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Herb Boyd

Stories by Herb

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Add Linda Hopkins’ voice to the angelic choir

In one way, Linda Hopkins cannot be considered among our treasured distant ancestors because she died Monday, April 10.

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Suspicious: Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam found dead in the Hudson River

Statements of sympathy and grief for Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam, in many ways reflecting the ordinary and extraordinary people she touched, are coming in from people in all walks of life.

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When Dr. King broke his betrayal of silence

“When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

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Mumia Abu-Jamal begins treatment for hepatitis C 

Despite the Specialty Pharmacy Times headline defining Mumia Abu-Jamal as an “infamous inmate,” it’s good news that he has begun receiving treatment for his hepatitis C virus.

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Black nationalist pioneer, Carlos Cooks

African and African-American history can hit you in some of the most unpredictable places, if you pay attention.

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Nuked by the GOP

Judge Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as the newest member of the Supreme Court Monday, and it is conceivable that Democrats will be swearing and cursing for years after a nuclear option was a determining factor.

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Trump’s agenda? It’s complicated

During his press briefing Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, responding to questions about the turmoil in the West Wing, said, “Our battles and our policy differences need to be behind closed doors.

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Trailblazing Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam found dead in the Hudson River

Statements of sympathy and grief for Justice Sheila Adbus-Salaam, in many ways reflecting the ordinary and extraordinary people she touched, are coming in from all walks of life.

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Sister Burnsteen Sharrieff Mohammed, secretary and reformer of NOI

Without Burnsteen Sharrieff Mohammed’s secretarial and clerical skills and her intuitive understanding of W.D. Fard’s beliefs and principles, the Nation of Islam might never have blossomed.

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William T. Coleman Jr., ‘Counsel for the Situation’ and civil rights icon

William Thaddeus Coleman Jr. was called “Bumps” by Coleman Young, Detroit’s first African-American mayor during their stint in the military, and President Clinton honored him with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Attorney Roger Wilkins, aide to presidents Kennedy and Johnson, dies at 85

It took Roger Wilkins a while to settle into the world of journalism, where his famous uncle and father had established enviable reputations, but once there he made his mark and reached deeper precincts of the mainstream media than his predecessors. Wilkins, for some time the sole high-ranking African-American in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, died Sunday, March 26, a day after his 85th birthday, in a care facility in Kensington, Md.

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Filibuster looms for Judge Gorsuch

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil M. Gorsuch has won the vote of three Democrats in the Senate.

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Commentary: A day that will live in infamy, the death of Martin Luther King Jr.

April 4, 1968, is a day that will live in infamy. Most Americans can recall...

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Bobby Sengstacke captured the ordinary and extraordinary with his camera

Photojournalist Robert A. Sengstacke was born with ink in his blood in a family where a newspaper was its stock-in-trade, but Sengstacke converted the ink to film—and sometimes words—to become a noted man behind the camera.

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Dempsey J. Travis, jazz aficionado, finance pioneer and Chicago historian

With the recent appearance of poet and publisher Haki Madhubuti in the city and his message that Bobby Sengstacke, the noted photojournalist, had joined the ancestors, Chicago was definitely on my mind.

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A terrible week for Trump

For nearly eight years, the GOP has been doing everything possible to repeal Obamacare, and they thought that with President Trump making the same complaint, it was a done deal.

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To kill Black men

Ever since the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and the racist rhetoric he spewed, there has been a noticeable increase of white nationalism in the U.S.

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Trump bombed by the FBI

James Comey, the FBI director who jumped the gun on Hillary Clinton’s emails with a letter to Congress days before the presidential election, finally said the bureau is investigating the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

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Judge Gorsuch takes heat on day two

President Trump and the GOP are hoping to salvage at least a scintilla of victory with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice.

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A personal fragment of Derek Walcott

Rightfully, and hopefully passionately, there will be a flurry of encomiums for the poet Derek Walcott, who died March 17 in his native island of St. Lucia, which figured so “phosphorous,” to paraphrase one of his favorite words, in his poetry

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Gwendolyn Brooks, a poet of exquisite words and insight

Some African-American personalities are so legendary that hardly a season passes that their achievements, their contributions, are not invoked.

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Noted poet and literary giant, Mari Evans, passes at 93

In downtown Indianapolis there is a 30-foot mural of Mari Evans, and it almost rises to the height of her poetic acclaim and majesty.

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William Lambert, Detroit’s great Underground Railroad conductor

A few days ago on March 10, there were a number of events commemorating the death of Harriet Tubman, the legendary abolitionist who died on this date in 1913.

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Trump tweets Preet goodbye

President Trump’s Twitter finger struck again last week when he asked 46 U.S. attorneys to resign, including Preet Bharara, who commanded the Southern District of New York.

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Trump’s triple whammy

The Trump White House must be highly agitated after reports that the House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced Wednesday that his panel had received no evidence of wiretapping during the last election campaign.

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Can Trump be removed without impeachment?

With the arrival of the Trump administration we have a state of governance in which no matter where you turn there is either paralysis or uncertainty.

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A ‘Forever Stamp’ for a forever freedom fighter, Dorothy Height

Besides discovering Dorothy Height in practically every history book worth its salt, especially when it comes to prominent African-American women, there was her ever resourceful family to provide a more intimate portrait of her.

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Slaves were immigrants, according to Dr. Carson

Ben Carson appeared to liken slaves to immigrants who choose to come to the United States while addressing employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development Monday.

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Grand dame of Queens, Helen Marshall, passes at 87

Former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall has died.

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Film immortal, Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel was the Jackie Robinson of filmdom as the first African-American actor/actress to win an Oscar

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New DNC leaders face old obstacles

In one way the DNC contest between Thomas Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison was a continuation of the race between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during the recent presidential campaign.

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Trump’s ‘promise’ land

March madness began both in basketball and on Capitol Hill where President Donald Trump delivered his first of eight speeches before the Joint Congress.

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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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