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Cartoonist New Book, ‘Just Us!’ Should Have Everyone ‘Laughin’ and ‘Signifyin’

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Just Us!” counts as one African American’s perspective on the condition of blacks in America and the 193-page book spotlights Carr’s style of drawing and wit. The book is broken down into nine categories: Obama, GOP, Racism, Crime, Sports, Cops, Youth/Education, and Transition and Entertainment. “There’s a brief narrative before each category that helps define who I am and how my life experiences shaped me, my concepts and beliefs,” said cartoonist and author Walt Carr.

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Photo Courtesy of Walt Carr, Jr.

Walt Carr Jr. Releases a Collection of his Legendary Cartoons

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Ebony magazine’s “Strictly For Laughs” page may be gone but Walt Carr, the cartoonist responsible for bringing smiles to the faces of millions of Ebony readers is still around.

Carr’s new book, “Just Us!” is now available and it’s a collection of his previously printed editorial cartoons that have intrigued countless readers over an award-winning 50-year career.

Carr said he had more than 1,200 cartoons to select from for “Just Us!,” which is a play on the word “justice.”

“I’ve been a freelance cartoonist for over 50 years and started drawing political cartoons in 1993,” Carr said.

Aside from being a long-time contributor to Ebony, Carr’s cartoons have appeared in Playboy, Negro Digest, Metropolitan, Homecoming, Jet, Black World, the ribald Players Magazine and numerous black newspapers across the country, like the Washington Informer, New Pittsburgh Courier, Pasadena Journal, Norfolk Journal & Guide, Sacramento Observer, Philadelphia Tribune, Michigan Chronicle, Wilmington Journal, Cleveland Call & Post and the Baltimore Afro-American.

Born in Baltimore in 1932, Carr’s family was one of the first to move into the Gilmor Homes, a new housing project at that time that’s now scheduled for demolition.

In 1944, his family moved to Philadelphia – thus when asked where he’s from, Carr says he’s a “Balti-delphian.

Carr’s father, Walter Sr., worked as a circulation manager for the Afro-American newspaper and his great-grandfather, Josiah Diggs, was the first African American to build a movie theater in the city of Baltimore – the Dunbar on Central Avenue.

A Morgan State University graduate, Carr played football and ran track at the school where he was also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc., and a charter member of the 100 Black Men of Maryland, Inc.

“Just Us!” counts as one African American’s perspective on the condition of blacks in America and the 193-page book spotlights Carr’s style of drawing and wit.

The book is broken down into nine categories: Obama, GOP, Racism, Crime, Sports, Cops, Youth/Education, Transition and Entertainment.

“There’s a brief narrative before each category that helps define who I am and how my life experiences shaped me, my concepts and beliefs,” Carr said.

“I’m a firm believer in the effectiveness of visual commentary and the relevancy of a strong black press. I believe my drawing style and wit captures, highlights and exposes the underbelly of the hypocrisy and racism that has engulphed this seemingly rudderless nation for decades.

Over the years, Carr said he rarely saw people of color in cartoons on the editorial pages of mainstream press unless it was something catastrophic or negative.

“You never see the black spin, the black perspective, if you will, on national issues and how they impact the black community and the black condition in America as we live and breathe it every day,” Carr said, adding that he determined that was a glaring omission.

“When I retired from the Social security Administration in 1990, where I was chief of the Visual Graphics Section, I decided to switch from single-panel gag cartoons to political cartoons,” he said.

His said his motivation for writing the book was quite simple.

“I thought I had something that was worthy of sharing and not just with a black audience,” Carr said.

“The direness of so many issues the black community faces on a daily basis sometimes makes it difficult to provoke a laugh or a smile but, perhaps, the cartoon will inform, educate or, hopefully, inspire the viewer,” he said.

White people also can learn something from the book which should help them to have a better understanding of where African Americans come from, Carr said.

Finally, Carr said his source of inspiration remains his parents, particularly his father.

“[Dad] planted the activist seed in me when I was 11 years when he told me I was going to have to be ten better than the white man to make it in this world,” Carr said.

“He and my mother were arrested for protesting police brutality in Baltimore in 1941 – almost 20 years before the civil rights movement. His activism never died. From 1960 until 1993, he published a weekly tabloid called ‘The Nitelifer.’ Which carried ads for all the black nightclubs, bars, black beauty shops and barbershops, black car salesmen, dances, and concerts in Baltimore,” Carr said.

For his father, writing the weekly editorial was his main goal — his pride and joy — as was “staying on black folks cases about what we needed to do to improve our lot,” Carr added.

“My ideas have to come from my personality and make-up. I love a good joke and I love to make people laugh, which is the best free tonic in the world, and the cats I’ve hung out with over the years are an awesome bunch of guys. I eat out twice a week with these guys – we call it ‘laffin’, lyin’ and signifyin’. I’ve stolen gags from them from time to time and I’m an avid reader,” Carr said.

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Fighting an Unjust System, The Bail Project Helps People Get Out of Jail and Reunites Families

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

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Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.
Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily — many find it challenging to pay bail

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

As public support for criminal justice reform continues to build — and as the pandemic raises the stakes higher — advocates remain adamant that it’s more important than ever that the facts are straight, and everyone understands the bigger picture.

“The U.S. doesn’t have one ‘criminal justice system;’ instead, we have thousands of federal, state, local, and tribal systems,” Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner found in a study released by the nonprofit Prison Policy Initiative.

Together, these systems hold almost 2 million people in 1,566 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,850 local jails, 1,510 juvenile correctional facilities, 186 immigration detention facilities, and 82 Indian country jails, as well as in military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories,” the study authors said in a press release.

With hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily, many find it challenging to pay bail.

Recognizing America’s ongoing mass incarceration problem and the difficulties families have in bailing out their loved ones, a new organization began in 2018 to offer some relief.

The Bail Project, a nationwide charitable fund for pretrial defendants, started with a vision of combating mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system.

Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

“We have a mission of doing exactly what we hope our criminal system would do: protect the presumption of innocence, reunite families, and challenge a system that we know can criminalize poverty,” Johnson stated.

“Our mission is to end cash bail and create a more just, equitable, and humane pretrial system,” she insisted.

Johnson said The Bronx Freedom Fund, at the time a new revolving bail fund that launched in New York, planted the seed for The Bail Project more than a decade ago.

“Because bail is returned at the end of a case, we can build a sustainable revolving fund where philanthropic dollars can be used several times per year, maximizing the impact of every contribution,” Johnson stated.

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

Johnson noted that officials created cash bail to incentivize people to return to court.

Instead, she said, judges routinely set cash bail well beyond most people’s ability to afford it, resulting in thousands of legally innocent people incarcerated while they await court dates.

According to The Bail Project, Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by cash bail, and of all Black Americans in jail in the U.S., nearly half are from southern prisons.

“There is no way to do the work of advancing pretrial reform without addressing the harmful effects of cash bail in the South,” said Robin Steinberg, Founder, and CEO of The Bail Project.

“Cash bail fuels racial and economic disparities in our legal system, and we look forward to supporting the community in Greenville as we work to eliminate cash bail and put ourselves out of business.”

Since its launch, The Bail Project has stationed teams in more than 25 cities, posting bail for more than 18,000 people nationwide.

Johnson said the organization uses its national revolving bail fund, powered by individual donations, to pay bail.

The Bail Project has spent over $47 million on bail.

“When we post bail for a person, we post the full cash amount at court,” Johnson stated.

“Upon resolution of the case, the money returns to whoever posted. So, if I posted $5,000 to bail someone out, we then help the person get back to court and resolve the case,” she continued.

“The money then comes back to us, and we can use that money to help someone else. So, we recycle that.”

Johnson said eliminating cash bail and the need for bail funds remains the goal.

“It’s the just thing to do. It restores the presumption of innocence, and it restores families,” Johnson asserted.

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PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina

NNPA NEWSWIRE — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and other participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.
The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Administrator to honor legacy of environmental justice and civil rights at event in Warren County, site of protests that launched the movement 40 years ago

WASHINGTON (September 22, 2022) – On Saturday, September 24, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will travel to Warren County, North Carolina to deliver remarks on EPA’s environmental justice and civil rights priorities and the progress we’ve achieved since the first protest and march that launched the movement 40 years ago this week. Administrator Regan will make a significant announcement on President Biden’s commitment to elevate environmental justice and civil rights enforcement at EPA and across the federal government and ensure the work to support our most vulnerable communities continues for years to come.

Administrator Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.

Who:
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Leaders
Warren County residents and community leaders
Additional stakeholders

What: Remarks on EPA environmental justice and civil rights priorities and honoring the legacy of the environmental justice and civil rights movement
When: Saturday, September 24, 2022,
Doors Open: 11:30 AM ET
Program: 12:45 PM ET
;
Where: Warren County Courthouse
109 S Main Street
Warrenton, NC 27589
Livestream: A livestream of this event will be available at epa.gov/live.

The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane

Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …
The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …

The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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