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Jackie Robinson: “Too bad he’s the wrong color”

You could say “42,” the film about the life of Brooklyn Dodgers great Jackie Robinson, is a gripping baseball tale and your assessment would be correct — but woefully incomplete. “42” is not just a baseball story. It’s a compelling history lesson as well. It tells the story of not just baseball but also of a central facet of 20th Century American life — the suffocating reach of racism— in the decades before ...

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Time to embrace Blackopoliticonomics

As George Benson sang in Moody’s Mood, “There I go, there I go, there I go…” making up words again. I couldn’t resist this one in light of our penchant to choose sides when it comes to economics versus politics. It seems we cannot understand, nor act upon, the fact that by combining the two disciplines and leveraging the resulting power from such a sensible strategy we could build a stronger base and finall ...

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Conflicting interests?

The recent actions taken by the State of Michigan are troubling — their very nature goes against the will of the people. If the people do not like the actions of their elected officials, such officials should be removed from office and by force, if necessary. When the citizens of Michigan repealed Public Act 4 in Nov. 2012, on Dec. 13, 2012 the Michigan Legislature, in a lame-duck session approved Public Ac ...

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Integrated Inequality: A Tale of Two Americas, Part 1

“Our nation is moving towards two societies, one Black, one white — separate and unequal.” 1967 Kerner Commission In 1963, more than a quarter-million people gathered in Washington, D.C. for the historic Great March for Jobs and Freedom. This was a watershed moment in American history, giving unprecedented voice to the hardships facing Blacks as they sought a fair shot at an elusive dream. In 2013, America ...

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The State of Equality and Justice in America: No one can change the change

“The State of Equality and Justice in America” is a 20-part series of columns to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The contributors include: U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., LCCRUL 50th Anniversary Grand Marshal; Mr. Charles Ogletree, professor, Harvard University Law School/director; and the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., president/CEO, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, ...

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Detroit’s Sankofa: Looking back to move forward

In Ghana, there is a mythological bird that looks backward to reflect on the past, while it moves forward. Simultaneously, it carries an egg in its mouth to symbolize the future. As the movement for Democracy and economic justice grows in Detroit, we need to give some thought to the character of organization and goals of past struggles so we don’t make the same mistakes in 2013. There were many factors that ...

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Michigan ‘czars’ strip away citizens’ rights

Imagine Gov. George Wallace of Alabama in 1963 appointing an emergency manager in Birmingham with broad powers to dismiss elected officials, renegotiate contracts, sell assets and become sole authority of the city’s pension funds a month after the voters rejected the emergency manager law in a statewide referendum. What would Dr. King have written from his Birmingham jail cell? ...

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Medical condescension can be deadly

Anna Brown, a St. Louis-based homeless woman, needed treatment for a sprained ankle. She went to three emergency rooms seeking treatment. In the third hospital, St. Mary’s Health Center, Brown was emphatic about needing care. Instead of being treated, she was arrested for trespassing and died in a jail cell. Was she ill-treated because she was homeless? Black? Broke? All three? It really doesn’t matter. Wha ...

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