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Strange Fruit: Violence Against Black Americans, from Lynching to Police Shootings

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Poet and activist Lance Newman joins us for Juicy Fruit this week, where some recent stories lead to a broader discussion of violence against black Americans. We talk about the through line of retribution against African-Americans who are perceived as not knowing their place. Emmett Till, Malcolm X's father Earl Little, lynchings, the massacre in Rosewood, Florida -- all were incidents of white supremacist violence that went well beyond just murder. (We do describe the details of some of those killings on the show this week, so if you can't listen to that, you'll want to skip from minute seven to minute 17 of the show.)

The over-the-top nature of how the murders were carried out and what was done to the bodies was intended to terrorize other black people and let them know they could be next.

Dr. Story draws a comparison between historical violence to today's police shootings to point out that the need for a Black Lives Matter movement goes far beyond just the events of the past few years.

And our colleague and friend at WFPL, health reporter Ja'Nel Johnson, has a huge project out this week looking at racial disparities in health care. It's called Sick & Tired, and she joins us for our feature interview to tell us about some things that were brought to light in the project -- though they weren't necessarily news to Ja'Nel herself.

"This is my life. This is my parents' life this is my sister, my uncles, my aunts, my friends. These are the everyday struggles," she said.

"Really, I just want to try to educate other people who may not understand and realize that there are still people in this country who do not have fair access to health care because of race, because of their income, or educational levels, or other things like that."

Sick & Tired is a four-part series. On our show this week, we listen to the feature about violence as a public health issue. You can listen to the whole series here.

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.

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