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Detroit playwright looks to Internet to finance production

Each week in this paper, Grace Lee Boggs talks about “solutionaries,” people finding ways to provide what is needed in their communities. Malcolm Harris and Devin Laster are two such young men, whose play “Jr.” uses true stories to investigate the relationships between fathers and sons. Harris, 18, believes the nuanced and intricate way the ensemble of young Black men examines those relationships can have a ...

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Set your state reps straight

Two Detroit representatives are not doing their job in Lansing. They need citizens to take corrective action. Harvey Santana and John Olumba are on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the school question and on the worst side for children. They are preparing to join Gov. Rick Snyder, the Republican corporate “school reform” movement and vote yes to expand the Education Achievement Authority. ...

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Open letter to President Obama

I am doing my very best to continue supporting you. I trust your leadership, but I am very concerned about the problems Michigan residents especially those in Black communities have been experiencing ever since Mr. Rick Snyder became governor. He has eroded and disrespected democracy in Michigan by ignoring the United States and Michigan Constitutions and the Voter Rights Act of 1965. We need your intervent ...

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Scholars Behind Bars aim to reform prisoners through books, education

In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed into law the 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill — one of the most callous acts of legislation targeting prisoners that effectively put a lid over their educational ambitions. This act, hidden inside a subsection of that bill, overturned a long-standing section of the Higher Education Act of 1965 permitting inmates to receive a Pell Grant for post-secondary education while incarce ...

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Romancing the vote, but not the dollar

It’s silly for Black people to fight over the Dems and GOPs when it is counterproductive for us to be enslaved by either party. Between the late 1800s and the early 1900s, we voted nearly 100 percent Republican. Now we vote nearly 100 percent Democrat. What has that gotten us besides being ignored and taken for granted? Do we have real political power? ...

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The GOP’s ‘culture of poverty’ gambit

The 2014 mid-term elections are just eight months away — and the Republicans are worried about Black voters, again. They have good reason to be — that is, to worry about a repeat of 2012. Then, despite the best efforts of GOP-dominated state legislatures to block Blacks’ access to the polls, Black voters’ turnout rate surpassed that of whites for the first time ever. That achievement, along with the substan ...

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Using pen power for working people

During his State of the Union address, President Obama promised to use the power of his pen to achieve the policy objectives that Congress continues to block. After advocating fairness and being rebuffed by Congress, the president chose to use his pen power to require federal contractors to pay workers at least $10.10 per hour, or $21,800 per year. ...

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Preparation for trades could count toward graduation under proposed legislation

High school students could learn algebra while working with metal under legislation pending in the Senate. The bills sponsored by Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, and Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, would give students more flexibility in classes they could take in high school. They could take an agricultural science or anatomy class in place of the traditional second year science class, swap a foreign language class ...

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Detroit Raw

It was live TV. The subject matter was the ubiquitous “stand your ground” laws that are used to justify the whacking of those who foolishly invade the space of the armed citizenry. Matter of fact “stand your ground,” coupled with “no duty to retreat,” is the new death penalty in states like Michigan that do not have the death penalty. ...

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