Jamala Rogers

Article from the 27th Transformational Agenda Magazine:
Jamala Rogers

Jamala Rogers will bristle to any reference of her being a “superwoman” or super anything. Her retort is that she bleeds like anybody else. While that may be true, Jamala’s intensity and impact undeniably set her apart from the ordinary.

Jamala brought her vision and fighting spirit to the St. Louis area nearly five decades ago. Her consistency and integrity make her a rare gem in a world full of corrupt, self-serving resume-builders. Whether it’s about worker’s rights or children’s rights, racial justice or gender justice, Jamala brings her radical fervor and strategic intellect to every battle she faces. She is a gatherer of people, ideas and experiences for the greater good. That greater good is pushing justice, racial equity and democracy to greater heights.

Jamala’s leadership goes wide and deep. you will find her footprints all over the political, social and cultural life of the region. On the elections of the first African American mayor St. Louis or first Black female City Treasurer. On the celebration of the city’s first Kwanzaa celebration. On the elections of our first Black city and county prosecutors. On the passing the state’s first racial profiling bill. On defeating a slate of white supremacist school board members. On implementing local control of the St. Louis Police Department. On establishing the Civilian Oversight Board office. On raising the city and state minimum wages. On fighting for the exoneration of wrongfully convicted persons. Or battling to expand Medicaid in Missouri. Some of these are historic firsts. The lives she has touched!

Jamala is renown in the region. This is due to her being both a newsmaker and news witness. She has churned out provocative and informative articles in the award-winning St. Louis American newspaper for over twenty-five years.

A prolific writer, she writes two other featured columns and has authored two books, with numerous publications in between. “Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion” remains a critically acclaimed work from an authentic organizer on the ground, not an armchair spectator.

The awards for achievements and service to her community are too numerous to print. They don’t come from one sector but from a wide variety of groups. From the Mound City Bar Association to the Missouri Black Legislative Caucus to Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority to the Republic of New Afrika — all extol Jamala’s indelible imprint on her community. There’s even an award given in her honor – the Jamal Rogers Young Visionary.

Jamala has embraced many roles over the years in her transformative work. She is just as comfortable with a bullhorn at a rally as she is in testifying before hostile legislators. At age 70, she is gracefully leaning into her new role as a village elder with wisdom and wit. Regardless of the roles or monikers bestowed on her, Jamala is unapologetic for her love of Black people or her contempt for the oppressive systems that devalue their worth and humanity.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login