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Dylann Roof reportedly staged a hunger strike in prison because he says he's being “targeted by staff,” harassed and abused.
The White Supremacist mass murderer, who is on death row for killing nine Black parishioners at a historically Black church in Charleston, S.C. in 2015 and is the first person to receive the death penalty for a hate crime, sent a letter to the Associated Press earlier in the month accusing prison staff of mistreatment. Roof also alleges that staff feels justified because he’s “hated by the general public.”
Roof is imprisoned at Terre Haute Federal Prison in Terre, Ind. The 25-year-old killer was attacked by a fellow inmate in 2016. Roof now alleges that he has been the subject of unprovoked harassment and abuse and “treated disproportionately harsh.”
Roof launched the hunger strike after allegedly being mistreated by a Bureau of Prisons disciplinary hearing officer amid previous complaints over being refused access to a copy machine.
Roof’s allegations have yet to be verified. His lawyers are currently appealing his death sentence.
According to his letter to AP, Roof claimed that his hunger strike lasted “several days.” He ended the strike because he passed out after corrections officer tried to “forcibly” take his blood and put an IV in his arm.
“I feel confident I could have gone much, much longer without food,” Roof wrote in the letter. “It’ just not worth being murdered over.”
Breathing life into Fannie Lou Hamer's famous quote, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired," poet Mahogany L. Browne interpreted the iconic activist's statement for a moving poem that sums up Hamer's impact.
Directed by Cecil McDonald, Jr., Browne is dressed in an all-white outfit as her powerful words cover listeners and describe the pivotal force that was Hamer. The activist was an important figure and voice of the civil rights movement and championed women's rights through her work with the National Council of Negro Women, and the National Women's Political Caucus. The community organizer also helped to educate voters during the 1964 Democratic National Convention through the Freedom Democratic Party, which sought to drastically change Mississippi's voting laws that didn't benefit black voters which deliberately exed them out of the voting process.
Browne states below:
Fannie Lou Hamer is a Black woman who should be celebrated year-round. She is a staple to my own foundation when considering who I am as a Black woman, a Black mother and often disregarded darker citizen written about by Langston Hughes. Fannie Lou Hamer’s activism is boundaryless: she served with a group demanding access to the ballot for Black people in 1962; she put her body in harm’s way during sit-ins in a “white only“ restaurant that resulted in life-long injuries; she organized with the Freedom Summer project in 1964, and is named one of the first Black women to stand in the US Congress in 1965. She founded projects that spoke for a disenfranchised and violently oppressed people including the National Woman Political Caucus to her final project: The Freedom Farm Cooperative, which provided pigs for raising, breeding and slaughtering, land for families and economic freedom for Black farmers. Hamer is lauded for her propensity to gather the people, her voice a righteous tool, she gave her life to this continuous fight for racial equality.
Listen to the poem below.Hamer Poem Short from Mahogany L. Browne on Vimeo.
The family is getting back together for a sure-to-be-epic reunion. On Thursday (Feb. 27), it was announced that Disney+ commissioned new episodes of The Proud Family, now titled The Proud Family: Louder And Prouder.
Returning to the animated characters' world will be Kyla Pratt (Penny Proud), Paula Jai Parker (Trudy Proud), Tommy Davidson (Oscar Proud), Jo Marie Payton (Suga Mama), and Cedric the Entertainer (Uncle Bobby Proud). As for Penny's friends, returning to the mic will be Alisa Reyes (LaCienega Boulevardez), Karen Malina White (Dijonay Jones), and Soleil Moon Frye (Zoey Howzer).
In a statement, Agnes Chu, senior vice president, content Disney+, said this decision arrives at the right time. "The show's humor and relatable stories are as relevant with audiences today as ever," Chu said. "Our audiences have loved rediscovering their favorite episode of The Proud Family, and we're excited Bruce, Ralph, Calvin, and the returning cast are creating new stories for their new home on Disney+."
Creator/executive producer Bruce W. Smith, and executive producer Ralph Farquhar, who both played a significant role in the show's origins, will return alongside co-executive producer/story editor Calvin Brown. The Proud Family aired from 2001 to 2005, hosting a theme song performed by Solange featuring Destiny's Child.