5.23.2009

Central figure of the Jena Six speaks out in Houston

(Blogger's Note: The following is an excerpt from an article that will appear in an upcoming edition of the Final Call Newspaper)

by Jesse Muhammad for the Final Call Newspaper


Houston, Texas
—On May 19, a community forum was held in honor of the birth anniversary of Malcolm X to discuss the dismal effects the public school system is having on young people that sometimes leads them down the road to the prison system.

Mychal Bell, the lead figure of the Jena Six, was the special guest speaker for the event held at the Shape Community center.

“I was a star athlete and a honor roll student. I would have never believed that I would’ve been facing second degree attempted murder charges for a school fight”, said Mr. Bell, who is now 19 years old. “But I know I would have never made it through without the support of people like you who stood up.”

“To the young people here, everyone makes mistakes but I am here to tell you that you do not want to be inside those prison walls”, said Mr. Bell. On May 13 he graduated from Monroe Carroll High School in Monroe, La. “Listen to your parents, stay out of trouble, and set goals.”