Fifty years ago this month, an interracial group of activists decided to take a risky step and put their bodies on the line to challenge the entrenched policy of racial segregation in the American South.
A Puerto Rican woman from a poor neighborhood in the South Bronx should bring her unique experiences and sympathies with her to positions of power. And if she sympathizes with groups of people who, for too long, have been ignored or invisible in our society, that is a strength of character — not a character flaw.
Puerto Rico may at last be relevant this political season. Its primary on June 1 has 63 delegates at stake, and Sen. Hillary Clinton has said she will campaign all the way through Puerto Rico.
On the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., we would do well to remember an observation by the civil-rights organizer Ella Baker: “Martin didn't make the movement, the movement made Martin.”
This week marks the 95th anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist and suffrage advocate. Her career has some resonant lessons for contemporary politics.
January 9, 2007
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as American deaths in Iraq exceed 3,000 and Iraqi casualties climb into the hundreds of thousands, we need to remember King's words of wisdom about the perils of war.
December 20, 2006
Critics are touting the movie "Blood Diamond" as a part of a growing genre of socially conscious Hollywood productions. But the film's good message is drowned out by the many bad ones.
November 21, 2006
The selection of Trent Lott as Senate minority whip removes any illusion that the Republican Party has even the faintest commitment to racial justice.
February 1, 2006
Coretta Scott King, who died on Jan. 31, will perhaps forever be known as the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. But there was much more to Coretta King than that.
October 27, 2005
The death of civil rights legend Rosa Parks is an occasion for our nation to look back on her legacy.
January 27, 2005
Feb. 1, 1960, is a watershed in the history of the modern civil rights movement. Forty-five years ago on this date, a handful of black students decided to disrupt business-as-usual in the segregated South. They marched, ever so respectfully, into a local drugstore in Greensboro, N.C., and sat at the lunch-counter designated -- by custom and law -- for whites only.
July 8, 2004
The selection of John Edwards as the Democratic vice presidential candidate is promising for African-Americans, but he should not be given a free pass. Edwards is a white Southerner from working-class roots who grew up in the 1960s surrounded by the foment of the civil-rights movement. The Democratic Party that Edwards entered decades later was different from the one that housed racist Southern Democrats like Sen.
March 24, 2004
A little more than 20 years ago, Chicagoans mobilized across lines of race, class, language and neighborhood to elect the city's first black mayor, Harold Washington. On March 16, a diverse statewide coalition delivered another decisive victory, this time to the candidate who could integrate the U.S.
January 28, 2004
It's Black History Month, and in this election year, we should remember the tough black woman who made a bid for the Democratic nomination in 1972.
December 23, 2003
It's a new story and an old story. The fact that racist segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond engaged in the kind of "race-mixing" privately that he condemned publicly is not much of a surprise. The flurry of media coverage around the recent announcement by Essie Mae Washington-Williams that Thurmond was her biological father has danced rather timidly around some of the more sordid implications of this revelation.