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Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def postpones tour, rumors abound

Popular hip hop recording artist, stage and film actor Yasiin Bey, formerly known to the world as Mos Def, recently made headlines with reports that his upcoming U.S. tour had been postponed for reasons unknown. Promoters of the Boston show, where Bey’s tour was to kick off, caused controversy when they announced, last week, the postponement was due to Bey having been denied entry into the country by U.S. I ...

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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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Media blackout on banks’ role in Detroit’s financial crisis

Mayor Mike Duggan and Gov. Rick Snyder had nothing but praise last week when banking giant JPMorgan Chase and Co. announced plans to invest, through a combination of loans and grants, $100 million in Detroit over the next five years. “I want to thank and applaud JPMorgan Chase and Co. for their generous investment and long-term commitment to the reinvention of Detroit,” said Snyder. “This multi-year initiat ...

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Backlash: No rap, no Hennessy allowed

Recently, I read social media threads about an incident involving a well-known local musician, who appeared — through his words, attitude and stance — to make remarks and possibly take actions that would exclude or discourage African Americans from gathering at a particular public place. The incident reminded me of how personal bias manifests into discriminatory action and can become the foundation for stru ...

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‘No rap, no Hennessey allowed’

There were about 15 or 20 people dancing, playing pool, chatting and having drinks the night of May 15 at the Painted Lady, a dimly-lit Hamtramck dive bar, frequented by metro Detroit rock musicians. Andrew Miller, who was DJing that night, says a few people had even begun singing along to, “Other thing” by Detroit hip hop group The Anonymous featuring Kresge Arts fellows Passalacqua. The crowd’s warm respo ...

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Detroit can’t afford expensive consultants who risk racial conflict

One year ago, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr signed a $621,578 contract on behalf of the city of Detroit with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (TMI) to consult with Detroit police about community policing, traffic control, command accountability and other matters. After the contract expired, the ACLU of Michigan heard TMI had suggested to residents of certain Detroit neighborhoods that the r ...

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Conyers’ legacy, position at risk

Congressman John Conyers is poised to be the most senior member of Congress, the top U.S. House Judiciary Committee Democrat and the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). If reelected, Congressman Conyers, who has served 50 years, would accrue all the benefits of the longest serving members. Yet, the veteran congressman is not currently on the August primary ballot, and is thus embarking on a campai ...

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‘Hollywood Craig’ featured in NRA publication

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is making national news, again. This time for his profile in a National Rifle Association publication, America’s 1st Freedom. Craig’s stance on citizens arming and defending themselves, when faced with violence, has attracted the attention of the gun rights organization. In the article, “A show of courage in Detroit” the motor city chief says Detroit has a “culture of violen ...

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Climate challenges

As the economic, political and media elite prepare for their annual gathering on Mackinac Island, they should stop and take a close look at the water. Coast Guard cutters only recently freed it from ice three feet deep. Tim Hygh, the director of the Mackinac Island Convention Bureau said he had never seen anything like the ice encasing the island this winter. “Some of the locals,” he said, “will tell you th ...

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Detroit Raw

There was no little red book for the American revolutionary who dared to organize and challenge multinational corporations and their company unions in the 1960s. The book was written as the movement undertook actions to liberate and vest the worker with new found collective self-esteem borne of struggle and a fair share of respect, which greedy profiteers would hoard until the workforce was broken into subm ...

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