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Herb Boyd

Stories by Herb

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Trump’s exorbitant security costs

Among the litany of complaints targeting the Trump administration is the exorbitant cost of security for the president and his family.

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Bill Epton, a political activist and free speech advocate

A native of Harlem, Bill Epton was born Jan. 17, 1932, and if there is such a thing as a political prodigy, he may have been the prototype with his keen instinct for protest.

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Trump tamps down on illegal immigrants

If for a moment you thought President Trump had softened his approach to illegal immigration, then you and millions of undocumented immigrants are in for a rude awakening. In fact, in several ways, his policy has hardened.

Lt. General H.R. McMaster the new national security adviser

Thus far, Lt. General Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster appears to be a good choice as President Trump’s national security adviser if a consensus of pundits is reliable.

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Ona Judge, President Washington’s fugitive slave

Other than being a runaway slave from George Washington’s plantation, there isn’t much known about Ona or Oney Judge.

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Flynn the fall guy

The Trump administration stumbled badly Monday evening when Mike Flynn, the national security adviser, tendered his resignation.

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Bill Perkins wins District Council #9 special election

Given his name recognition, political experience and a crowded field of candidates, Bill Perkins was the favorite to win the special election Tuesday for the City Council seat in District #9.

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Author William Melvin Kelley passes at 79

One of William Melvin Kelley’s novels, “A Different Drummer,” signaled his complex, singular style and literary penchant.

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Betsy DeVos confirmed as education secretary

With Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding vote Tuesday afternoon, Betsy DeVos is now Secretary of the Department of Education.

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Ferdinand Lee Barnett, publisher, lawyer, civil rights activist

For several weeks I’ve been mulling over the idea of featuring a profile of the men behind famous women.

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Trump blasts a judge and court system

If the partisanship that has been so evident in the political arena over the last year or so holds up, then the appellate judges in U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th District should rule against President Trump’s executive order blocking the entry of refugees and people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

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Inez Dickens sworn in as Assembly member

It took a roster of prominent elected officials and notable residents to recite portions of Inez Dickens’s impressive resume and political ascendance during her inauguration as the new Assembly member for the 70th District.

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An artist with a camera, Chuck Stewart, passes at 89

There is the photo of Eric Dolphy in deep thought, his bass clarinet resting on his shoulder. Another photo shows a pensive John Coltrane with his wife Alice hovering in the background.

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Vicki Garvin was a revolutionary at home and abroad

During a recent trip to Ghana and beyond its stated purposes, I found it difficult not to think of the number of African-Americans who went there after Kwame Nkrumah came to power in 1957.

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Trump the tyrant

With each tweet, with every stroke of his poison pen, President Donald Trump expresses an unbridled, tyrannical behavior that has aroused a nation with increasing alarm and outrage.

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Bountiful ties between Ghana and Israel

Accra, Ghana—Recently, a delegation of African-American journalists was invited to tour Ghana by the Consulate General of Israel in New York City.

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Exuective Disorder: Trump action cause dissent

President Donald Trump hasn’t been in office but 11 days, and for many Americans that’s 11 days too long. Friday he issued his strongest edict, banning all refugees from Syria and placing a temporary block on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

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The inestimable genius of Benjamin Banneker

Three things brought to mind of the genius Benjamin Banneker. Last month Cyril deGrasse Tyson, the father of noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, died.

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Development ties between Israel and Ghana

Accra, Ghana—In 1958, Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion presented a two-seater Piper Cub airplane to Ghana’s Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah as a birthday gift from the Israeli government.

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More than 60 House Dems to skip inauguration

Many of the Democrats in Congress may not have needed a reason to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration, but his sharp retort to Rep. John Lewis has given them the cover they need.

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Philanthropist and Colorado pioneer, Clara Brown

Recently, while browsing in a Barnes and Noble bookstore in Cary, N.C., I bumped into a book lover who recognized me and asked me if I had ever heard of Clara Brown.

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Dr. King’s legacy revived

Practically every aspect of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—his dignity, optimism, determination, ministry, courage, sermons, admonitions, guidance, dedication, hope and even his literary prowess—was invoked by a number of elected officials and activists Monday at the National Action Network.

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Pioneering psychiatrist, Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross, passes at 80

There’s a photo of Wayne State University’s College of Medicine graduating class in Detroit in 1959. Of the 66 graduates, there are two Black men, one white woman, and one Black woman—Phyllis Harrison.

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Obama’s legacy

Somewhere between the differing polarities of Dr. Cornel West and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, two of America’s most engaging and controversial Black public intellectuals, is the truth of President Barack Obama’s legacy, the gist of his eight years in the Oval Office.

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Film legend and pioneer, Spencer Williams Jr.

When Black film pioneers are discussed, invariably Oscar Micheaux is mentioned. I’ve featured Micheaux in this column in the past, but one early actor and director who is rarely discussed is Spencer Williams Jr.

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Dr. King’s ‘tough love’ to the Trump regime

There is the imminent convergence of two very interesting dates: Jan. 15, the nation celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and five days later Donald Trump is inaugurated as America’s 45th president.

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Thousands expected to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday in DC

Each year, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network commemorates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the nation’s capital, and on Jan. 14, the holiday celebration will be joined by thousands assembling there to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump.

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Women on the march!

More than 100,000 are expected to attend the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.

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Yes, he did: Obama's grand farewell

In his nearly hour-long farewell address Tuesday evening in Chicago at McCormick Place, President Barack Obama recounted his eight years in office with his customary grace and dignity. While he mentioned President-elect Donald Trump only once by name, the massive audience was attuned to his nuances and the subtleties that alluded to the incoming president.

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CORE leader, Roy Innis, dead at 82

When Roy Ennis, a native of the Virgin Islands, first emerged on the political scene as a member of Congress of Racial Equality, he was a steadfast opponent of racism and discrimination and a loyalist in the ranks of civil rights activists.

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Mattie Smith Colin from the Chicago Defender covered the Emmett Till tragedy

When you have a resourceful corps of colleagues and comrades, you can keep up with current events, stay abreast of breaking news and be in touch with your history and culture.

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Will history absolve Obama?

As if to shore up his legacy, President Obama, over the remaining days of his tenure, has made some memorable moves, many of which could have come earlier according to some of his supporters.

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President Obama, exonerate Marcus Garvey

Since he was tried, convicted and sentenced to prison in 1925, Marcus Garvey has maintained an iconic presence in U.S. and world history.

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Maulana Karenga and Kwanzaa’s 50th anniversary celebrated in Harlem

Addressing a standing room only crowd Dec. 28, at the National Action Network in Harlem, the Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder of the organization, drew rounds of applause, and his words had particular resonance when he introduced the guest speaker, Maulana Karenga, and his concept of Kwanzaa and nguzo saba, the seven principles.

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Alain Leroy Locke, philosopher and Harlem Renaissance giant

Alain Leroy Locke is perhaps best known as the editor of “The New Negro,” an anthology that is widely viewed as the touchstone of the Harlem Renaissance. In many biographies, Locke is considered the “dean” of this historic era.

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A fascist forecast

Simply defined, fascism is “a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism and militarism.”

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Obama said he could have defeated Trump

It seems each week brings a new wrinkle of rancor during the presidential transition.

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Audre Lorde, activist, librarian, lesbian and warrior poet

It was wonderful to see Audre Lorde included in a photo collage on the cover of last week’s Village Voice.

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A vestige of slavery gives Trump the margin of victory

The Electoral College, a vestige of America’s ignominious past, remains a troubling element and was decisive Monday when the electors voted Donald Trump as president.

Protesters say, ‘No!’ to Trump’s fascism

While protesters around the nation assembled at state capitals hoping to pressure members of the Electoral College to dump Trump, a more radical contingent gathered at Cooper Union Monday to voice their objection to the incoming Trump administration.While protesters around the nation assembled at state capitals hoping to pressure members of the Electoral College to dump Trump, a more radical contingent gathered at Cooper Union Monday to voice their objection to the incoming Trump administration.

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In memory of Michael Griffith and Cedric Sandiford

Whenever family and friends gather to commemorate and memorialize, it’s an occasion of memory and reflection, and these elements abounded Tuesday evening at St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, where the lives of Michael Griffith and Cedric Sandiford were recollected.

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New Orleans musician Herb Hardesty, Fats Domino’s sax man

Herb Hardesty may be best remembered for his half-century of performing in the studio and in concert with Fats Domino, but many music lovers first heard his melodic tones on Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” It was clearly a rhythm and blues song, but you could hear shades of jazz in Hardesty’s brief solo.

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Jim Brown meets with Trump

Tuesday was a good news day for Donald Trump in his desire to reach out to the African-American community.

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‘Big Brother’ is watching

In the wake of the recent presidential election, an outcome largely determined by voters seeking a change from the previous Democratic administration and—let’s be real—a Black family in the White House, we have increased instances of white nationalism.

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Raynoma Gordy Singleton, the unsung singer and musician

Raynoma Gordy’s voice is hardly distinguishable as a background singer on Marv Johnson’s “Come to Me,” an early recording that helped launch the Motown sound.

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Fidel— ‘History will absolve me!’

“It is with deep sorrow that I come before you to inform our people, and friends of our America, that today, Nov. 25, at 10:29 p.m., Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz has died,” stated Raul Castro, Cuba’s president and Fidel’s brother, in an announcement in Granma, the official voice of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee.

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Political chasms and chaos persist

Setting aside division and finding common ground are not solely matters facing those mourning and not mourning the death of Fidel Castro.

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Judge Constance Baker Motley gets a lane

A number of dignitaries and elected officials joined members of the Motley family for a ceremony last Saturday for the co-naming of a lane in honor of Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first Black female federal judge in the nation.

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‘Pressure Makes Diamonds’ a gem of a book

In her memoir “Pressure Makes Diamonds—Becoming the Woman I Pretended to Be,” Valerie Graves has spun an appealing narrative with a protagonist who reads like an African-American female counterpart of Horatio Alger.

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Civil rights stalwart Constance Baker Motley and the first Black woman federal judge

Folks might think that I conferred with the Harlem Cultural Archives in shaping my syllabus this semester on the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

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