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NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | May 11, 2009
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King, Jr. That's for Marion Barry, who seems to need the reminder. The former mayor and current city councilman of Washington, D.C., is a longtime supporter of gay rights. So observers were stunned last week when a bill committing the city to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere passed the council on a vote of 12-1.
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NEWS
By Leonard A Pitts | May 4, 2009
A few days ago, a high school student in Sarasota, Fla., failed history and another failed civics. As a result, the one wound up shot in the chest and the other jailed on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Here's the story, as reported by the Sarasota Herald Tribune: On the last Friday in April, an 18-year-old white kid named Daniel Azeff and a friend went riding downtown in a pickup truck, yelling racially disparaging remarks and waving a Confederate battle flag. Mr. Azeff's grandfather, Joseph Fischer, told the paper he has cautioned his grandson repeatedly about his fascination with that dirty banner.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Victoria A. Brownworth and Victoria A. Brownworth,Special to The Baltimore Sun | November 30, 2008
A Mercy By Toni Morrison Knopf / 176 pages / $23.95 There are good writers and then there are great, transformative, knock-your-literary-socks-off writers. Toni Morrison is the latter. The citation that accompanied Morrison's 1993 Nobel Prize for literature reads "Toni Morrison, who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality." A Mercy tells of just such an aspect. Morrison has often written of America's disturbing slavery-tainted past, as she did in her best-known book, Beloved, published in 1987.
NEWS
By LEONARD PITTS JR | July 28, 2008
This is how John Davis became a slave: He was walking one evening from the train depot in Goodwater, Ala., when a white man appeared in the road. "Nigger," he demanded, "have you got any money?" The white man, Robert Franklin, was a constable. He claimed Mr. Davis owed him. This was news to Mr. Davis. "I don't owe you anything," he said. But what Mr. Davis said did not matter. He was arrested that night and summarily convicted. A wealthy landowner, John Pace, paid the alleged $40 debt and a $35 fine in exchange for Mr. Davis' mark - Mr. Davis was illiterate - on a contract binding him to work 10 months at any task Mr. Pace demanded.
NEWS
By Gregory Rodriguez | June 10, 2008
Things are getting complicated. In the same week that a black man clinched the Democratic nomination for president, the white, Republican vice president was forced to apologize for making a crack that played on the myth that poor white folks like having sex with their cousins. It probably wouldn't have been a big deal had Dick Cheney not singled out West Virginia, the bluest of the red states. He was talking about having Cheneys on both sides of his family and, he said, "we don't even live in West Virginia."
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | May 4, 2008
The Rev. James Lawson is out of step with modern Christianity. Take gay marriage. Speaking in support of a proposed state constitutional ban on same sex unions in Florida, one Rev. Hayes Wicker of First Baptist Church in Naples, Fla., was recently quoted by the Naples Daily News as saying, "This is a tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery." As asinine as that remark is, it is perfectly in step with much of modern Christianity, which has spent years demonizing gay men and lesbians.
NEWS
By Arthur J. Magida | April 20, 2008
When I first met Aichana while doing research in Africa, the heat from the Sahara that was sweeping through Mauritania's capital had made it so difficult to sleep indoors that she had thrown a mattress on the terrace of a friend's home. Aichana's dark skin blended easily into the night. The blue scarf she'd wrapped around her long hair was about the only bright spot coming from the shadows. Everything else about her faded into the blackness of the evening. I'd never met anyone like Aichana.
NEWS
March 27, 2008
Senate passes bill on utilities The Maryland Senate approved a bill yesterday that would require gas and electric companies to notify customers at least once a year of any charges they assess for energy efficiency and conservation programs. The legislation, which passed the Senate unanimously, came in response to controversy over Allegheny Power, a Western Maryland utility, sending customers energy-saving light bulbs and then adding the cost to their monthly bills. Under the legislation, utilities must tell customers on their bills and through the company's Web site about the charges imposed and the benefits of such programs.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | March 16, 2008
Dispatches for the New York Tribune By Karl Marx Before achieving fame as a political philosopher, Karl Marx wrote lots of journalism, in Germany, in England and for Charles Dana, editor of Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, then the newspaper with the biggest circulation in the world. John F. Kennedy once said that maybe if Greeley had paid Marx a few bucks more, the Russian Revolution and the Cold War would never have happened, a great joke with a kernel of truth hiding in it. Whatever we make of the answers Marx gave in Das Kapital, these vivid pieces show how clearly he perceived and felt the problems of poverty and ownership in the first stages of industrial capitalism.
NEWS
By Ira Berlin and Herbert Brewer | February 24, 2008
The experience of Africian-Americans are a rich vein in the history of Baltimore and Maryland, from slavery to the struggle for freedom in the 19th century to the battle for economic and social equality in the 20th century. From Baltimore to the Eastern Shore, people and places remeind us of the variety of the roles blacks have played in the social, political and cultural life of our state. Since Baltimore's founding in the early 1700s, the large black population has been making contributions to its growth and development both physically and spiritually.
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