December 19, 2006
City officials in Vidor, Texas, screamed foul when news broke that their town was once one of America's notorious "sundown towns" for blacks. In the segregation era, that was the town fathers' not-so-discreet way of warning black people that they would be jailed, assaulted or worse if they were caught in town after dark. Vidor officials vehemently insisted that they have long since disavowed that naked, in-your-face racism. They contend that the press latched onto the town's woeful past to grab cheap, sensationalist headlines.
February 22, 2002
Langston Hughes lives! Listen to his poetry sounding through the voice of a fifth-grade boy who ends a recitation of "I, Too, Sing America" by raising a defiant fist straight from the days of Black Power: They'll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed - I, too, am America. Langston Hughes, the black poet laureate of the Harlem Renaissance, lives. He's on a postage stamp issued this month. He looks good, suave and elegant in that classic style. You could easily imagine him toasting the evening with Duke Ellington and keeping company with Lena Horne.
September 4, 2000
NEW YORK -- I have been writing for some time about the problems of public education. I also have been highly critical of the elements in popular culture that encourage young people toward illiteracy, brutishness, hatred of women, whorishness and mindless materialism. Now we find that these troubles are combining in yet another way: as obstacles that prevent black kids from doing well in society. It is often difficult to talk about these things, because those who function on the racist circuits of our nation describe poor academic performance by black kids as proof of inherent inferiority, the intellectual quicksand of bad genes.
July 7, 2011
Once again. African-Americans and poor people are the victims of politics. First, they closed the pool in Druid Hill Park on weekdays. It was only open on the weekend until late June so children who can't afford to go to swim clubs had to suffer. Next, they combined Stone Soul Picnic with the African-American Festival. They have also moved the Caribbean Festival out of Druid Hill Park. The sad part about what's been happening is that it's coming under the watch of an African-American mayor.
March 20, 2013
As a black man, I was appalled by the thinly veiled racism in former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s commentary about African-American attitudes toward President Obama ("From pride to disillusionment: a black leader sours on Obama," March 17). All black people are not of one mind, nor are Hispanics, Asians or whites. Mr. Ehrlich's proposition that a black man who once supported the president no longer supports him as strongly today is worthy of comment make sense only if the author believed that we all march to the president's drum, no matter what he says.
March 4, 2013
The Census Bureau announced last week that it is dropping the use of the term "Negro" to describe black Americans in its population surveys. I suspect few will mourn the word's passing. Today Americans of African descent, especially younger ones, almost universally prefer to be called African-American, people of color or simply black. The bureau reports that the number of blacks who self-identify as Negroes has dwindled to fewer than 50,000, most of them older people living in the South.