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Herb Boyd

Stories by Herb

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William Wells Brown, author and anti-slavery advocate

Of the many fascinating men and women in Black history, few have offered the intrigue and mystery of William Wells Brown.

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Rage against Rachel

Given the withering attacks from the media and the NYPD that have formed a cascade of allegations of wrongdoing, it was only a matter of time before Rachel Noerdlinger would have to relinquish her position as chief of staff for the city’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, some of her supporters said.

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Activists respond to Ferguson Commission

In a teleconference call Wednesday, several community activists and reporters discussed the impending verdict of the grand jury on the death of Michael Brown and whether police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed him in August, will be indicted.

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Extraordinary Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks

In the African-American literary canon, Phillis Wheatley, Zora Neale Hurston, Ann Petry, Maya Angelou, Mari Evans, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker and Sonia Sanchez—to name a few illustrious Black women writers—have carved an everlasting niche in our collective memory.

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A dialogue between Dr. Cornel West and communist leader Bob Avakian

A dialogue between Dr. Cornel West, one of the nation’s foremost public intellectuals, and Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, on the issue of “Revolution and Religion,” is sure to be as lively as it is provocative.

Obama defends executive power on immigration

If President Barack Obama goes ahead with his plan on immigration reform, then one “I” may trigger the other “I”: impeachment.

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President nominates New York’s Loretta Lynch for US attorney general

Last Saturday, President Barack Obama gave his loyal supporters and other Democrats something to cheer about after the abysmal showing in the midterm elections—he nominated Loretta Lynch as his next attorney general, replacing the outgoing Eric Holder.

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The Black Eagle settles in his nest

When we left the intrepid Hubert “The Black Eagle” Julian last week, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries had toppled the Batista regime, leaving the new Cuban government in the midst of a Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, both with reservations about their association with the new government.

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Noted journalist and AmNews columnist Jonathan Hicks makes his transition

In one of his last columns for the Amsterdam News, Jonathan P. Hicks did as he had always done—provide readers with the best information, this time on the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

‘A Great Night in Harlem’ artistically and financially rewarding

At each Jazz Foundation in America annual concert the logo stresses “saving jazz and blues…one musician at a time,” and the several younger musicians who performed Friday evening at the Apollo for the 13th annual concert assures the continuation of the foundation and its overall purposes.

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GOP tidal wave

Our president is Black, but the nation turned a crimson red on Tuesday as the Republicans took control of Congress, won several important gubernatorial races and even put a Black man in the Senate from the South for the first time since Reconstruction.

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‘The Black Eagle,’ the arms supplier

Last week, we embarked on the life and legacy of Hubert “The Black Eagle” Julian.

Midterm misery ahead?

Midterm elections have always been a headache for the White House incumbent, and the upcoming one may be even more troublesome for the Democrats, with Barack President Obama practically unwelcomed by so many candidates.

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Africans allay Ebola fears

It’s little wonder people are so confused and uncertain about the outbreak of Ebola, when you have fear outrunning facts, rumors taking precedent over reality, and some elected officials playing political football with the virus.

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NY doctor tests positive for Ebola

On Thursday Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at press conference that New York had confirmed its first patient diagnosed with the Ebola virus.

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The intrepid ‘Black Eagle,’ Hubert Julian

Last week, we presented the fascinating story of Bessie Coleman, a pioneering pilot who soared through the sky in the early 1920s as few Black or white, male or female pilots did.

Leaks from grand jury in Missouri

A sealant is needed on the grand jury proceedings in Ferguson, Mo., but it probably won’t stop the leaks that were disclosed last week.

Blaming it on Obama

If President Barack Obama hasn’t been catching enough flak, if his things-to-do list isn’t already crowded with pressing issues, the Ebola epidemic has brought another patch of gray hair and more problems to his troubled, beleaguered administration.

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Lennon Lacy’s death recalls Emmett Till

Black Americans old enough to recall the shock of seeing and hearing what had happened to Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955 are sure to get a fresh whiff of that atrocity in learning about the tragedy of Lennon Lacy in Bladenboro, N.C.

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Dr. Haki Madhubuti discusses Malcolm X at Adelphi University

Over the past months, we have lost such iconic figures from the literary canon as Maya Angelou, Walter Dean Myers, Amiri Baraka and Ruby Dee, to mention but a few.

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Pioneering pilot Bessie Coleman

Seeing a Black woman with “aviation consultant” under her name on a nightly television news show caught my attention, but the moment was so fleeting that her name never registered, or if it did, I forgot it.

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Noted sculptor Gabriel Koren in search of studio

Even in the best of times, it is never easy for our artists in this society, and the challenges they face are more daunting when their economic situation reaches a critical point.

Jonathan Moore new lawyer for the family of Eric Garner

Whenever there’s a high profile story in the city, particularly when the Rev. Al Sharpton is at the center of it, the news media flocks to the National Action Network’s Saturday rallies.

Mayor de Blasio defends wife’s chief of staff

It seems that no matter where he turns, the Rev. Al Sharpton is besieged by reporters who, despite the current stew involving rape allegations against National Action Network attorney Sanford Rubenstein, the Rachel Noerdlinger story continues to be an issue he can’t avoid.

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Dr. Austin Curtis, who assisted Dr. George Washington Carver

Students and teachers of African-American history are most assuredly aware of the work of the eminent Dr. George Washington Carver, but they are probably less informed about his able assistant, Dr. Austin Curtis Jr.

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Dowoti Desir ‘reveals history’ at the African Burial Ground

Many of us remember Dowoti Desir when she was the executive director of the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial, Educational and Cultural Center in Washington Heights.

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Geoffrey Holder, a man of magic and majesty

His voice arrived first, deep and sonorous, prefiguring a man of enormous life and vitality. Such was the often imposing but impressive visage and physique of Geoffrey Holder, who many remember mostly from his promotion of 7-Up. But the multitalented Holder was much more than a pitchman.

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Cut Off: Sharpton severs ties with accused attorney

News broke Wednesday that the Rev. Al Sharpton would be cutting troubled attorney Sanford Rubenstein lose as rape allegations against the attorney stay in the headlines.

Boston Herald apologizes for racist cartoon

“Have you ever tried the watermelon-flavored toothpaste?”

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Judge Constance Baker Motley: Trailblazer in court and civil rights

We are reminded of Judge Constance Baker Motley because Sept. 28, 2005, she made her transition to that court in the great beyond, where it can be safely assumed she administered her duties with the same sense of fairness and justice that typified her highly accomplished days with us.

Obama’s Rubik’s Cube

President Barack Obama’s overrating of security forces in Iraq and underestimating the conflict in Syria would appear a recipe for disaster, and this is just the half of the problems piling up on his plate, leaving him with a veritable Rubik’s Cube of troubles.

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It’s official: AG Eric Holder announces his resignation

Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. had intimated his intended departure as the head of the Department of Justice, and last Thursday afternoon he made it official.

Obama’s UN speech assails Islamic State group

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama had a full agenda of crucial items, but the bulk of his more than 40-minute speech was directed to the current crisis in the Middle East.

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AG Eric Holder announces his resignation

The nation's first African-American Attorney General, Eric Holder steps down.

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Civil rights leaders and bereaved family members call for justice

During the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the most effective tactic in bringing about change happened when the various organizations combined their resources.

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Obama, Ebola and the Islamic State group

Almost at the same time that President Barack Obama was in Atlanta at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Tuesday, declaring a commitment of 3,000 U.S. military forces to West Africa to deal with the ravages of the Ebola epidemic, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he would recommend ground troops in the fight against the Islamic State group if necessary.

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The Rev. Dr. Joseph Bragg, man of the pen and cloth, dead at 75

For more than a generation, Joe Bragg was a tireless journalist whose words and voice constantly kept us abreast of local and world happenings.

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Another unfavorable poll for Obama

As if we needed another poll about the approval of President Barack Obama, Newsmax, an independent website, so it claims, is in the process of compiling impressions, and thus far it isn’t looking good for our graying leader.

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'Chokeholds not illegal,' Bratton says

Nothing leaped from Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s mouth like the words “Chokeholds are not illegal,” during his oversight appearance Monday before the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety.

Dr. Irene Diggs: An extraordinary anthropologist

In the foreword of his book “The World and Africa,” pre-eminent scholar and historian W.E.B. Du Bois wrote: “I am indebted to my assistant, Dr. Irene Diggs, for efficient help in arranging the material and reading the manuscript.”

Obama’s Tan Suit Strategy

President Barack Obama caught as much flak for wearing a tan suit to a press conference as for confessing that he had no strategy for dealing with ISIS inside Syria.

‘Don’t boo, vote!’ Obama boomed

In a Labor Day speech freighted with work metaphors and good news about the nation’s economy, President Barack Obama summoned his best rhetoric at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee on the national holiday.

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Black man’s death in NYPD custody ruled homicide

On July 13, four days before Eric Garner was killed in a chokehold by a NYPD officer, Ronald Singleton, 45, was killed when officers physically restrained him. Last week, the city’s medical examiner ruled that Singleton’s death was a homicide.

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Bill Greaves, noted documentarian and Harlem native, dies at 87

A native of Harlem and a prolific filmmaker, William Greaves, once remarked that he thought he would be a hurricane in documenting Black history and culture but settled for the fact that he was “only a single rain drop.”

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Anti-Sharpton police speak out

In a full-page ad in Tuesday’s New York Times, the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the NYPD published an open letter to the chairperson of the Democratic National Convention.

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Obama under par?

Was it wise for President Obama to continue his vacation with issues going on in Syria

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Free agency and Curt Flood

Amsterdam News in the Classroom

Not since Gabrielle Douglas won the all-around Olympic Gold Medal in 2012 has a Black girl captured the media like Mo’ne Davis.

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Thousands march on Staten Island for Eric Garner

“Overwhelmed” was a word repeatedly uttered by the family members of Eric Garner during the rally on Staten Island Saturday.

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Now What? The country waits for developments in Michael Brown, Ferguson case

The shots fired by Officer Darren Wilson that cut down Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 9 are still echoing.

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Thousands march on Staten Island for Eric Garner

The National Action Network and other groups host a march in Staten Island for Eric Garner that brings out thousands.

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