Spice Up Your Life With New Cultural Experiences

Poet and civil rights leader Maya Angelou once said, “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” With that anecdote in mind, imagine how enlightening, educational and inspiring it could be to experience the richness of other cultures — especially with all the racial unrest that we experience in America. In fact, I …

Millennials Create Their Own Expressions of Religion

At Passover seders and in Christian churches this week, families will gather to observe the religious holidays. While some adult children will join in, many will do so out of a sense of obligation rather than practice. More than one-third of all millennials say they are “religiously unaffiliated” today, the highest percentage ever in Pew Research Center polling. It’s not just a rite of passage. Both Gen X and boomers were significantly more religiously affiliated as young adults. So why …

During Black History Month, Experience the Joy of Self-Education

One of my greatest joys over the past couple of years has been engaging in conversations with authors as host of AARP’s Black Community Book Club. From Nikki Giovanni to Terri McMillan to Russell Simmons to Leonard Pitts Jr., it’s been like conversing with living history. In reading these authors’ books and talking with them, it occurs to me how invaluable it is to delve into the knowledge and gifts of people who are enhancing the lives of others. Whether …

Ruby and Maya Remind Us: The Arts Helped Blacks to Survive

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? That poem, among the most famous by Langston Hughes, was written in 1951. A prelude to the civil rights movement, it is among the quintessential examples of how arts …

Food Talks

Ah, the language barrier. No matter how much you’re looking forward to your trip abroad, you can’t ignore that nagging worry about interacting with people who speak a different language – and potential situations ranging from difficult to ego-crushing. Rest assured, however, that no one expects you to speak in full sentences or be able to conjugate verbs. What you should know, even before you even arrive in another country, is how to be polite. “Hello,” “please” and “thank you” …

Boomer Flashback: The 1964 New York World’s Fair

The 1964 New York World’s Fair, which opened on April 22, 1964, and ran for two six-month seasons, was a sprawling showcase of mid-century American culture and technology. Although nearly 52 million people attended the fair, it was a huge financial flop, returning only 19 cents on the dollar to investors.   The fair’s most popular exhibit was GM’s Futurama, which mesmerized nearly 26 million visitors with its 3-D scenes of the “World of Tomorrow.”   Martin Luther King Jr. …