Children’s Defense Fund Supports Jack and Jill of America, Inc. 2018 Children’s Crusade

On May 4-6, 2018, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. will partner with the Children’s Defense Fund to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the historic 1963 Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama. The event will honor one of the most inspiring and courageous acts of resistance and peaceful protest by children and will draw over 2,000 youths and families from across the country to the Birmingham Civil Rights District in the city that played a pivotal role in changing the course of history.

On May 2, 1963, thousands of students left their classrooms and gathered at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham to participate in a nonviolent protest against segregation, racism, and social injustices. The next day Birmingham police, led by infamous commissioner of public safety Bull Connor, brought out fire hoses and attack dogs and turned them on the children. It was a scene that caused headlines across the nation and around the world.

The three-day anniversary event will focus on experiential learning supported by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Young people will gain a better understanding of the similarities between events then and now, embracing their power to demand and lead social change through safe, social activism, especially in today’s racially charged climate.

Participants will listen to, learn from, and interact with courageous foot soldiers of the 1963 Children’s Crusade. Carole Robertson, one of the four girls murdered at Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church by bombs planted by White supremacists in September 1963, was a member of Jack and Jill, and this event will honor their memory during a special Power of Children Program with Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman and Yolanda Renee King.

“This Children’s Crusade is a new chance to remember, honor, and follow the example of the children who were the frontline soldiers and transforming catalysts in America’s greatest moral movement of the twentieth century – the movement for civil rights and equal justice. We owe those extraordinary children and youths a debt of responsibility and gratitude. It will also remind today’s children that they are not just citizens in waiting, but at this critical national time they have their own stake in freedom and justice and they too can be transforming agents for change. I’m so happy to see this new Children’s Crusade to end the violence of guns and poverty by nonviolent means. It’s way past time to protect children and not guns,” said Marian Wright Edelman.

Events begins Friday, May 4. See full agenda here:

Civil Rights Veteran James Babington-Johnson Launches Campaign for African American National Cable News Television Network

James Babington-Johnson is in the process of raising more than $300,000 to produce a multimedia business plan for a new national cable news media television network to give African Americans a national news media presence and representation for the first time in history. The business plan will justify a minimum $200 million capital investment to launch the national cable news television network to serve an under-served African American market consisting of 44 million and growing spending of $1.1 trillion annually and counting.

The centerpiece of the multimedia business plan is the production of a television news day pilot to show a nation, and more importantly, potential investors a national news media concept that’s competitive and all-inclusive, covering the interests, issues and concerns of black Americans and imposing accountability where it has never been.

Babington-Johnson, a veteran of the civil rights movement and former executive director of the Institute of African American Studies describes his game plan. “Our objective is to fill this longstanding news media void that’s lacking and give African Americans a news media presence in the national news media arena. So far, we don’t have a team on the field.”

The plan is to establish a 24/7 national cable news television network and a 24/7 online news magazine providing African Americans with national news media representation for the first time in history.

“We will bring information to the public forum that has heretofore gone unreported, being either dismissed, ignored or overlooked,” explains Babington-Johnson. “We can’t expect the mainstream news media to prioritize issues, interests and concerns of African Americans. That’s our responsibility, which we are now embracing and putting a team on the field.”

According to Babington-Johnson, there have been updated versions of pre-civil rights racist traditions and practices involving law enforcement and the news media that have gone undeterred. He says, “It doesn’t happen in every instance but often enough to show it’s as real in the news media as the code of silence is in law enforcement. It’s so ingrained in the culture of the news media that many of the black and white journalists and reporters are unaware of their complicity in engaging in these practices that have otherwise gone unchecked, unnoticed and unaccountable.

“With this press release and our campaign, at a minimum, we will have already achieved a major victory. No longer will there be this widespread ignorance and unawareness among black and white Americans of this structural racial news media inequality problem waiting to be addressed.”