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Protect Section Five

One of the most confusing, recurring Internet stories is the admonishment to protect the expiring 1965 Voting Rights Act. The last time that happened was in 2006 when the VRA was extended by Congress to 2031. When the law was extended, most African Americans breathed a sigh of relief and put concern for the law on the shelf — at least for 25 years. ...

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Emergency management is a failed policy experiment

The city of Detroit is in a financial emergency. This announcement, given at a press conference Feb. 20 by State Treasurer Andy Dillion and the Financial Review Team appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in December, is not surprising. The emergency management trajectory began years ago. Suburbanites will say it began the year of the “riots” in 1967 when Black leadership began to take over. We agree but for differe ...

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State of the Union on point

I was among the 33.5 million people who sat riveted to their televisions, parsing every second of the State of the Union (SOTU) address. I was stunned to learn, through a Washington Post article by Lisa De Moraes, that viewership was less substantial for this address than last year’s 38 million and even lower than the 48 million that watched in 2010. Are people less interested in what our president has to s ...

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‘Django Unchained!’ Michigan in chains

One hundred and fifty years since the emancipation proclamation, African Americans still are trying to make the American Dream make sense. Freedom has opened up new opportunity, new responsibility and old pitfalls. It turns out that slavery and racism were not only personal preferences, they were powerful institutions. They determined the law, the language, the land use and the overall social, political and ...

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Rosa Parks Statue to be first of African American woman on Capitol Hill

Bravery, tenacity and maybe a little of her own stubbornness led Rosa Parks to refuse to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala. bus on a cold December day in 1955. Almost 60 years after Parks’ act became the leading edge of the Civil Rights movement, she will be honored with a statue of her likeness on Capitol Hill. ...

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Jesse Jackson Jr. and wife to enter guilty pleas

The swift political and personal descent of former Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. has accelerated with criminal information documents being filed accusing him of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and making false statements in connection with allegations he diverted approximately $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use. ...

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Eight hopefuls turn up election heat in first-ever American-style debate

Eight contenders for the Kenyan presidency took off the gloves and dazzled TV viewers with their knowledge on a wide range of issues — from tribalism, health and education — as the crucial national election on March 4 nears. In the first-ever American-style TV debate, all condemned the ethnic feuding that tore the nation apart in 2007, leaving some 1,200 dead more than 300,000 displaced. Land disputes conti ...

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‘No surprise’

On Feb. 19, the unofficial became official: Detroit is in a financial emergency. The state’s six-member financial review team, appointed in December, made the announcement at 4 p.m. Gov. Rick Snyder has 30 days to review the report and determine whether he will proceed with the group’s recommendation and appoint an emergency financial emergency (EFM). ...

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‘EAA is failing us’

A group of more than a dozen student leaders at Mumford High School met Feb. 7 to address what they call issues of social inequity in their school. They call themselves the Social Justice League (SJL) and have aligned with teachers, parents and community members to improve the quality of education they currently receive as part of the state’s Educational Achievement Authority (EAA) school district. ...

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