Peers, friends and family all know of my passion for learning African American history in addition to the larger context of the African Diaspora. Killing two birds with one stone is always a treat in college. But some treats are so sweet that they leave budget-breaking cavities.
LSU’s Field Experience course provides several projects for mass communication students to undertake. I told my mentor ahead of time the Unsolved Civil Rights-Era Murders Team had my name all over it.
Needless to say, one of our objectives is to explore the history of the Deacons for Defense and Justice.
Little is known about them, and that’s probably because the media of the 60s instantly focused on the notoriety of the the Black Panther Party. While the Panthers had a violent and questionable reputation that should not be forgotten, many of its’ community-uplifting activities are extremely oversimplified and ignored.
Perhaps it’s because our negativity bias aims on focus on the bad more so than the benefits of something, which isn’t inherently bad. The issue, as far as journalism is concerned in my view, is that news has to be balanced and factual.
There’s little information around on this Louisiana-born part militia, part war veteran self-defense group from the 60s. I nonetheless aspire to learn all I can with my professor and project partner to not only make a good grade, but to contribute my storytelling to the history of an impressive organization. And I aspire to do it well since my professor paid a hefty penny for this book.