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Herb Boyd

Stories by Herb

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It’s final: Biden won’t run

Ending many months of speculation, Vice President Joe Biden, with his wife, Jill, and President Barack Obama by his side in the Rose Garden at the White House Wednesday afternoon, told the nation that he will not be a candidate for the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

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Letter written by Malcolm X on sale for $1.25 million

“I have just completed my pilgrimage (Hajj) here to the Holy City of Mecca … which is absolutely forbidden for non-Muslims to even rest their eyes upon,” Malcolm X wrote in 1964 after completing his trip to Mecca.

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Commentary: A gathering of thousands in the nation’s capital

Since I have to teach on Saturdays at the City College of New York, it was not possible for me to attend the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in the nation’s capital.

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Supreme congressman serenaded by Supreme Mary Wilson

Thursday, Oct. 29, two legends—Rep. Charles Rangel and Mary Wilson of the Supremes—will share a momentous occasion: the congressman’s birthday celebration.

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Dr. Charshee McIntyre, a tireless woman warrior and scholar

The recent gathering of thousands to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March sent my thoughts spiraling back to that historic moment, not so much as to recall the euphoria, but to an interview I conducted with Dr. Charshee McIntyre on the question of the role of Black women at the event.

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The Jazz Crusaders: Only Stix Hooper remains

Sunday, Oct. 4, Wilton Felder, a bassist and tenor saxophonist, perhaps best remembered as a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders, died at his home in Whittier, Calif.

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Iconic rebel Grace Lee Boggs dead at 100

In the annals of Detroit’s radical history, Grace Lee Boggs was unique.

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Health care providers appeal for Mumia Abu-Jamal

More than 40 health care providers have signed and delivered an appeal to Pennsylvania state officials, including Gov. Tom Wolf, requesting proper care for Mumia Abu-Jamal and thousands of other inmates infected with hepatitis C.

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Economic woes for Abyssinian Development Corporation

When it rains, it pours—at least that’s the deluge Abyssinian Development Corporation is experiencing nowadays.

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A popular pope

Pope Francis’ six-day, three-city visit to the United States may have either brought divisions closer together or provided the opposing forces enough calm to be comfortable in their separation.

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The sultry and magnificent Pearl Bailey

After Pope Francis did New York City, his next stop was Philadelphia, where he was serenaded by the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin.

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Obama and Putin—stalemate

Call it poker, chess or political arm wrestling.

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Bush’s ‘free stuff’ sparks reaction

Bush’s ‘free stuff’ sparks reaction.

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Dr. Carson inflames Muslim community

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker shot his wad of cash and bowed out of the presidential race Monday.

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Tribute for African internationalist Elombe Brath at Schomburg

Last weekend a delegation of activists met with President Hage Gottfried Geingob of Namibia.

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HistoryMakers back in town and ‘back to school’

HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African-American video and oral history archive, is once again in New York City.

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Tuskegee Airman Calvin Spann, a ‘Red Tail’ in the sunset

A couple of weeks ago, while doing research on Frank Petersen, the first African-American Marine pilot, Jesse Brown was mentioned because it was his heroic combat in the air that inspired Petersen.

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Obama praises role of Black women in civil rights

A major speech by President Barack Obama can be wide-ranging, touching on a shopping list of topics, or it can be precisely tailored to a single issue.

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DA thwarted in attempt to sideline Nick Hillary

Oral “Nick” Hillary, accused of murdering a 12-year-old white boy in Potsdam, N.Y., in 2011, is out on bail after being arrested and charged with second-degree criminal contempt.

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Our common home and Pope Francis

From Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical Letter, “Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home,” we have a template on what may be the content of his discussions during his visit to the U.S.

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Freedom fighter Safiya Bukhari and a voice for political prisoners

Two things recently brought back memories of Safiya Bukhari: the release of Stanley Nelson’s film on the Black Panther Party and the various commemorations surrounding the uprising in Attica prison in 1971.

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Dr. William Grier, co-author of ‘Black Rage,’ dead at 89

At the peak of David Alan Grier’s popularity as a cast member of the television show “In Living Color,” it was rarely mentioned that he was the son of noted psychiatrist William Grier.

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Civil rights icon Amelia Boynton Robinson passes at 104

Back in June, when Dr. Amelia Boynton Robinson appeared at the United Palace House of Inspiration in Washington Heights, she regaled the audience with historical memories, none more exhilarating than her own legendary place in the Civil Rights Movement.

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The Marines’ first Black pilot, Frank E. Petersen Jr.

It took years for the nation to recognize the heroic achievements of the Tuskegee Airmen, and it’s taken even longer to know of the breakthrough made by Frank E. Petersen Jr. With Petersen joining the ancestors Aug. 25 at age 83, there has been a number of obituaries in the mainstream press.

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Another executive order from Obama

When President Barack Obama told union workers during his Labor Day speech in Boston on Monday that his executive order will require federal contractors to extend the number of paid sick leave days, there was sustained applause.

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Anne Spencer, often forgotten poet of the Harlem Renaissance

Of the many heralded poets and writers of the fabled Harlem Renaissance, Anne Spencer is among the least known.

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Famed Rep. Louis Stokes dead at 90

Ironies abound in the remarkable life and legacy of Louis Stokes.

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Toni Parks-Parsons, daughter of Gordon Parks, dead at 74

In several ways, Toni Parks-Parsons personified her famous father, Gordon Parks. She was a photographer, an artist and a musician deeply committed to African-American life and culture. Parks-Parsons died Aug. 24 in England.

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First New York showing for Uwi Twins

The Uwi twins (pronounced “oo-wie”), Rueben and Levi, are looking forward to their first New York Fashion Week show.

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Jazzmobile ends season with a boom

In words and music, Eli Fountain and the Percussion Discussion delivered the importance of having music and arts programs as permanent fixtures in the city’s educational curriculum.

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Obama in the Arctic

President Barack Obama addressed the issue of climate change with unusual force and vigor Monday from Alaska, stating that unless the nations of the planet act more aggressively, there will be “more drought.

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Ironclad Iran deal

Having secured the 34th Senate vote, President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran is all but ironclad.

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Carl B. Stokes, Cleveland’s first Black mayor

The death of Louis Stokes last week brought back memories of his brother Carl. And because their amazing lives were so often intertwined, it is fitting that this week’s “Classroom” is devoted to Carl, the first African-American mayor of Cleveland.

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GoFundMe takes down Black man’s campaign

Although GoFundMe, the crowdfunding site, has no reservations about proudly announcing that hundreds and thousands of people have raised more than $1 billion from 16 million donors, it seems a bit reluctant to talk about a campaign it recently took down.

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Blacks still devastated by hurricane aftermath

An advisory from the White House Tuesday indicated that President Barack Obama will be in New Orleans Thursday for the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that devastated the region.

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Brook Stephenson, emerging author, dead at 41

Many of Brook Stephenson’s countless friends learned too late of the gathering in his name Thursday at McNally Jackson Bookstore in lower Manhattan.

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Julian Bond, civil rights legend, dead at 75

With the passing of Julian Bond Saturday at age 75 in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., the flood of tributes and expressions of sentiments is a testament to his remarkable service, as are the numerous honors bestowed upon him as a warrior for justice and equality.

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RAILROADED: College Soccer Coach Seeks Justice

It’s all too real for Oral “Nick” Hillary, a former soccer star and coach, who faces second-degree murder charges in the death of Garrett Phillips, the son of Hillary’s ex-girlfriend Tandy Cyrus.

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Captain Hugh Mulzac, distinguished merchant marine and activist

It is always a pleasure when a reader wants to know something more about a person mentioned in the Classroom.

Mumia’s hepatitis C and lawsuit

During his long and debilitating incarceration, Mumia Abu-Jamal has learned a lot about the penal institution and the reforms necessary to improve the system.

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Schumer’s no nuke deal

The threat that Sen. Chuck Schumer will vote “no” on the Obama administration’s nuke deal with Iran has created alarm within the Democratic ranks.

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Mumia’s hepatitis C and lawsuit

During his long and debilitating incarceration, Mumia Abu-Jamal has learned a lot about the penal institution and the reforms necessary to improve the system.

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Biden’s bid?

If there’s an ounce of truth to rumors that Vice President Joe Biden is quietly meeting with folks who seem determined to draft him for another presidential run, then we will have to wait to see if it can be marinated into a pound of commitment.

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Three-bass hit in Harlem

It’s a great day in Harlem when in a few days you can encounter three major jazz musicians, more specifically three Hall of Fame bass players—Reggie Workman, Mickey Bass and Larry Ridley.

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Activist entrepreneur Una G. Mulzac

Una G. Mulzac came to mind last week when it was announced that Revolution Books was opening a store in Harlem.

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Voting rights at 50 and endangered

“Today is a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield.

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Obama’s Clean Power Plan

When President Barack Obama announced his Clean Power Plan, there were several long outbursts of applause in the White House Monday, none more sustained than when he remarked that the “plan [was] two years in the making, and the single most important step America has ever taken in the fight against global climate change.”

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Disclose Pantaleo’s records, judge rules

If a police officer has a record of substantiated misconduct, should this information be made available to the public? Yes, according to State Supreme Court Justice Alice Schlesinger.

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Poet, playwright, teacher and director Owen Dodson

During an appearance on a panel last Saturday at the Schomburg Center, I noticed a photo of Owen Dodson on the wall in the place where the American Negro Theater was prominent for Black actors 75 years ago. Dodson’s photo is there because one of his plays, “Garden of Time,” based on the myth of Medea and Jason, was produced there in 1945.

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Dr. Claudia Alexander, a pioneering astrophysicist

Dr. Claudia Alexander, whose career in physics and aeronautical engineering was inspired by the research of Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) in circular orbits, would have been excited to learn that NASA announced Thursday the discovery of exoplanet Kepler-452b that is a “close cousin” of Earth, thanks to the Kepler Space Telescope.