On June 14th I had the honor of giving the undergraduate commencement address at Seattle Pacific University. Commencement speakers usually do their best to share a lesson or two with the graduates, but this year Seattle Pacific University students, administration, and faculty inspired me and people across the nation by how they responded after a campus tragedy that should have been unthinkable but instead has become all too routine: a shooting at their beloved school.
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 15:51
George E. Curry, NNPA Columnist
The 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer is being commemorated this week in Mississippi and it provides the perfect backdrop to reflect on the transformation of not only Mississippi, then the deadliest state in the nation, but the entire region.
Words such as sissy and other disparaging descriptive adjectives can often be heard in the Black community to describe a man who falls outside the comparatively restrictive confounds of Black male masculinity.
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:45
Marian Wright Edelman
This column is not about the recent story making headlines in New York City on Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposal to lift a ban on pet ferrets. But it is about weasels. Age-old weasels still causing Americans pain and suffering and blocking progress towards a better, safer America for all. Sojourner Truth was a brilliant but illiterate slave woman, a great orator, and a powerful presence who possessed great courage. She challenged the racial and gender caste system of slavery by suing for the return of a son sold away from her. She got thrown off Washington, D.C. streetcars but kept getting back on until they changed the rules and let her ride. She stood up with fiery eloquence to opponents and threatening crowds who tried to stop her from speaking. When a hostile White man told her that the hall where she was scheduled to appear would be burnt down if she spoke, she replied, "Then I will speak to the ashes." When taunted while speaking in favor of women's rights by some White men who asked if she was really a woman, she bared her breasts and allegedly famously retorted, "Ain't I a woman?," detailing the back-breaking double burden of slavery's work and childbearing she had endured. When heckled by a White man in her audience who said he didn't care any more about her antislavery talk than for an old flea bite, she snapped back, "Then the Lord willing, I'll keep you scratching." And when decrying her exclusion from America's life and professed freedoms during a religious meeting where another speaker had just praised the Constitution, she told this story:
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 15:53
Lee A. Daniels, NNPA Columnist
One of the classic commercials of the 1970s, when technological advances in food processing made it possible to enhance the flavor of margarine, posed an actress as Mother Nature about to ecstatically praise the taste of what she thought was her creation: "My delicious butter."
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 15:50
Julianne Malveaux, NNPA Columnist
As young people graduate from high school, or finish the school year as sophomores and juniors, they begin to search for summer jobs. For the past several summers, the jobs have not been there, and this summer will be no different. It is true that economists are projecting a better employment situation for the college graduates who are entering the labor market now. At the same time, those high school graduates who must save money for college incidentals or for other needs will have a hard time finding work.
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 08:55
Marian Wright Edelman, NNPA Columnist
Not every speaker tells a crowd of young leaders that their job is to get into trouble. But that's part of the message iconic civil rights warrior and now Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) conveyed at last year's week-long Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools®' National Training that began June 1 for nearly 2,000 college-age Freedom School servant leaders and site coordinators.