June 1, 2017
It’s Friday afternoon at the drop-in center known as Mother Brown’s on the corner of Jennings Street and Van Dyke Avenue. Despite the iron-gated door fronting the entrance, people drop in freely to check their mail, take a shower, do laundry or chill out in the reception area. For a nominal fee, Mother Brown’s rents out lockers. Gwendolyn Westbrook, the director of the United Council of Human Services – the official name of Mother Brown’s – as well as staff, describe the place as a community center. Client Johnny Scott likens Mother Brown’s to a family. “This here is a place where people get along,” he says.
September 3, 2013
Whack, tap, crack – the sound of the steel police flashlight on a car window is like no other, and it always had the same effect on homeless me and mama: blood-curdling fear. I thought about our constant police harassment, abuse and eventual arrest for the sole act of being houseless in Amerikkka when I heard about South Carolina’s “new” law that officially made it illegal to be homeless in downtown Columbia, S.C.
February 4, 2012
This is the month we wear our Blackness with pride – so walk on, walk on. I want to thank Rhodessa Jones, Shaka Jamal, Pat Jamison, Elaine Lee, Walter Turner, Vera Nobles and Elouise Burrell for your leads and references for South Africa.
February 21, 2011
Your community needs you at the Police Commission hearing on Tasers: this Wednesday, Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m., in Room 400, City Hall. A study found that in the first year of Taser usage, sudden deaths in custody go up 550 percent and officer shootings more than double. The United Nations and Amnesty International consider Tasers to be torture devices, and the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Lawyers Guild, and the NAACP oppose their use. It is certain that Taser usage does not lead to fewer shootings.