The sting of injustices new and old will resonate throughout the discussions planned for Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, our second live show from the Essence Festival in New Orleans.
For one, do you remember what happened to Shirley Sherrod? The former U.S. Department of Agriculture official was forced out of her job almost exactly three years ago when remarks she made at an NAACP event were deemed to be racist by a conservative website publisher. After the resultant hubbub sorted itself out and context emerged, those allegations turned out to be provably false.
Sherrod, a former farmer herself and a guest on Sunday’s MHP, was also a plaintiff in the class action suit Pigford v. Glickman–which alleged racial discrimination in farm loans over nearly a 20-year period. The $1.2 billion Pigford settlement is due to be paid out by the middle of this month, and we’ll talk about that as well as the recent farm bill fiasco in Congress with Sherrod and several others on our panel.
Host Melissa Harris-Perry will also welcome New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu (and his police chief) to her set Sunday to discuss an issue with which they are all too familiar in their city: gun violence. From the George Zimmerman trial to the surge of gun deaths over the 4th of July weekend from Chicago to New Orleans, it is a topic that continues to be a topic all too germane to American life. So, too, is the newly urgent attack on voting rights from states in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent gutting of the Voting Rights Act–which Harris-Perry will delve into once again at the top of the show.
Being that Louisiana has been at the heart of the school voucher debate for some time now–for some ignominious reasons, in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s case–it only seems appropriate that we revisit the issue with former presidential candidate and Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, with whom Harris-Perry had a spirited debate on the issue at Tulane University back in November. Also, the recent doubling of student loan rates will be examined, with an eye on their specific effect on already troubled historically black colleges and universities.
Still, though so much struggle still continues, we’ll talk to inspirational author Iyanla Vanzant live on set about ways to deal with those struggles and emerge renewed. And let’s just say you will not want to miss how Harris-Perry will end her weekend in her hometown.
Be sure to read what we’ve linked above–as well as Harris-Perry’s special Essence Festival post about broadcasting from her hometown–and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday at 10 a.m. EST on msnbc! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter with the hashtags #nerdland and #msnbcESSENCE.