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This is no typical Black History Month. It comes after the May killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It comes after the Black Lives Matter movement has made serious strides in its long fight. It comes as more and more White Americans have acknowledged the problem of persistent racial discr…

Robert Greene II writes about police violence, the death of John Lewis, voter suppression, Reconstruction, and the Black Panther Party. He even wrote about the race-sensitive progressivism of a 1995 episode of “Deep Space Nine,” part of the “Star Trek” franchise. 

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“This city has such deep meaning for me,” he mused. “I grew up during a time when it was obvious there was a clear demarcation ... drawn racially, and that shaped who I am today. I was very aware that segregation was real, and in order to truly access the American dream I had to really work harder and fight more vigorously.”

“I was one of the biggest crack dealers in my neighborhood,” he said. Then Jerry Blassingame grew up and turned his life around, forming a nonprofit to help the formerly incarcerated in which they can be trained in carpentry skills and prepared for re-entry in society.

Akua Page and Chris Cato are unapologetic advocates of Gullah culture, language, birthright and inheritance. And through the Geechee Experience initiative, they are determined to instill pride in people, young and old, with sea island roots.

“My goal is to explain to children the importance of civic engagement and serving the community,” said Elizabeth Morris.

Marcus McDonald assumed a leadership role after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a cop who pinned Floyd down with a knee to the neck.

“My humble beginnings of being a rules-follower growing up under my mother’s roof is the very thing that guides me,” Dawn Staley said.

The Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce has landed about 65 members so far, including basket makers, hemp growers, artists, tiny home advocates, community gardeners and soap producers.

Germaine Jenkins landed a $25,000 grant in 2014 thanks to the S.C. Community Loan Fund’s Feeding Innovation competition. This was her seed money for Fresh Future Farm.

Jermaine Johnson decided he would start a nonprofit to help young men experiencing some of the same problems and challenges he faced. He wanted them to be good fathers, to find a path out of trouble.

A certain economic necessity compelled African Americans in his neighborhood to make baskets. Not so much anymore. The demographics of the artisans now are skewed toward elders.

“A year from now, I hope to have at least one policy change,” said Rye Martinez. “Two years from now I want at least two things.”

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