Will the Church Lead Racial Reconciliation?

With daily media reports of racial and cultural conflicts around the world and here at home, it is well worth noting a recent story about a multiracial group of clergy that has begun work on racial reconciliation in America. It took place with a meeting at the Potter’s House, ministry headquarters of Bishop T.D. Jakes in Dallas. On Jan. 15, the actual birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., pastors from around the country convened in Dallas to discuss …

Charlie Sifford: the Jackie Robinson of Golf

Struggling to break the color barrier in the Professional Golfers Association five decades ago, Charlie Sifford got a tip from Jackie Robinson, who had done the same thing for Major League Baseball. “You can’t be going after these people who call you names with a golf club,” Robinson told him. “If you do that, you’ll ruin it for all of the black players to come.” That was sage advice because Sifford, who passed away on Feb. 3 at age 92 …

Best Retirement Home Ever (for Once-Great Racehorses)

Just like the rest of us, the magnificent thoroughbreds that will be running in the Kentucky Derby eventually will grow old. But unlike us, racehorses don’t have Social Security, Medicare and 401(k) plans to rely on in their retirement years, and they don’t have control over their own fate. In the past, tragically, after their breeding days were over, even some great champions such as 1986 Derby winner Ferdinand have ended their lives in foreign slaughterhouses. But fortunately, thanks to the dedication of …

When Do ‘Preferences’ for Housing Programs Amount to Discrimination?

Many communities have affordable housing programs designed especially for older people on fixed incomes. The idea is to allow them to maintain a good quality of life in a safe, welcoming environment. But what if you have to be a resident of the community to qualify for affordable housing – and the community happens to be 85 percent white? Does that amount to discrimination based on race? >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter Yes, the U.S. Justice Department argues …

Franklin McCain: He Integrated Woolworth’s Lunch Counter

On the afternoon of Feb. 1, 1960, 19-year-old Franklin McCain – accompanied by David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Ezell Blair Jr., three of his North Carolina A&T classmates – walked into an F.W. Woolworth store in Greensboro, N.C. After buying a few small items, he and the others sat down at the lunch counter. When they tried to order coffee, the white waitress refused them. “We don’t serve colored here,” she explained, according to a contemporary New York Times account. “I …

Oldest Woman in NYC Marathon Finishes Race, Dies the Next Day

At 86, distance runner Joy Johnson was a remarkable athlete. A retired gym teacher from the San Jose area who took up jogging at age 56, Johnson competed in scores of races around the country and amassed a string of 25 consecutive finishes in the New York City Marathon – one of the most legendary streaks in the history of recreational running. Two years ago, at 84, she became the oldest finisher ever in that event, clocking a time of …