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Herb Boyd

Stories by Herb

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The Duke is tops

To capture the majesty and influence of Duke Ellington’s music requires a yearlong activity, each day representing a tenth of his compositions, many of them immortal standards.

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Passionate political activist Ramon Jimenez dead at 67

Ramon Jimenez, a voice for the voiceless and an outspoken member of the Green Party, died Tuesday of prostate cancer. He was 67.

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Clinton edges Sanders in Kentucky, loses in Oregon

No matter whose polls or numbers you consult, Hillary Clinton has outdistanced her opponent thus far in the race to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

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Literary giants Ishmael Reed and Haki Madhubuti in town

There are two opportunities for folks in the region to spend time with the eminent author Ishmael Reed.

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Remembering Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign

Wednesday, the People’s Organization for Progress, led by activist Larry Hamm, held a march and rally commemorating the 48th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign to End Poverty and Racism and to Demand an Economic Bill of Rights.

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James Haughton, crusader against the construction industry

There was a time a score of years ago when monthly visits to Jim Haughton’s place in lower Manhattan were part of a routine exercised by local—and a few national—activists.

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Sanders wins West Virginia but gains little

The polls and pundits predicted that Sen. Bernie Sanders would win the West Virginia primary Tuesday, and they were right. But, as they also noted, the victory did little to close the gap between him and Hillary Clinton, who has a decisive lead in delegates.

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Treachery: Corrupt Cuomo or debased de Blasio?

The race that the nation, if not the world, is watching with interest is one looming between Hillary Clinton and the “presumptuous” Donald Trump, as Clinton called him.

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The Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles, civil rights witness and participant, dead at 81

The Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles is often best remembered as an eyewitness to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Two popular Harlem pols unite

For those who missed the Saturday morning press conference at the Alhambra, where Rep. Charles Rangel endorsed Keith Wright to succeed him, there was a smaller, more intimate occasion with Wright that evening at Tsion Café.

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Obama and Wilmore—It’s a Black thang!

Saturday evening in the Hilton ballroom in Washington, D.C., from President Obama’s opening remarks to the closing comments by comedian Larry Wilmore during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, it was a “Black thang.”

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Great White Way gets a bit of color

Given the prominence and harvest of Tony nominations of “Hamilton” and “Shuffle Along,” the Great White Way is a little bit darker this year.

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Shirley Horn, an unforgettable voice and superb pianist

Most fans of vocalist/pianist Shirley Horn were probably seduced by her recordings and concert engagements toward the end of her career, with her rendition of “Here’s to Life,” her signature song. But there’s plenty more to Horn’s remarkable journey and legacy that began May 1, 1934 in Washington, D.C., where she was born and raised—and continued to live for most of her life.

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Oliver Law, Black commander during the Spanish Civil War

To balance our last classroom featuring Salaria Kea, an African-American nurse who volunteered in the fight against the fascists during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, we profile the adventurous life of Oliver Law.

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Haiti elections now set for May

When Jocelerme Privert, the interim president of Haiti, was asked if he was keeping up with the presidential campaign in the U.S., he thought the question was about the election problems in his country.

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Clinton trumps Sanders

It was another superb Super Tuesday for Hillary Clinton. She took four of the five states and the delegates up for grabs, leaving Sen. Bernie Sanders only tiny Rhode Island to crow about.

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Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill

Harriet Tubman, who escorted hundreds of slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad, may soon be riding in American pockets.

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Salaria Kea, a Black nurse in the Spanish Civil War

Usually, when there is discussion of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, the role of African-Americans who volunteered to battle against fascism is given little mention.

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Hillary takes New York

“There’s no place like home,” said Hillary Clinton during her victory speech at the Sheraton Tuesday night. After stating her wins all over the nation, she observed, “but this one is personal.”

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Contractor who bilked pianist Cecil Taylor sentenced

Later this month, April 15-24, the virtuoso pianist Cecil Taylor will be in concert at the Whitney Museum as part of its Open Plan, an experimental five-part exhibition series.

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Acclaimed sculptor Inge Hardison passes at 102

The bronze bust of Robinson Robinson at Bradhurst near 147th Street is just one of Hardison’s sculptures of famous personalities and others, who she termed, “Our folks.”

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Will the Democrats avoid a split?

On the Democratic side, we wait to see how Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders will handle the recent surge of contentiousness between them, some of which is sure to surface during their debate on Thursday.

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The Black Institute’s one percent solution for MWBEs

Although there has been an increase in the number of minority and women-owned businesses in New York, they remain vastly underfunded, according to a recent report by The Black Institute.

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Victor H. Green and his indispensable ‘Green Book’

Once upon a time, not too many years ago, traveling to the South for Black Americans was almost as challenging as the forces their ancestors faced as runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad.

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David Hammons: Five decades

“Oh, my goodness, could you by chance be the artist?” a woman asked me before I pushed the bell to enter the Mnuchin Gallery.

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Popular revolutionary Will Reese passes

Many people gladly accepted copies of Revolution, the newspaper of the Revolutionary Community Party, from Will Reese.

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‘The Divine One,’ Sarah Vaughan, a vocalist of extraordinary range

Around this time of year, when spring was emerging from its chrysalis and Gil Noble’s “Like It Is” was part of our Sunday afternoon television fare, the famous vocalist Sarah Lois Vaughan would be among the divas featured on his show.

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Sanders wins Wisconsin

If the Democratic primaries were like the Republican winner-take-all in delegates, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ victory in Wisconsin Tuesday would be of greater consequence.

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Lester A. Walton, journalist, diplomat and songwriter

Lester A. Walton’s name surfaced recently during all the promos and announcements about the revival of “Shuffle Along,” an all-Black musical often considered the springboard for the Harlem Renaissance. Walton, then employed at the New York Age, was among the journalists at performances in 1921, when the production premiered at the 63rd Street Theater, or Music Hall, in Manhattan.

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Fidel on Obama visit: ‘No empire building here!’

Fidel Castro speaks his mind on President Obama's recent visit to Cuba.

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Mumia’s condition worsens

Activist community responds to worsening conditions of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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Obama visits Cuba

President Barack Obama meets with President Raul Castro of Cuba to further discuss diplomatic relations.

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Civil rights legend Myrlie Evers-Williams receives Doctorate of Humane Letters from CNR

From the moment she walked into the Castle at the College of New Rochelle, Myrlie Evers-Williams was accompanied by a cluster of admirers and well-wishers.

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A clean sweep for Clinton

If the second Super Tuesday in the Democratic presidential primaries was viewed as a game of pool, then Hillary Clinton ran the table on Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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Dr. Carson on the take?

Dr. Ben Carson's endorsement of Trump is leaving many confused.

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President Obama names Judge Merrick B. Garland as SCOTUS nominee

President Obama nominates Judge Merrick B. Garland as Supreme Court replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

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Pioneering prima ballerina Janet Collins

It is certainly wonderful to witness all the praise and adulation Misty Copeland is receiving for her prowess in dance. This is a great moment to reflect on another ballerina of equal agility and elegance from another era of challenge, Janet Collins.

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Sanders stuns Clinton in Michigan

The click you’re hearing is probably the sound of Hillary Clinton’s campaign team recalibrating its message, one that failed to resonate with white men, younger voters and the white working class in Michigan yesterday.

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Candidates in the starting gates to replace Rangel

Seven candidates were at the political forum Sunday afternoon at the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center in the Bronx, each to express how he or she should be the one to replace the retiring Rep. Charles Rangel.

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Sandy Wills, a courageous soldier during the Civil War

Sharing the podium with Cheryl Wills, the highly regarded anchorwoman of NY1, at a recent event sponsored by the Delta Sigma Theta at York College in Queens

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Shaka Senghor’s story of redemption

In Detroit, a city that has endured its share of bad news, it’s good to know there are at least a few sprigs of hope and promise.

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Hillary hits the jackpot in Nevada

It may not have been an overwhelming win for Clinton in Nevada, hardly the nirvana she once envisioned, but she did fortify her firewall and brush aside some of the wind, if not the bluster, of her opponent’s momentum.

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Two losses and a gain for Black journalism

Black journalism was dealt a double blow recently with the sudden death of Michael Feeney and the passing of Acel Moore, one of the founders of the National Association of Black Journalists.

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A defiant Emmett Till

Recently, in an otherwise thoughtful column in The New York Times, noted journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson perpetuated a misconception about the mother of Emmett Till.

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Olympic great Jesse Owens

We always hold our breath when Hollywood, the publishing industry and the media delve into the intricacies of the Black experience, and now we await “Race,” a film about the exploits of track and field great Jesse Owens

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Justice Scalia dead at 79

President Obama scolded for his plans to nominate a successor following the death of the highly conservative Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

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Hillary in Harlem

Her message to the Black electorate

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was on message in Harlem on Tuesday, and the centerpiece of her objective of tearing down social and political barriers was the African-American community.

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Addie Waites Hunton, a crusader for justice and women’s rights

If William Alphaeus Hunton Jr. is an “Unsung Valiant,” as his wife, Dorothy, wrote in his biography, Hunton’s mother was an even more obscure personality, but one, like her son, worthy of consideration.

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Sanders and Trump victorious in New Hampshire

This time the polls were exactly right. Sen. Bernie Sanders took New Hampshire overwhelmingly and Donald Trump triumphed over his Republican rivals.

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WWRL, last Black-owned radio station in NYC, sold

The last black-owned radio station in New York City has been sold.

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