For Anthony Dansberry, another holiday to hope

Anthony Dansberry spent Christmas in prison. “Nothing special,” he would say in response to questions I had sent along with family members who made the trip down from Chicago to Danville Correctional Center to surprise him. Two-hour drive. Four-hour visit. Two days later. “Just the same old stuff,” Anthony told me through his cousin, Rick Dear. “Just another day cleaning outside the prison; picking up trash and taking out the garbage.”

[Photo courtesy of Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Records, 1962-1971]

A lesson from Freedom Summer: In 1964 and today, power is the issue

Freedom Summer began 50 years ago this season with a terrifying act of oppression. Attorney Martin Popper called it “the first interracial lynching in the history of the United States.” The brutal June 21, 1964 murders of young activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner were committed to send a message. And the murderers—including Ku Klux Klan members—were committed to sending that message in the most clear and impacting way. That’s what a lynching is all about.

Hundreds of residents turned out Friday for an anti-violence rally at St. Sabina in Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood. [Photo courtesy Chicago Urban League]

Washington’s gun control efforts yet to be felt in Chicago

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding a ban on stand-in gun buyers was greeted by gun control advocates as both a legal and political victory over the National Rifle Association in the movement toward sane public policy on gun ownership. But while it may seem like one giant leap for humankind, it is but a small step for Chicago, which is struggling to find solutions to the relentless problem of gun violence. In the war of words that has become the national discourse on gun control, Illinois has become a battleground state. The focus of a national spotlight. And breaking news.