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The unidentified man went down in a hail of gunfire. Witnesses reported hearing too many gunshots

to differentiate. Investigators working the scene at the corner of St. Charles and Felicity Street later

put down about 10 evidence markers in the street like those used to mark spent shell casings.



Books by Jerry W. Ward  Jr.

Trouble the Water (1997) / Black Southern Voices (1992) / The Richard Wright Encyclopedia (2008)  / The Katrina Papers

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Portrait of a Suicide/Death in Yellow Flooding

By Jerry W. Ward, Jr.


It was disconcerting
The music of madness
Demanding its moment

Demanding its fragipanic
Its raw eternity
In photo-painting

Primal colors flooding
The Garden District
Shame-shaping Stonehenge Ballet

Primal man knifing air
Killing spirits killing him,
His face an Easter Island rock

Fourteen cop-columns circle
This mute trauma
Fourteen cop-columns  contain
A violent self-destructing, a yellow rose bleeding at noon

December 27, 2005

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Cops fatally shoot man on St. Charles Avenue

By Bruce Nolan


About a dozen New Orleans police officers, guns drawn and leveled, confronted an agitated man with a knife on St. Charles Avenue on Monday, repeatedly commanded him to drop the weapon as he slowly backpedaled for nearly a block, and shot him to death when he lunged at one of them, police said.

Police did not identify the man after the 3 p.m. incident, other than to say he was 38 years old. Some people who work in businesses along the 1700 block of St. Charles Avenue said he was a familiar figure in the neighborhood. Several said they believed he was mentally ill, although they did not know him to be violent

Police said they tried unsuccessfully to disable him with pepper spray before he finally lunged at them, coming so close that one officer had to step back to avoid the man's 3-inch knife.

The unidentified man went down in a hail of gunfire. Witnesses reported hearing too many gunshots to differentiate. Investigators working the scene at the corner of St. Charles and Felicity Street later put down about 10 evidence markers in the street like those used to mark spent shell casings.

Police spokesman David Adams said the incident began at a Walgreens at St. Charles and Felicity. Adams did not describe the incident there, but a customer who identified herself as Evangelist Jackson said the man became agitated and got into an argument with a store employee, perhaps over a credit card that would not work.

She said the man swung at the employee but did not hurt him seriously. "It was more like, you know, a slap or something," said Jackson. She said she saw him leave the drug store parking lot, walking downtown. The store manager declined to comment about the incident. He referred questions to a corporate office, which did not return a telephone call. About a block away, an off-duty St. Bernard sheriff's deputy saw him and flagged a passing police officer, Adams said.

Within minutes, 10 or more police officers had arrived. They left their cars and, guns drawn, were trying to confine the man in the middle of the downtown lanes of the avenue in front of apartments at 1750 St. Charles Ave. Videotape of the event was shot by videographer Phin Percy, who said the sound of sirens drew him to his second-floor window overlooking St. Charles Avenue. The tape shows about a dozen officers in the street and on the neutral ground confronting the man, with their weapons leveled at him.

The man slowly backpedals up the street, waving his arms at them and keeping his distance. The officers keep pace, guns pointed at him. He appears to be holding a small knife in his right hand. Police said the knife carried a 3-inch blade. Percy said he stopped taping when the knot of people moved behind a tree, which obscured his view. He left his position to run outdoors and heard the shots before he reached the sidewalk. Adams said he did not know how many officers had fired their weapons, but that they would be put on administrative leave while the investigation unfolds. 

Source: Times-Picayune (Tuesday, December 27, 2005)

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Ministers urge NOPD to reconsider 'shoot to kill' policy

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A group of ministers met with New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley today to ask him to reconsider the department's policy on shooting to kill. The meeting comes three days after police killed 38- year-old Anthony Hayes, who was wielding a hunting knife. Hayes' confrontation with 18 officers, though not the shooting itself, was taped by at least three bystanders.

Riley says two sergeants and one patrol officer fired nine bullets after Hayes tried to stab a lieutenant. He says he did not have an autopsy report, so he did not know how many bullets hit Hayes. The Rev. Norwood Thompson, a member of the national board of the Southern Christian Leadership Council and pastor at Jesus Never Fails Christian Church, said it was obvious from the videotape that Hayes was mentally ill. He said police should have been able to "overtake a man who may be mentally incapacitated without killing him.'' Riley says a police review will determine whether proper procedures were followed. He says that all witness accounts indicate the shooting was justified.

Ministers who had said before Thursday's meeting that police should have aimed at Hayes' legs, to stop him rather than kill him, said afterward that they understood why the officers hadn't done so. "The reason a lot of police do not shoot at legs is that the bullet might travel through and hit someone else," said the Rev. Marie Galatas. She and Thompson said they both still want a change in policy, so that officers are not trained to shoot only to kill.

Riley said he is looking at several alternatives to bullets, and spoke on Wednesday with representatives of two companies selling such weapons. He wouldn't say whether he is considering stun guns, rubber bullets or something else, but said the representatives will be in New Orleans "later in January." "We want to ensure we do all we can to de-escalate situations," he said.

Source: New Orleans Agenda 30 December 2005

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3 Katrina evacuees in Texas die in apparent murder-suicide

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- A family of three Hurricane Katrina evacuees facing eviction was found dead in their Texas apartment in what appears to be a double murder-suicide, authorities said. Police were called Friday [12/30/05] by the apartment complex to assist in the eviction and discovered the bodies, said police Sgt. Todd Dearing in Grapevine, near Dallas. Found with gunshot wounds were a 40-year-old man, a 37-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy, all from Louisiana. Police found a shotgun believed to be the weapon, Dearing said.

Police were searching for a 16-year-old daughter they believe was living elsewhere, he said. Names were being withheld until relatives could be notified. A resident told the complex Thursday of hearing what sounded like three gunshots near the victims' apartment, Dearing said. Police were called but left when no one answered the door. "There was no reason for us to make entry," Dearing said. "They said it was their usual method of not answering the phones or door because they were being evicted."

The family was supposed to leave the apartment Tuesday, but the complex offered a few extra days. The family was receiving assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Dearing said. He did not know how long the family had not been paying rent. Apartment managers could not be reached for comment Friday. Calls to the complex's leasing office rang unanswered. (AP) Copyright 2004-2005 THE MAINICHI NEWSPAPERS.

posted 27 December 2005

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

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#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

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#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


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#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

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#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

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#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 18 March 2012




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