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What it do with Lue

Lady Justice and Her Plantation: A History of Black People and the Prison System

By Aldon Thomas Stiles

The story of Black people in the U.S. has always been one of triumph in the face of impossible odds. It is the heritage of an entire people that rose from bondage and overcame one of the greatest atrocities in human history. June 19, 1865 marked the end of legal slavery for Black people in the U.S. and ushered in a new age of progress. But with the reality of residual intolerance and an economy built on free labor, those who escaped the chains of subjugation often found themselves bound by those very chains once again under a new name: Prison.

According to the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, the U.S. represents under 5 percent of the world’s population and over 21 percent of its prisoners. Mass incarceration in the U.S. has a long and arduous history that can be directly traced back to the end of slavery. In regard to the prison system in the U.S., Criminal Justice Attorney Vonya Quarles, who spoke during the Inland Empire Women’s March, said, “We have an addiction to cheap labor. We have an addiction to slavery.” Slavery existed as an economic system and when it went, our economic security almost went with it. Thus, began a trend of criminalizing and incarcerating Black people for small infractions in order to exploit them for cheap labor.

In the late 60s, the rhetoric surrounding criminality became far more hostile in nature. The heavily criticized “War On Drugs” painted drug addiction as a criminal issue and not a health issue. John Ehrlichman, former advisor to President Richard Nixon, said about the “War On Drugs” that “the Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the anti-war left and Black people… We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or Blacks.”

According to the NAACP, African Americans “constituted 2.3 million, or 34 percent, of the total 6.8 million correctional population.” African Americans make up about 13 percent of the world’s population but comprise over one-third of the country’s prison population. Regarding San Bernardino, CA, Dr. Anikka Anderson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, San Bernardino and Project Director of Project Rebound, wrote in an email, “In 2014, in San Bernardino, African Americans had the highest jail incarceration rate (958.3 per 100,000), followed by Whites (420 per 100,000) and Latinos (354.2 per 100,000) with significantly lower rates.” Anderson went on to discuss how community context also plays a role in the high recidivism rate for African Americans in California, which was at 66.1 percent as of 2013 according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

There are, however, programs in the Inland Empire area that aim to help this special population. Project Rebound, for example, is a program on CSUSB’s campus that helps formerly incarcerated students attend classes and work towards a degree. “The CSU Chancellor’s office supported the development of Project Rebound programs at all CSU campuses, and CSUSB is one of several pilot efforts,” Anderson wrote in an email. “We have established relationships with several community colleges, three reentry centers, and provided outreach efforts to potential students who are currently incarcerated at several prisons (e.g. Chino Institute for Women, Chino Institute for Men, CRC Norco, and Chuckawalla prison).”

Another resource for the formerly and currently incarcerated is the grassroots human rights group known as All of Us Or None based in Southern California. Their goal is to fight for the rights of these people and “strengthen the voices of people most affected by mass incarceration and the growth of the prison-industrial complex.” During their monthly meeting, the group discussed policies such as Assembly Bill 1008, the California Fair Chance Act, which prevents employers from performing a background check into the criminal record of potential employees until the former has officially offered them a position. Members in attendance also discussed the Voting Restoration and Democracy Act of 2018, a bill that proposes to restore the voting rights of those in state prisons and on parole. Riverside County Supervisor Candidate Penny Newman attended this meeting as well. She remarked, “The whole criminal justice system is screwed up. In fact, our society is screwed up.” This idea seemed to echo Vonya Quarles’ opening statement during her speech at the Inland Empire Women’s March. As thousands of people cheered, Quarles said, “We don’t have a justice system, we have an injustice system.”

What It Do with the LUE: LUE Productions 2018 Plus Size Calendar

By Lue Dowdy

LUE Productions 2018 PLUS SIZE CALENDAR featuring DIVA OUTLAW is WHAT IT DO!

Stop the press because they are finally here. Much love to all that helped and participated in making this a fun and successful project. It doesn’t matter how big you are. What matters is your confidence, self-esteem and the way you carry yourself. I had an amazing time working with Diva Outlaw, Freddie Washington of F.W. Photography and all the beautiful plus size models listed below. We have calendars for sell as a fundraiser. Please contact LUE Productions immediately for yours by texting (909) 567-1000 or inbox us on Facebook. We appreciate any support. Remember to love the skin you’re in. L’z!

The cover Photo Models include Brittnay Shearz, Chondra Smith, Lola Lestrange and Essence Johnson. Participating models include Porscha Dillard (February), Ronnie Thomas (March), Tanisha White (April), Brittnay Shearz (May), Tasha Renee (June), Jasmine Hall (July), Chondra Smith(August), Essence Johnson (September), Lola Lestrange (October), Lue Dowdy (November) and Riisha Shelby (December).

Where Are They Now: Former WSS Intern Noelle Lilley

By Naomi K. Bonman

As an Editor or any training professional for that matter, you feel like a proud parent when you see one of your former interns out there doing amazing things within their chosen career path. Noelle Lilley, a senior and Journalism major at Arizona State University, interned for the Westside Story Newspaper in the summer of 2014 during her senior year of high school.

So, what is Miss Noelle up to now? She is an investigative reporter for Cronkite News in Arizona. She also completed an internship in the summer of 2017 with 12 News. In addition to paving the path for her journalism career, Lilley is also a part of the National Association Black Journalist (NABJ) ASU Chapter. She was afforded the opportunity in attending the NABJ Convention and Career Fair last year in New Orleans.

Noelle is on the move and is not playing any games when it comes to propelling her career for after college. We are so proud of this one, but I knew she was destined for greatness from the beginning because her work ethic as an intern was exceptional.

To view the video interviews from the beginning of Noelle’s career to now, watch below: