National News

Illinois Became The First State To Fully Abolish Cash Bail, Here’s What That Means

By Jessica Washington Criminal justice advocates in Illinois are celebrating a major victory this week. On Monday, Illinois became the first state to fully abolish the cash bail system, meaning defendants will no longer be held in jail because they can’t pay. The provision of the SAFE-T Act abolishing cash bail went into effect on Monday, revolutionizing the bail process state-wide. But what exactly does it mean to abolish cash bail? The Root has you covered with everything you need to know about the changes. What Is Cash Bail? Cash bail is the money a defendant is required to pay as a

Justice Jackson urges Americans to confront ‘uncomfortable lessons’ about race

By Laura Jarrett and Lawrence Hurley Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on Friday urged Americans not to shy away from uncomfortable facts about the history of violence against Black Americans. The first Black woman on the nation’s highest court offered her frank assessment of the tendency to avoid acknowledging racism in a speech in Birmingham, Alabama. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republicans have recently led the charge in public school curriculum changes that critics say whitewash the country’s past. Her remarks were part of a ceremony at the 16th Street Baptist Church marking the 60th anniversary of the racist 1963 bombing of the building, in which four

There’s Still Resistance to Black People Receiving Reparations, Despite Evidence That We Deserve Them

By Noah A. McGee California has been the most proactive state when it comes to organizing a reasonable plan to give Black people reparations for the harm that slavery has caused them for hundreds of years. The California Reparations Task Force has been extremely instrumental in doing the research into how chattel slavery affected generations of Black people in the state and led to disproportionately high levels of incarceration, policing, and housing discrimination. But despite their efforts and their detailed research that shows how the state was complicit in slavery, there are still those who do not think the state should be making amends

California Prepares to Hit School Districts in the Pockets for Implementing Book Bans

By Angela Johnson In an effort to protect schools from a complete conservative takeover, California Governor Gavin Newsom is preparing to sign a bill that hits school boards in the pockets for attempting to ban books and materials related to underserved communities. “California is the true freedom state: a place where families — not political fanatics — have the freedom to decide what’s right for them,” Governor Newsom said. “All students deserve the freedom to read and learn about the truth, the world, and themselves.” Assembly Bill 1078, which is sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Corey Jackson, passed in the state’s senate

Black lawmakers in California push to overcome resistance on reparations

By Curtis Bunn The California Congressional Black Caucus is gearing up to launch a statewide campaign to educate its citizens on the critical nature of reparations for Black people — including cash payments — for the harms of slavery. This comes on the heels of a University of California, Berkeley, poll released this week that shows most Californians oppose Black residents receiving any financial compensation as part of reparation recommendations from the state Assembly. Among all of those who responded, 59% rejected the idea of cash payments to Black descendants of slavery in the state. Meanwhile, 76% of Black respondents were in favor

VP Kamala Harris Visits Ground Zero To Commemorate 9/11 Anniversary

By Candace McDuffie On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris commemorated the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 by representing the administration at a ceremony located at ground zero. The event took place at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, with politicians like Gov. Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer attending as well. President Biden, on the other hand, will delivered remarks to more than 1,000 service members and first responders as well as their families at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska. Biden just finished trips to the G20 summit in India as well as Vietnam. He

Texas Democrats have brought the fight for a new Voting Rights Act to DC

Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson remembers when her grandparents had to save pennies so they could pay a poll tax in order to vote. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965, which outlawed Jim Crow restrictions like literacy tests and poll taxes designed to keep Black Americans from voting. But 56 years after President Lyndon Johnson signed that landmark legislation, Representative Thompson has found herself in the middle of another heated battle over voting rights. This year alone, after Donald Trump falsely claimed he lost the 2020 election due to voter fraud, Republicans in 18 states have passed at least

College Football Could Lose One of Its Few Black Coaches

By Noah A. McGee Nearly two years ago, Mel Tucker signed a 10-year, $95 million contract to stay on as the head football coach at Michigan State University. He instantly became one of the highest-paid coaches in all of college sports and easily the highest-paid Black coach in college athletics. But two years later, in a sport where there is already a small number of Black coaches, they are set to lose another one. On Sunday, Michigan State announced that Tucker will be suspended without pay after he was accused of sexual harassment by a rape activist, according to USA Today. The woman

Court strikes down Alabama congressional map for diluting the power of Black voters

By Summer Concepcion A panel of federal judges on Tuesday struck down a new congressional map created by Alabama Republicans that includes only one majority-Black district, defying a Supreme Court order. “We are disturbed by the evidence that the State delayed remedial proceedings but ultimately did not even nurture the ambition to provide the required remedy,” the three judges of the U.S. District Court for Northern Alabama wrote in a 217-page order Tuesday. “And we are struck by the extraordinary circumstance we face.” “We are not aware of any other case in which a state legislature — faced with a federal court order declaring that its electoral

Prosecutors expect to call over 150 witnesses in Georgia election interference case

Prosecutors in Fulton County, Ga., say they expect that a trial in their election interference case would last four months – not including jury selection – and they’d expect to call more than 150 witnesses. The disclosures, made today in the case’s first televised hearing, underscore the complexity of the sweeping racketeering probe. Jury selection in another Georgia RICO case, prosecuting the rapper Young Thug and others, has taken months. Wednesday’s hearing, in front of Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, is to consider certain defendants’ efforts to sever their case from other defendants. The hearing is being broadcast

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