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Green Time TV, Jan 2016: Environmental Justice

on Sun, 12/13/2015 - 9:39pm

Environmental and social racism are parts of an interconnected whole. January Green Time episodes explore how environmental and social justice activists are working to overcome them.

The first January Green Time features Sylvester Brown reminiscing about the idea for the Sweet Potato Project, which began in 2012 with 25 youth. They get summer jobs as they learn how to plant food, grow it, make a product from it and develop the product through marketing and sales. He and host Don Fitz discuss how the project goes far beyond urban gardening as it produces organic food for sale. Project Veteran Marquita Williams, who has participated with the project since it began describes how it helped her develop responsibility, leadership and business skills. Project Leaders Edie Adams and Travion Johnson describe how they discovered the project and what they learned from it, including how to turn sweet potatoes into cookies.

In the second January Green Time, Sweet Potato Project Founder Sylvester Brown explains that land ownership can play a key role in change in the black community. He and host Don Fitz discuss the 8000 plus vacant lots in St. Louis which people can use to grow food. When Keon Williams first interviewed with Mr. Brown in 2012, making a product from sweet potatoes seemed strange. But he became part of the group which decided to make cookies and sell them. Darryeon Bishop gets to use a plot at a church to grow his sweet potatoes. He quickly realized that to have an agricultural project means attending to the crop, including watering and weeding it. Sylvester Brown emphasizes the need to discover the unique talents of every young person in the project.

The third January Green Time looks at police killings of young black people in St. Louis, beginning with the shooting of Marilyn Banks who was sitting on her front porch in 1983. Jamala Rogers and Zaki Baruti discuss how leaving Michael Brown’s body on the ground for over four hours and confronting demonstrators with dogs and tanks was reminiscent of lynchings. They look at cases around the country, including the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo in New York, 2009 killing of Oscar Grant in Oakland, 2012 killing of Rekia Boyd in Chicago and 2015 killing of Walter Scott in South Carolina.

In February 2012 vigilante George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. In July 2014 New York police killed Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold as he screamed, “I can’t breathe!” at least 11 times. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide. In November 2014 police killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice as he held a toy airsoft gun in Cleveland, Ohio. In April 2015, Freddie Gray died after being tortured in a Baltimore police van. During the fourth January Green Time episode, host Don Fitz and Zaki Baruti discuss the connection between traffic stops, police violence and incarceration. They explore why police hiring should reflect ethnic make-up of community.

On November 24, 2014 the St. Louis County Grand Jury announced that Darren Wilson would not be indicted for killing Michael Brown. The final January Green Time features Randall Cahill, of Cahill Partnership, and attorney Jerryl Christmas discussing the roles of prosecuting attorney and grand juries. What were specific problems with Bob McCulloch prosecuting this case? How is working closely with police every day likely to affect the bias of the prosecutor? How open are grand jury proceedings? Are citizens allowed to look at recorded proceedings? Do grand jury proceedings allow everyone who is subpoenaed to have an attorney in the grand jury room to advise them? Who determines what evidence will be provided to the grand jurors?

January shows include the movies SPP 2015 program video, SPP Land Ownership short, Students from Ferguson’s McCluer South-Berkeley High Marching Up South Florissant, Ferguson Protest/Press Conference at US Courthouse, Die-in at Washington University Medical School, and The Solution.

Green Time appears at noon on Saturdays in St. Louis on Channel 24-1 and at 8 pm on Mondays in St. Louis on Channel 24-2, Springfield on Channel 39, Joplin on Channel 36 and Marshfield on Channel 17. Green Time programs air on these dates:

  • January 2 & 4: “About the Sweet Potato Project,”

  • January 9 & 11: “Sweet Potato Project: Land Ownership,”

  • January 16 & 18: “Black Lives Lost.”

  • January 23 & 25: “More Black Lives Lost.”

  • January 30 & February 1: “Are Grand Juries Searching for Justice?”

Like” Gateway Greens on Facebook and click “Get notifications.” Also see Green Time on greentime.tv. To help produce Green Time TV call 314-727-8554 or email don@greentime.tv