Yearly Archives: 2021

Combating Racism – A Cause for Hopefulness

Hopefulness is a mindset that helps us see the bright side of things and plan for a better future. Despite the continued systemic racism in our country, in the 18 months that I have been writing about racism, its impacts for our country, and ways to combat it, I have seen some rays of hope. One...
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Combating Racism – Soldiers without Swords – Part 2

Throughout the 19th century, the Black press—those daily and weekly newspapers and magazines published by and for Black Americans—provided a forum and gave a voice to a people who were voiceless. With a pen as their weapon, Black journalists and publishers were soldiers without swords. Black newspapers played an equally significant role in the lives of Black...
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Combating Racism – Soldiers without Swords – Part 1

The Black press is a critical—but often ignored—aspect of Black history and culture. Along with churches, political and service organizations, cultural institutions, and schools and universities, the Black press has been central to community formation, protest and advocacy, education and literacy, and economic self-sufficiency. Black journalists played a dual role, serving as of purveyors of news and information and as agents...
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Combating Racism – Solving Discrimination in Jury Selection

[The following recommendations are abridged from “Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy” by the Equal Justice Initiative.] For the past two weeks, I have focused on illegal racial discrimination in jury selection and its consequences. Eliminating this racial discrimination will take considerable effort on the part of court officials, legislators, judges, prosecutors, defense...
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Combating Racism – Criminal Injustice – Jury Selection

[Information for this newsletter comes from “Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Service: A Continuing Legacy” by the Equal Justice Initiative.] After reading about the jury selection in the trial of the three White men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia last year, I was inspired to learn more about the issue of jury selection. Arbery,...
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Combating Racism – 19th Century Black Female Authors – Part 3

For the past two weeks I have written about significant, but little remembered 19th century Black female authors. In this final installment in this series, I am including one better-known author (Sojourner Truth) and one 18th century author that I just couldn’t leave out (Phyllis Wheatley). The stories of these women, like those in parts...
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Combating Racism – 19th Century Black Female Authors – Part 2

Last week I visited the National Portrait Gallery and saw, among others, the current exhibit entitled “Her Story: A Century of Women Writers” which highlights 24 noted women writers from the last 100 years who are represented in the Portrait Gallery’s collection. Among them were four Black women writers: Maya Angelou, Lorraine Hansberry, Toni Morrison,...
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Combating Racism – 19th Century Black Female Authors – Part 1

The nineteenth century was a formative period in African-American literary and cultural history. Prior to the Civil War, the majority of Black Americans in the United States were held in bondage. Law and practice forbade teaching Blacks to read or write. Even after the war, many of the impediments to learning and literacy remained. Nevertheless,...
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Combating Racism – Understanding Wealth Disparity – Part 4

As I reported last week, the racial wealth gap in this country spans the demographics of age, education, marital status, and income. Obstacles to wealth building for Black Americans goes back before the Civil War. Shrinking this wealth gap will require a variety of strategies, including such direct monetary policies as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), Baby...
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