It's been a half-century since the torture and eventual murder of wrongly suspected FBI informant Alex Rackney by members of the Black Panther Party. The racial tensions in New Haven that followed when party leaders were put on trial for Rackney's death led to the National Guard patrolling its streets.
In some ways, the city has changed a lot since then. But many of the social problems that provoked New Haven's angst during that period--injustices by police, substandard housing, gentrificaton, and racial disparity--remain unsolved.
This week, we reflect on the Black Panther trials and how New Haven is still recovering as it takes on slumlords, attempts to balance redevelopment and the need for affordable housing, and maintain the community's fragile relationship with law enforcement.
How will those issues play into mayoral races this year in New Haven and other Connecticut cities?
Meanwhile, at the state Capitol in Hartford, lawmakers have only a week left to act on many of the Democratic leadership's top priorities, including paid family medical leave and the creation of a state-subsidized health insurance option.
Will either of those bills join the newly won minimum wage hike at the finish line, or will they pushed off for another session?
- Paul Bass - Editor of the New Haven Independent (@PaulJBass)
- Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean - Associate Professor of Political Science at Quinnipiac University (@KBDPHD)
- Dr. Jonathan Wharton - Assistant Professor of Political Science and Urban Affairs at Southern Connecticut State University (@PreppyProf)