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Here’s our pick of news, writing, and research this week that investigates political questions at the intersections of gender, race, and region.

1. “EXCLUSIVE: Bree Newsome Speaks For The First Time After Courageous Act of Civil Disobedience
“Now is the time for true courage,” Bree Newsome writes in a statement released to Blue Nation Review, days after she was arrested for removing the confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse. “I did it for all the fierce black women on the front lines of the movement and for all the little black girls who are watching us. I did it because I am free. … The Confederacy is neither the only legacy of the south nor an admirable one. The southern heritage I embrace is the legacy of a people unbowed by racial oppression. It includes towering figures of the Civil Rights Movement like Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers and Ella Baker. It includes the many people who rarely make the history books but without whom there is no movement.”

2. “This Is Why Your Rent Is Too Damn High
Gillian White at the Atlantic reports on the State of the Nation’s Housing 2015 study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University: “About half of all renters in the U.S. are using more than 30 percent of their income to cover housing costs, and about 25 percent have rent that exceeds 50 percent of their monthly pay. … not enough new apartments are affordable apartments that can accommodate low- and middle-income residents. Instead, high-priced luxury units get built first, pushing rents up and middle and low-income earners into apartments that are more expensive than they can afford.”

3. “Black women speak out about their experiences with police violence
Fusion’s Collier Meyerson interviews Andrea Ritchie, co-author of the “Say Her Name” report on black women and police violence, and Natasha Duncan, the sister of 23-year-old Shantel Davis, who was shot and killed by an NYPD detective three years ago. “To be afraid of law enforcement who are supposed to serve and protect you is heartbreaking,” Duncan told Fusion.

4. “20 Years Ago, Mount Zion AME Was Set On Fire. Last Night, It Burned Again
“Mount Zion is the latest in a string of black churches in the South that have gone up in flames since nine people were killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston… investigators are still probing all of these incidents. They’ve concluded that church fires in Charlotte, N.C., and Knoxville, Tenn., were arson. And authorities suspect that a church fire in Macon, Ga. was intentional as well.”

5. “What Happens Next is More Important Than Marriage
Miriam Zoila Pérez in Colorlines: “There is no denying that gay marriage is a giant leap foward in social and legal recognition–at least for monogamous, two-partner, long-term relationships–but it also means that LGBT people’s experience of shared marginalization may weaken. … We all stand to benefit from access to marriage, if we choose to access those benefits. But how much we benefit, and how much those benefits outweigh the challenges we face depends a lot on our proximity to privilege and power.”

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