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Unit Four. Week Eleven, 8/29 & 9/12. 400 Souls: Reflecting on a Community History of African America

Teach Out Gathering Time

Sunday, August 29. 5:00-7:00pm PST

Sunday, September 12. 5:00-7:00pm PST

Meeting ID: 984 4028 7294

400 souls: reflecting on a community history of african america

week eleven (a two week discussion)


we convene in honor of Amadou Diallo

Amadou Diallo spoke five languages, all with a stutter. the Muslim immigrant from Guinea sold videotapes on a Manhattan street during the day and studied math and computer science in his Bronx apartment at night.

on Feb. 4, 1999, Diallo was gunned down by four New York City police officers in front of his apartment building, killed in a storm of 41 bullets. Diallo was unarmed. he was 23.

about 2,000 mourners gathered inside and outside an East Harlem mosque the following week to honor Diallo. the Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a call for swift justice, while Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani was booed outside the mosque when he arrived near the end of the ceremony.

during a trial in which the officers were charged with second-degree murder and reckless endangerment, the officers said they fired because they thought Diallo was reaching for a weapon, but investigators found nothing but a beeper and a wallet in his pocket. Diallo had no criminal record.

the officers were acquitted of all charges despite at least one officer (Kenneth Boss) having shot and killed another Black man in the line of duty, two years prior.

Diallo's mother, Kadiadou, sat upstairs in the women's balcony at her son's memorial service, shrouded in white. his father, Saikou sat in a green gown. he told the mourners he felt no hatred for the officers who felled his son: "May Allah have mercy on their souls."

after the service, the family took their son's body home to Guinea.

we dedicate the gathering and study of this week's teach out to the work and memory of Amadou Diallo. may he rest in power.


our week eleven reading

four hundred souls: part ten (in two parts)

pg. 351 - 392


our weekly provocations

1. Discussion questions for Four Hundred Souls, Part Ten (below)

2. Public Enemy, "Bring the Noise" (1988)

3. KRS One, By All Means Necessary, "My Philosophy" (1988)

4. Anita Hill, Full opening statement, October 11, 1991

5. The U.S. Department of Justice Fact Sheet on the 1994 Crime Bill is here.




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