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Why I chose to block water shutoff trucks

Water was created by none of us — just like air and earth and fire. Indeed, like the universe. It flows and freezes and breathes into the atmosphere as mist, without permission or legal backing. It is no one’s “machine.” It was not made to be enslaved in a market price or bottled into a “good” yielding “ownership” and power. Water is a commons — commonly shared as abundant and precious “gift” given by the c ...

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The logistics of human warehousing

Two pairs of pants, five pairs of underwear, three pairs of socks, two sheets — all once every six months. One small green bar of soap per month. One hundred percent mark-up prices. An average of $.12 per hour wage. A prisoner in the Michigan Department of Corrections receives only the barest minimum of care, services and necessities as the laws require. Prisoners are forced to wear their clothing (both out ...

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Collaborative concert spotlights the ancestors

“I Do Mind Dying” Live Action Mixtape is set to rock July 19 from 8-11 p.m. at New Center Park in Detroit, featuring live music and art as a dedication to the spirit of those leaders and beloved public figures who have recently joined the ancestors. The show is free and open to all ages as a part of the New Center Park’s free summer concert series. The park is located at 2990 West Grand Boulevard at Second ...

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Award shows: Confusion, delusion, exclusion

Searching through a dictionary of obscure words, I came across the word, “Babeldom,” which means “a confused sound of voices.” Babel, of course reminded me of the Tower of Babel in the Bible, Book of Genesis, Chapter 11. Next, I thought about the BET Awards and, of course, economic empowerment. What? C’mon, Jim, that’s a stretch. Yeah, maybe, but go with me on this one and let’s see. I did not watch the awa ...

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African Union Summit hears call to review relationship with the west

At a summit June 20-27 of African heads of state, the president of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea strongly rebuked western countries for “interfering” in Africa, and urged leaders to end economic dependence on the West. Teodoro Obiang Nguema, hosting a two-day summit of the 54-nation African Union, said a post-colonial relationship of unequals was holding back the continent from sustainable development. The 72- ...

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How the world has changed since I ran for president

This year marks the 30th anniversary of my 1984 campaign for the U.S. presidency. At the kickoff of the annual Rainbow Push Convention, June 28, Rep. Maxine Waters led a panel exploring the effects of that campaign — registering over a million new voters, helping Democrats take back the Senate in 1986, lifting up new leaders from New York City’s David Dinkins to Minnesota’s future Senator Paul Wellstone. Lo ...

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The Black Press: The voice of Black America

Amid the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Annual Convention in Portland, Oregon, June 25-28, I was reminded repeatedly that Black Americans have had a long, storied tradition of newspaper publishing. Since the first publication of Freedom’s Journal in 1827, Black American publishers have worked heroically to earn the title “Voice of Black America.” From the east coast to the west coast, in b ...

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Detroit’s Jewish community reconnects with ‘the old neighborhood’ to offer helping hand

Local conversations about suburban residents coming to the city of Detroit tend to revolve around downtown and Midtown, as if there’s a transporting device that beams crowds of people for sporting events, concerts and the like. Do residents from the ‘burbs ever come to less alluring places in the city and work collaboratively with Detroiters to strengthen their neighborhoods? They do, and in increasing numb ...

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Child marriage: Nigeria’s other scourge

Nearly 300 school-age girls are still in the hands of Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist group. But they’re not the only group of young women yanked from school against their will and made to work at the beck and call of husbands they did not choose. A new exposé rips Nigeria for its record number of child brides — some as young as 9 years old. According to the U.N. Population Fund, Nigeria has one of the hig ...

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A disturbing trend

I am concerned. In the last two weeks, I have personally heard of three separate incidents in which the city of Detroit has completely mowed over or even bulldozed community-maintained green spaces or gardens. I met a woman who was nearly in tears describing how the fruit trees she planted over four years ago, which were just entering their first year of active fruit production, were mowed down in the blink ...

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