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The Politics of Lessons From History

In 1965-66, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the single most significant civil rights youth group of the 1960’s, created the first all-Black political party, the Lowndes County Freedom Party, to showcase SNCC’s belief that where Black folk were in ...

Back to school, back to basics

Between early August and late September, students are going back to school. Before they go to school, though, they and their parents will hit the malls and stationary stores to prepare for their return. Retailers say that students and their ...

Is hatred for trade schools class warfare?

Trade schools have higher graduation and placement rates than other colleges, yet they are being singled out for cuts in college funding because of their student population. Hairstylists, plumbers, mechanics, chefs, medical assistants, ministers, and other working class students who ...

Symbolism without Substance:

Remember the Jena Six? Some 15,000 to 20,000 protesters went to Jena, La., in 2006 to demonstrate against injustice. After all the speeches, threats, marches, and church rallies, the people went home and nothing really changed. The prosecutors did their ...

Policing the police

Except for the Good Lord, everybody has someone or something to “check” him or her. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama has an unresponsive Congress to check him, and Supreme Court to do the same. Elected officials are checked by voters (when ...

The politics of Africa on the world stage

The obvious theme of this week’s column could be and maybe should be the vicissitudes of the Michael Brown killing. But I’m not an obvious kind of writer.

Dogs get more respect than Michael Brown

It doesn’t matter if you are a state legislator or an alderman, a journalist or a local leader. If you are in Ferguson, Mo., you won’t get any respect. You can be the uncle of a victim whose body was ...

The politics of judging the character of a man

Daily we are assaulted in the media with opinionated judgements regarding President Barack Obama and other political leaders, ostensibly offering up evaluations of some aspect of the president’s character. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those evaluations are nothing more than ...

Working at taking a vacation

I don’t do vacations well. I have to be pushed and prodded, just about guilt-tripped, into taking time off. Sure, I’ll take an hour here, an evening there, to read a book or play word games. But it just about ...

Paulette Brown named president of American Bar Association

National Bar Association (NBA) past president Paulette Brown was sworn in Tuesday as president- elect of the American Bar Association becoming the first African American woman to assume the role.

Why marijuana's moment has arrived

A few decades ago, marijuana was a topic that relatively few people, mostly counterculture musicians and comedians, spoke about in public. The comedy team of Cheech and Chong made films such as "Up in Smoke" that extolled the pleasures of ...

Alex Johnson: Respect for tradition, commitment to progress NOW

When I was elected to the Los Angeles City Council 23 years ago, African Americans comprised close to 14 percent of Los Angeles’ population. Today, it’s approximately 8 percent. As demographic trends are projected, African Americans will continue to decline ...

Economic growth is up; will it trickle down?

Last quarter’s rate of economic growth is good news, especially after the economy stalled, losing momentum in the first quarter of 2014. Many said it was an aberration caused by bad weather, especially since economic growth in the last half ...

Legendary drummer Idris Muhammad dead at 74

Although he did not boast the marquee status of contemporaries such as Art Blakey and Elvin Jones, none of them eclipsed the influence of Idris Muhammad’s “bottom-up style” of drumming, and his ability to adapt across a variety of musical ...

The politics of media name-calling

We are all aware that once the media, in one form or another, labels something or someone, and that label sticks, it’s relatively impossible to uncork that particular genie. Truth and facts have nothing to do with it.