Blog

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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Combating Racism – Understanding Wealth Disparity – Part 3

Wealth is a paramount indicator of social wellbeing. Wealthier families are far better positioned to finance independent school and college education, access capital to start a business, finance expensive medical procedures, reside in higher amenity neighborhoods, lower health hazards, exert political influence through campaign financing; purchase better counsel if confronted with the legal system, leave...
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Combating Racism – Understanding Wealth Inequality – Part 1

Wealth inequality is a serious problem in the United States. Disparities between the wealthiest 1% and the bottom half are far larger in this country than in other democratic capitalist countries. Those who are used to dealing with disparity have only seen their situation worsen because of the pandemic. The belief that marginalized communities are responsible...
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Combating Racism – Combating Homelessness – Part 2

As of Thursday, August 26, 2021, the federal moratorium on evictions related to COVID was lifted. As many as 35 million people in the United States, whose livelihoods have been negatively impacted by the pandemic-related economic shut down, are at risk of homelessness. What’s more, there are hundreds of thousands of people and families who were...
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