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Slavery, history and warped games

According to some historians, Afrodescendants first entered these United States in 1619 off the coast of Virginia. If we believe that narrative, Afrodescendents have been in this country for 400 years. If the people who were kidnapped and brought here had to tell the story, would they tell the same one?

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The shutdown and collateral damage

As I write this, our federal government has been shut down for more than a month. At first, it seemed like a gamesmanship joke, like who was going to blink first.

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Shame, shade in Birmingham

If anyone deserves a civil rights award, Angela Davis certainly does. The activist and scholar has been on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement all of her life. She has been especially active in prison reform matters and other civil and human rights issues.

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Saving Bennett College

Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C., is an oasis where we educate and celebrate women, and develop them into 21st century leaders and global thinkers.

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Trump’s problem with black women

A cursory look at the win-loss column after last week’s midterm election suggests that nobody left the table empty-handed.

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‘PC’ and ignorance

Megyn Kelly is off the air at NBC. After her horridly vapid statement saying she didn’t see anything wrong with blackface, she apologized the next day and even invited journalist Roland Martin on to take her to school. Mr. Martin did a brilliant job in explaining the history of blackface and the way it demeans African-American people, and it was great that he had the opportunity to educate, not only his odious host, but also the millions who watch Ms. Kelly daily.

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Audacity and Ida B. Wells

Crusading journalist Ida B. Wells was born on July 16, 1862. Although she made her mark as a journalist, she also was a social worker, advocate, feminist and organization leader.

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No more ‘wait your turn’ politics

I’ve never met Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year old New York activist, but I am surely looking forward to it. This giant-slayer of an organizer — she worked for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination campaign — was out-spent, but certainly not outworked, by her opponent, Congressman Joseph Crowley.

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Graduation, with more hurdles to clear

Chadwick Boseman, the Black Panther, graduated from Howard University in 2000. His writing partner is also an HU graduate. Mr. Bozeman came back to his alma mater to address the Class of 2018 and to receive an honorary degree. The Howard University graduation on Saturday is one of more than 100 HBCU graduations, and more than 4,000 graduations around the country.

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How do you mend a broken heart?

I used to love me some Bill Cosby, not only because he was America’s Dad, but also because he was fun and funny. Most of the times that I was around him, I felt lifted. He had that deep, “Heh, heh, heh,” laugh and that sweet smile. And then he loved some HBCUs, so what could you say?

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How do you mend a broken heart?

I used to love me some Bill Cosby, not only because he was America’s Dad, but also because he was fun and funny. Most of the times that I was around him, I felt lifted. He had that deep, “Heh, heh, heh,” laugh and that sweet smile. And then he loved some HBCUs, so what could you say?

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Problems with protecting consumers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is supposed to “protect” consumers from fraud and predatory lending. But since 45 has ruled the roost, he has empowered exploiters to extract too much money from consumers. 

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The other Ms. Walker

Nine years ago, when she was just 26, Natalie Cofield was looking for a mentor.  A young woman with entrepreneurship hard-wired into her spirit, Ms. Cofield was discouraged that people did not take her seriously and was disheartened that she could not make the connections she needed to further her entrepreneurial mission. So she started reading biographies of businesswomen, hoping to find inspiration on the pages that she could not find in real life.

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Honoring a new generation of leadership

All too often, our “history” month turns into a tribute to the past. And while the past is an important place to lift up, it is, indeed, a tributary, a stream that flows into the larger stream of an unbounded future. The future must always be greater than the present, or there has been no progress. And, in the words of Frederick Douglass, “progress concedes nothing without a demand.”

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Trump and unemployment

When the unemployment rate dropped and economic conditions improved under the leadership of President Obama, 45 derided the gains as “fake news.” 

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Dr. King’s work not finished

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t plan to get involved in the Memphis, Tenn., garbage workers’ strike. He hadn’t planned to be there on the fateful day when he was shot on April 4, 1968. But he was pressured to go the first time and found the garbage workers’ strike compelling. He promised to return, and felt it important to keep his word, despite a packed schedule.

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Kwanzaa, a balm in Gilead

The sickening sight of smug sycophantic Republicans celebrating the passage of their tax bill on the White House lawn was the Scrooge-like move to drop a lump of coal into the stockings of the 13 million Americans likely to lose health insurance coverage thanks to the move. Of course, corporations are so ecstatic that some — AT&T and Comcast among them — are offering employee bonuses because they will benefit so much from the tax plan.

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Thanks are OK, but hook a sistah up

U.S. Sen.-elect Doug Jones, a Democrat from Alabama, did not have to win his battle against accused sexual molester and Republican candidate Roy Moore in the epic battle in Alabama on Dec. 12. 

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Zero tolerance needed for racism

Michigan Congressman John Conyers was the first politician to leave his job after the “Me Too” hash tag galvanized women to speak up about sexual misconduct, harassment and more. 

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Don’t sleep on judgeships

Two people reported to work at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Nov. 27, both expecting to lead the bureau.  Leandra English, who had been chief of staff to former Director Richard Cordray (he resigned before Thanksgiving to return to Ohio to run for governor), was appointed to the director position by her old boss. 

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Souls2enroll: Black church and the ACA

For all of this administration’s efforts to kill — as in “repeal and replace” — the Affordable Care Act, it is still the law of the land, and still available — and required.

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Class and crass

I never thought I would miss our 43d President, George W. Bush. And I’ve never thought of him as a great, or even good, speaker. But the speech he gave Oct. 19, at a conference convened by the George W. Bush Institute was simply eloquent, excellent, thoughtful and compelling. 

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What is a Black Identity Extremist?

While White men are beating Black men on the streets of Charlottesville, Va., while a lone White wolf is shooting people from the Mandalay Bay Hotel, while the word “terrorist” is hardly used to describe these men, the FBI, under the leadership of the racist Attorney General Jeff Beauregard Sessions, is thinking up a new way to oppress Black people.  Despite the fact that there is no evidence of a “movement,” the FBI has described a group of black people as “black identity extremists” who pose a domestic terrorist threat to police officers.

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Flag drenched in blood

I am not sure why the national anthem and the so-called American flag are part of our nation’s sports pageantry. Before 2009, while the national anthem was played, sports gladiators were not required to suit up, stand up and put their hands to their hearts.

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Obama raised all boats

The income, poverty and health insurance data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Sept. 13 confirm what many already knew — President Obama’s last year in office was one of economic improvement for many individuals.   The median income rose from $57,230 in 2015 to $59,039 in 2016, an increase of 3.2 percent. Black Americans’ income rose 5.4 percent, from $37,364 in 2015 to $39,400 in 2016, while white Americans’ income rose from $63,745 to $65,041, an increase of 2 percent. 

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Hurricanes and public policy

Hurricane Harvey did everything people said it would do and more. It either drowned or swallowed everything it touched in Corpus Christi, Houston and Beaumont, Texas, the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and a bunch of other places. Already, estimates say that Harvey may be our nation’s costliest disaster to date, costing at least $190 billion, or about 1 percent of our gross domestic product. 

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Affirmative injustice

In the same week that it was revealed that the Department of Injustice is spearheading attacks on affirmative action, our 45th president indicated his support for legislation that would drastically change our nation’s immigration policy. Instead of providing immigration opportunities to the families of people who are legal residents of our country, the pending legislation would create a “merit based” system for immigration. 

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A thorn in Trump’s side

I don’t agree with U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona about very much, but I was saddened by his recent diagnosis of brain cancer. 

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Prison profit pipeline

There is the adage that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. I fear it is the adage that may define the ways too many observers have filtered the 45 administration through a skewed lens. 

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On courtesy, race and 45’s defenders

Courtesy flew out of the window in Washington parlance a long time ago. 

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Kudos to Bethune-Cookman grads

I could not be more proud of the students at Bethune-Cookman University than if I had raised them myself.  Responding to the university’s very late selection of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (hereafter referred to as DeVoid, as she is devoid of good sense, history, literacy and even courtesy) for the commencement speaker, graduating seniors chose to turn their back on a woman who described HBCUs as “pioneers of school choice.” 

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GOP celebration premature

After months of “repeal and replace” rhetoric, Congress has passed a pitiful little bill designed to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.  

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Lessons from O’Reilly

Former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, the man whose lofty ratings were responsible for the growth of the network, is no longer on the air.  Revelations that $13 million had been paid, either by Mr. O’Reilly or the network, to women who said they had been sexually harassed repelled millions, some of whom protested outside Fox headquarters and took to the airwaves with their complaints. 

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Confirmation would be blow to workers

Alexander Acosta, the 45th president’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Labor, is up for confirmation by the U.S. Senate. He got narrow approval on March 30 from the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions by a 12-11 party line vote.