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LBJ and the invention of poverty politics

On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson identified “poverty” as America’s new enemy. On the heels of President John F. Kennedy’s death and in the wake of both a growing militancy in the civil rights movement and an entrenched southern insurgency, Johnson tried to marry two powerful ideas: national interest and racial opportunity. ...

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King’s true legacy

This month will mark the 85th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Across the nation and throughout the world community, millions of people will pay tribute and celebrate the birth of one our greatest freedom fighters and most effective leaders. The legacy of Dr. King is more than a federal holiday, although we should never forget the protracted but successful struggle required to get that holiday recogn ...

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War on poverty wages on

Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon Johnson, lamenting that too many Americans “live on the outskirts of hope,” declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” This will not be “a short or easy struggle,” he stated in his State of the Union address to the Congress, “no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we will not rest until that war is won. The richest nation on earth can afford to ...

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Black leaders, past and present, on Black economic empowerment

It is absolutely critical that we, as Black folks, get serious in 2014 about maximizing our economic potential in this country. We often swear we revere the guidance of illustrious ancestors and present-day wise persons who strive to give us direction on how to best promote and protect our individual and group interests in a society that is at best a lukewarm environment for us. The following observations f ...

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Wishes for the New Year

By Julianne Malveaux Trice Edney Newswire Happy New Year! Jan. 1 and 2 are the days when most think of the “new” year, yet with the first Monday in January falling on Jan. 6, that’s probably when most people will return to their desks with focused energy and ready to go. Post-its and scrawled notebook paper will trumpet “new” resolutions. Eat less, relax more, volunteer, tithe, save — all that good stuff.  ...

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Resolution: More passion

Clouds and tempests mark the dawn of 2014. The economy is recovering, we are told, but the people aren’t. Over 20 million people are still in need of full-time work. America, the land of opportunity, now is scarred by more extreme inequality and less mobility than other industrial nations. More of our children grow up in poverty and we do a worse job of offering them a helping hand up. Gun violence continue ...

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Killing and dying for respect

There was some disbelief over social media when it was suggested the accused shooter of two Newark, N.J., teens was prompted by the suspect’s feeling disrespected. The suspect, a 15 year-old boy, is reported to have been angry because he believed two other young men had “hit” on a girl he was dating. The boy’s rage resulted in the death of a 13-year-old girl, Zainee Hailey, who was struck by a stray bullet ...

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First lady Obama ignores Black women’s issues

I read (Dr. E. Faye Williams’ Dec. 8 ) column in the Michigan Citizen and want to raise a few issues around mothers’ work and women’s struggles for justice. I understand from Dr. Williams’ critique of Ms. Cottle that she feels our first lady is failing women in her role as chief executive’s partner. Although you perceive this as a white woman’s failure to understand Black women’s priorities, I would like to ...

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Our house divided: What US schools don’t teach about US-style Apartheid

In the last few weeks, we’ve paid great attention to Nelson Mandela’s call for forgiveness and reconciliation between South Africa’s former white rulers and its exploited Black majority. But we’ve paid less attention to the condition that Mandela insisted must underlie reconciliation — truth. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Mandela established, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu chaired, was designed ...

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