Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Redemption Story For The Jena 6's Jesse Ray Beard

This is what we fought for...and this is why I don't listen to activist who only want to fight for model citizens in model test cases.

Had we followed that ideology and listened to the naysayers, this kid would still be roting in Juvenile Jail probably becoming disaffect, and learning to be a real criminal.

Attorney gives Jena 6 teen counsel, chance at new life

By Eliott C. McLaughlin

(CNN) -- Jesse Ray Beard said he was constantly in trouble, even when he behaved. It took being accused of the racially charged attempted murder of a white classmate in the Deep South to turn his life around.

Beard, 18, now interns at a New York law firm as he prepares for his senior year next month at Canterbury School, a Connecticut prep academy where Beard is highly regarded among peers and teachers.

"I didn't change the way I act. I didn't do nothing different. It was just that I was at Canterbury instead of Jena," he said. "It was like Jena was out to get me -- and not just me, but other people, too."

If not for the controversy surrounding the Jena Six and the palpable racial tension in the Louisiana town, Beard never would have met the attorney who changed the course of Beard's life by removing him from everything he knew. Watch Beard describe his reaction.

Jesse Ray Beard of the Jena 6
[David Utter, Alan Howard and Jesse Ray Beard in Jena - picture curtesy of Alan Bean]

Alan Howard met Beard, the youngest of the African-American teens who made up the Jena Six, in January 2008 when he began representing him in a lawsuit filed by beating victim Justin Barker.

The fight followed months of disquiet among Jena High School students, including off-campus skirmishes, a school arson and nooses hung from a campus tree.

In September 2007, thousands of protesters, alleging the teens were treated harshly because they were black, converged on middle Louisiana.

Protesters were particularly angered at the jailing of Mychal Bell, one of the six, who was charged as an adult. Later in September, he was reclassified as a juvenile and released.

The Jena Six were lionized and vilified; donations for their defense poured in, as did threats on their lives.

Howard said his first impression of Beard -- that he had "tremendous character, tremendous resilience and tremendous potential" -- was so strong he invited the teen to live with his family in New England.

It's been a tidal shift, Beard said, moving from a Louisiana town of 3,000 to Bedford, New York, a well-to-do city of 18,000 situated an hour north of the Big Apple...


Anonymous said...

Quality articles or reviews is the secret to attract the people to pay a visit the web site, that's what this website is providing.

my webpage ... chloe バッグ

Anonymous said...

Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I'd figured I'd ask.
Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?

My website covers a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

Here is my blog; danata.kz

Anonymous said...

Incredible points. Solid arguments. Keep up the good spirit.

my page; ミュウミュウバッグ

Anonymous said...

Hi there, its good piece of writing concerning media print,
we all be aware of media is a great source of information.

my web-site: トリーバーチ店舗

Anonymous said...

electronic cigarette, electronic cigarette, ecigs, e cigarette, smokeless cigarettes, e cigarette

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for share such a wonderful article.I like the way of writing and presenting.I am very happy to see this type article.I also planning to write the article with the guidelines of best essay writing services.The author describe the article with good language and information.