The Verdict is In on the Jena 6 case
I grew up in the little town of Tioga, about 30 miles from Jena. I played sports against the Jena high school teams, and had friends and relatives throughout that part of Louisiana. As a young boy growing up in the 1950's and early 60's, there wasn't a better place in the world to explore and learn.
Most people think of Louisiana as being full of crazy Cajuns that live on bayous and go barefoot year round. Actually, the area is far more diverse than that. The area north of the Red River is home to many different cultures. The town of Jena itself is named after the German city of the same name. There's another town, Kolin, about 30 miles from Jena, that was settled by Bohemians. There are areas settled by descendants of Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, and French (not Cajun) settlers, as well as Native Americans and others. There are large numbers of blacks throughout the areas, although there are only a few areas where they're in the majority. There was a lot of "diversity" in the population long before the 1964 Civil Rights act was passed.
The media's categorization of the area, and the event, devoid of any of this background information, is a disservice to the people of Jena, the state of Louisiana, and all civic-minded Americans. It's also another in a long line of self-perpetuated "truths" that show the American major media as being more interested in creating a story than in reporting one.