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Tag: North Philly

‘Ma’ Ruth Ballard

Unless you lived in North Philly, in the projects east of Richard Allen and north of Spring Garden, perhaps the name of Ruth ‘Ma’ Ballard would be unfamiliar to you. But if you lived there, if you had the pleasure of knowing her, of seeing her smile, of hearing her sweet Southern voice, you’d know that you’ve met someone special.

Capt. Reggie Schell: Black Panther (1941-2012)

He was born Richard Reginald Schell, but most people knew him as Reggie, and those who worked with him called him “Cap” – short for Captain, the rank he held in the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther Party. He was a patient and wise teacher and looked out for younger Panthers, including this writer.

Youth of color: Watched and shot

Trayvon Martin and Mumia Abu-Jamal. One is dead. One languished on death row for 30 years. They are separated in age by a generation, separated by different locations and different life-histories, but their stories of being under surveillance, watched and shot, intersect strikingly with each other and with many other people.