Civil Rights Giant Julian Bond Never Stopped Giving

President Obama described him as a “hero” who “helped changed this country for the better.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson called him a “leader with strength, character.” NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock said he “inspired a generation of civil rights leaders.”  Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, where he taught history for many years, called him a beloved retired professor who “shaped the course of history through his life and work.” Visit AARP Black Community » How ever you choose to describe …

Alpha Phi Alpha Developing Future Leaders

I had the honor this past weekend of attending the Alpha Phi Alpha Eastern Region Leadership Development Institute’s Ecumenical and Awards Program. The program is designed to equip young African American males, ages 15 to 19, with leadership skills. This year’s theme was “Leadership: Learning, Leading and Leveraging.” The program was on the campus of Howard University, in Washington, D.C. The young men, called ambassadors, one of whom was my cousin, were from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. They participated …

Five Good Reasons to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Can you imagine the looks on their faces in the audience when abolitionist Frederick Douglass, speaking at a commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, asked the question, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?” Visit AARP Black Community >> Many historians proclaim that speech of July 5, 1852, called “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,” to have been among Douglass’ greatest orations. Pointing out the hypocrisy of owning slaves while celebrating independence, …

Black Press Still Pleading the Cause for African Americans

Growing up in Philadelphia, I remember my father always stopping at the corner store for a copy of the Philadelphia Tribune, our black newspaper. It was my go-to source for school papers and other projects. You could always find it on the coffee table of our home and at the homes of many of our neighbors. Today, the advent of social media, phone cameras and 21st-century technology are often credited for the exposure of police shootings of unarmed black men …

Three Simple Lifesaving Strategies for Good Health

Updated May 4, 2015 A recent survey conducted by AARP found that the top concern on the minds of African Americans over 50 is staying healthy. With that in mind, I want to spotlight health disparities in the black community and how we can stay healthier and live longer. According to the CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report — United States, 2013, here are some of the disparities: African American adults develop diabetes at twice the rate of white adults. African Americans …

Remembering Willie T. Barrow, ‘the Little Warrior’

Just last year I wrote about the Rev. Willie T. Barrow, nicknamed the Little Warrior, as an example of seasoned civil rights leaders who chose to stay in the battle instead of retiring. Receiving an award, she once said, “At the age of 89 years, I’m still working. The good Lord is not through with me yet.” Barrow, a veteran foot soldier for civil rights, passed away March 12 at the age of 90. The field organizer for the Rev. …