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Herb Boyd



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A. J. Smitherman, a fearless publisher and advocate for the damned

It was during a recent speaking engagement in Tulsa on the riot that occurred there in 1921 that I discovered in my research a most interesting man.

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Remembering Simeon Wright—Emmett Till’s cousin

“I was lying there, frozen stiff and not moving, when my mother rushed into the room,” Simeon Wright recounted of the morning when his cousin Emmett Till was abducted by two white men.

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Evelyn La Rue Pittman, teacher and composer of folk operas and spirituals

In preparation for lectures in Tulsa, Okla., I stumbled upon the name of Evelyn La Rue, or LaRue, Pittman, and recalled seeing a photo of her taken by Carl Van Vechten, who documented so many outstanding African-Americans, particularly during the Harlem Renaissance era.

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James Edwards, consummate actor and war veteran

The recent death of Dick Gregory and citations from his book “Nigger” brought to mind the actor James Edwards.

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The Rev. Charleszetta ‘Mother’ Waddles, fed the body and the soul

Nearly every African-American community has its “Mother” or “Queen Mother,” who has dedicated her life to preserving both her people’s present welfare and her enduring legacy.

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Trump is Trump again

As predicted, President Trump, hours after a rather conciliatory speech at Fort Myer—where it was more about Charlottesville than Afghanistan—was back at his accusatory best, blaming the media for the violence in Virginia last week.

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Dick Gregory—He attacked racism and bigotry with ironic humor

Dick Gregory possessed a comedic gift that when combined with his political insight cut like a laser to the heart of the Black experience in America.

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Dr. Darwin T. Turner, poet, teacher and leading literary critic

When I arrived at the University of Iowa in 1983, Dr. Darwin Theodore Troy Turner had already reached a commanding plateau of his amazing academic career. At that time, he was the University of Iowa Foundation’s Distinguished Professor of English.

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NABJ in NOLA was a Hall of Fame affair

Rather than being upstairs at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans, where there was a standing room only crowd for the appearance of Omarosa Manigault at the 2017 National Association of Black Journalists conference, a few of us chose to spend the time meeting with the National Writers Union.

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A rogue president

The fissure in the nation’s race relations experienced a more tragic chasm in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend, and it also signaled a further collapse of the Trump administration.

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