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Remembering Chokwe Lumumba

I first met Chokwe when he was an activist at Western Michigan University. He would often come to Wayne State where I was teaching to meet with other activists on campus. The late, radical attorney Kenny Cockrel was his idol and that may have been one of his reasons for later setting his goals on a law career. During our rallies on campus, which seemed to happen almost daily, he was often among the speakers ...

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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

Taras, the Ukrainian freedom fighter undaunted by Russians. Tamika, a Black woman totally disrespected at a Detroit Shell gas station but standing strong against big oil bullying. Both are Facebook friends of mine separated by thousands upon thousands of miles. Their fervor for justice appeared on the smart phone screen as I scanned my newsfeed to see what Facebook friends were posting. Hmmm, that Shell gas ...

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Charting new ground in Flint

Anyone at all familiar with Michigan’s Emergency Manager law knows the people who were handed control of municipalities and school districts facing financial crises have extraordinary power. In fact, the law goes even further than many realize, creating the possibility that residents of cities under emergency management may emerge from state control with a completely revamped form of local government impose ...

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State of Black Detroit focus: Economic and political power

Grow Black businesses, control communication and education, do “Jehovah Witness style politics,” stop begging, use the resources at hand, reach out to the youth, take care of your household and love yourself — and one another. The messages of empowerment were greeted with applause and enthusiasm by Detroiters weary of state imposed emergency management and the bleak future promised by bankruptcy and asset s ...

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A Detroit burlesque revival in historic Black Bottom

“I like the challenge to be innovative,” says Rachel McCollough, the Detroit-born burlesque artist who produced “Noir Night,” an all-Black female cast cabaret show this past Sunday evening. “I want to produce something that no one has ever thought of. I like to be cocky, later on, like ‘nobody thought of that.’ I love the attention. I like the verification that people want to be on board and love.” McCollou ...

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Detroiters get first chance to hear new compositions by Black composers

Writing cutting-edge new music is hard enough, but assembling a whole orchestra of qualified musicians to play it while it is being composed is near impossible. Fortunately, a new partnership between the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and EarShot (the National Orchestra Composition Discovery Netwrok) is giving four emerging African American composers an opportunity to develop their newest works with an orchestr ...

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Detroit teens get show in N’Namdi gallery, win money

Twelve local high school students recently won the 2014 “McDonald’s Celebrates Black History Moments on Canvas” art contest. First, second and third-place winners of the contest won $2,000, $1,000 and $500, respectively, in addition to having their work shown in an internationally acclaimed gallery of contemporary art. The nine remaining finalists each received a $125 Visa gift card. In a press statement, o ...

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They came to the shores of the Detroit River with a message of self-reliance, love of self and people as the Nation of Islam held Saviours’ Day 2014 in Detroit. Millions of dollars were spent by the NOI in Detroit, but you’d never know it by the media focus on an alleged Instagram threat against a media intoxicated cop. ...

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SMUG fights for equality in Uganda

On Monday Feb. 24, in spite of international pressure, Ugandan President Yoweni Museveni signed into law a controversial anti-gay bill drafted first in 2009. The new law makes homosexuality, already criminal in Uganda, punishable by life imprisonment. Ugandan lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex advocacy group Sexual Minorities Uganda has been leading the fight against this and other homophobi ...

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