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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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Opposition to urban agriculture is irresponsible

Growing food in an urban atmosphere creates different challenges than those associated with rural farms. One of the challenges is city dwellers expect farms to be hidden — many are not happy with idea of there being a garden or farm on the street on which they live. Residents have voiced fears about neighbors having livestock, about rodents, and about growing sites not being attractive to potential homebuye ...

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RIP General Baker and Yuri Kochiyama

We’ve lost two more stalwarts in the ongoing struggle for a new world of peace and social justice: General Baker and Yuri Kochiyama. Our hearts go out to Marian Kramer, Gen’s wife and comrade, and their children and grandchildren. The last time General and I talked was four years ago on June 19, 2010. It was the night before the opening of the 2nd U.S. Social Forum. ...

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Ready set go its farmer market season

In case you have not heard, farmers’ markets around the city are opening, bringing lots of fresh fruits, produce and other goodies. Detroit is fortunate to have 13 community markets working to bring food, education, activities and other resources to increase access to healthy food. One resource is the Fair Food Network Double Up Food Bucks program which begins June 1. Double Up Food Bucks stretches food dol ...

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Benefit or betrayal?

Who benefits? If we answer this question by looking at the lives of our children, it is obvious the policies of our nation, states and cities are failing miserably. As the policy elite gather this week in Mackinac, they should look beyond Grand Bargains, political posturing, bankruptcy and bond ratings to the state of our children. Nothing more starkly reveals the failure of the reigning economic and politi ...

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