By Jonathan Kaminsky WALLACE, La. (Reuters) - Life-size sculptures of slave children haunt the clapboard church on the grounds of the old sugar cane plantation, where ceramic heads of black men will soon sway on pikes in the Louisiana breeze. Unlike other plantation museums along the Great River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the newly opened and under-construction Whitney Plantation focuses squarely on the plight of slaves. While nearby sites highlight their antebellum architecture and the lifestyles of the white people who lived there, only 11 minutes of the roughly two-hour Whitney Plantation tour are devoted to the grand house where the German-American masters resided. More time is spent with the granite slabs bearing the names of thousands of Louisiana slaves, interspersed with painful snippets of their narratives.
The Houston-based Prison Entrepreneurship Program began operations in 2004 and operates now in the Cleveland Correctional Facility in Cleveland, Texas, with plans to open a second unit in a Dallas-area prison this year. Some facts and figures about the program since it began:
CLEVELAND, Texas (AP) — Standing in a prison chow hall, Richard Chavez Jr. outlines his past: violent felon, former gang member, the fourth member of his family to go to prison. Then his future: owner of a mobile counseling youth service that goes where the troubled kids are.
President Barack Obama has invited a handful of average Americans who wrote him letters about their lives to his annual State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. "Every day, we get thousands of letters and emails at the White House from Americans across the country, and every night, I read 10 of them," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, broadcast on Saturday. "They tell me about their hopes and their worries, their hardships and successes. They’re the Americans I’m working for every day, and this year, several of these letter writers will join me at the Capitol." The president said he had invited a woman from Colorado, Carolyn Reed, who expanded her business with a loan from the Small Business Administration. Victor Fugate of Missouri would also be among his guests.