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Remembering the past, challenging the future

Fifty years ago four little girls were killed by a bomb in a Birmingham church. Fifty years ago, two young boys, Johnny Robinson, 16, and Virgil Ware, 13, were killed in violent aftermath of that bombing. Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sent his letter from a Birmingham jail. To commemorate that grave year, the Birmingham Museum of Art commissioned the creation of Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Pro ...

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Inspiring smiles

Deirdre Young mentors future dentists By by Llenda Jackson-Leslie Deirdre Young, DDS is passionate about her work. She visits a different Detroit middle or high school weekly to share her enthusiasm and gather new recruits, with the focus and intensity of a devout missionary or an ambitious saleswoman. The only difference is she’s selling dentistry as a career. Young is director of multicultural affairs at ...

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HIV rates remain high, report finds

The HIV crisis is far from over in Michigan. Thirteen of Michigan’s 83 counties have high HIV rates as of 2012, according to the most recent Department of Community Health report. They include Ingham, Macomb, Allegan and Oakland. But higher than any county is the city of Detroit, with 778 cases per 100,000 people. Wayne County outside of Detroit ranks as the sixth-highest county. A high HIV rate is classifi ...

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Bridging the digital divide

Gerald Smith, the senior manager of government affairs for Detroit at Comcast, believes technology can be the great equalizer- giving people and especially children from all socio-economic backgrounds the ability to compete in today’s digital world. Sadly, according to a Pew Study, Smith says, 40 percent of people below the poverty line don’t have Internet service. When this statistic is applied to demograp ...

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America’s prison dilemma

Even if every convict were rightly sentenced, America’s vast, racially skewed incarceration system would still be morally indefensible. Over the past four decades, the United States has become a vastly punitive nation, without historical precedent or international parallel. With roughly 5 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. currently confines about one-quarter of the world’s prison inmates. In 2008, ...

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Government shutdown harder on Black workers

Although the shutdown of the federal government beginning Oct. 1 is affecting all Americans, a disproportionate portion of the 800,000 furloughed federal workers are African Americans, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Because government jobs have been more available to Blacks than private sector employment over the years, especially under de jure segregation, Blacks, who comprise 13.6 p ...

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More public transit — except buses — on road to privatization

Most public transit agencies across the country contract with private firms to provide some services and operations, a new federal study shows. A survey by the General Accountability Office (GAO) found local agencies across the country are most likely to contract out for paratransit services for disabled riders, dial-a-ride (or demand-response) and commuter rail service. ...

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Royal Oak Township joins list of Black communities under EM

Gov. Rick Snyder is preparing to subject another Black community to emergency management, making it the eighth city under total state control, if Highland Park is also taken. Cities under emergency management comprise nine percent of the state’s population and half of the Black population. The subjection of Highland Park and Royal Oak will bump up those percentages. ...

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