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At 99: Thoughts. Thanks. Questions.

To begin with, my thoughts this week are with my friend, Micah Fialka-Feldman, who will be undergoing open heart surgery in Ann Arbor. Next, I want to thank the folks who called, sent cards or came to wish me a Happy 99, last weekend. Special thanks to filmmaker Grace Lee and her team for producing “The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs,” and to PBS/POV for showing it nationally. ...

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Water choices

The pursuit of profits is endangering the health and wellbeing of everyone in Detroit. What Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Jones Day and the corporate powers they serve termed a business necessity is being revealed to the world as a violation of the most basic human right to water. This crisis was orchestrated to make the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department more attractive to buyers. Claiming they are not “ ...

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Can they cook?

Many people are familiar with the concept of biodiversity leading to a stronger food system, but this concept needs to be expanded to include diversity in the kitchen. Living in what some consider the most segregated major city in the U.S., Detroiters are also experiencing the ill-effects of a lack of integration of minorities and women into foodservice positions other than pastry chefs and line cooks. ...

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Welcome to the Boggs School

Stepping in, larger-than-life portraits of young faces greet me — red, orange, blue, green — smiling as if they have a secret that they are ready to share. Looking up, I see whimsical cloud kites adorning the ceiling. Welcome to the James and Grace Lee Boggs School! My first impression as a prospective parent was that this school is pretty cool. I had no idea the amount of awesomeness in store for our famil ...

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How did you get that name?

Deciding which ancestral line you want to research can be difficult. One of the greatest challenges my genealogy students at Wayne County Community College District have in researching their ancestors is finding them using a surname (last name). Researching the spelling of surnames in how they sound, as opposed to how we spell them today, can be a painstaking challenge like trying to find a needle in a hays ...

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National PBS premieres Grace Lee Boggs film

“Grace Lee is like the John Smith of Asian America,” says Missouri-born filmmaker Grace Lee of her very common name. As a post-graduate film student at UCLA, Lee embarked on a journey to simultaneously document the lives of women with her same name and challenge stereotypes about Asian American women prevalent in mainstream media. The resulting film, “The Grace Lee Project,” was released in 2005. ...

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Future time

Time is slippery in Detroit. Sometimes you turn a corner and step into the future. It happens in early summer walking through the Cass Corridor, coming upon an unexpected iris garden, determined to provide wild beauty in the face of encroachment. It happens in the fall in the countless celebrations by urban gardeners who have made it through another year to harvest. It happens in the gatherings across the c ...

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Wayne State Farmers Market supports healthy diets

The Wayne State University Farmers Market unveiled its seventh season on June 4 at its usual location, 5201 Cass Ave, across the street from the Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library. One of 10 neighborhood markets in Detroit, the market offers a range of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and prepared foods to eat at the market or take home. For 22 weeks, the market will host farmers and food businesses ...

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RIP Ruby Dee Davis, 1922-2014

Over the years, Ruby Dee has become a part of all our lives, because we have watched and identified with her in so many movies and at so many civil rights demonstrations. Despite her fame and artistry, she was extraordinarily unpretentious and could have been our sister, daughter, girlfriend. Ruby loved fresh ideas and was especially fond of Jimmy Boggs. I am not sure how she even knew he was dying, but two ...

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Sugar: History, use and misuse

Sugar is known to have been domesticated and used in New Guinea since approximately 8000 BC. During worldwide travel by the ancients, its cultivation spread to the hot, moist climates of southeast Asia, China and India. It was transported throughout the Muslim world, and later Europe. During the centuries of European colonization, sugar was cultivated in many Caribbean colonies, often using slave labor. Cul ...

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