped. Europeans attacked and enslaved the African people taking the continent's resources with force both material and human to build their own economies. . . Africans were robbed the right to produce and recruit life for themselves.”

He explained that “oftentimes in our work we get stuck into this narrative that we are trying to get civil rights or we're trying to have the have some type of boogie man called the white man being nice to us. . . We're not discussing that at all. We want power. We want to have you off of our necks and breathe. So when we go down the street, we have to worry about the state to shoot us down the street or the state to remove us from our communities and put us in the so-called concentration camps called prisons.”

The next speaker was Jason Render from JUST-JUST-Justice, Unity, Social Transformation. He has optimism that “liberation will come and that freedom will be here. So I would just say make sure that you stay tapped on in because it's like you're looking for something, the silver lining within. It's like, get in touch with these people that believe the mission and it's like you will be energized through that.”

Also of JUST, was Esmay, who spoke about the importance of self-care and the  importance of the abolishment of the Thirteenth Amendment, which absolutely condones slavery. “Mass incarceration contributes to what slavery is today. . . Talking about what does freedom look like? . . . What are we being told freedom is or is it something that we can define on our own?”

Julialynne Walker spoke on the Bronzeville Growers Market. She works primarily with people in the Near East side, looking at community gardens, individuals and getting people to understand the connections. They have a farmer’s market at Seventeenth in Mount Vernon right across the street is a low income housing development, people who have been and still are redlined.

She stated, “The redlining, there was a deliberate policy after World War II that continues to have an impact today.” She aims to make food affordable. It should be nutritious. And the people should be involved in the process.