On the night of June 19, 1982, 27-year-old Vincent Chin was celebrating his bachelor party with friends in a Detroit strip club. He got into an altercation with two white men, and both groups were thrown out. The two men tracked down Chin with the help of a third man and brutally beat him with a baseball bat.
As the eyes of America watched the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol July 10, I feel thankful for the Black church and the principled role that it played in bringing a community together at a time that could have led to even greater strife and turmoil.
The more I witness the vast gap between how some folks live in this country, the more I am grateful that I grew up in North Philadelphia with a strong father, mother and family.
Through the din of restaurant conversations while at dinner with friends the other night, a question emerged. It was offered in a hushed tone of shock and disbelief, one woman asking another: “Did you know that Donna is going to marry a Negro?”
They called it Freedom Summer - 10 weeks in 1964 when more than 700 student volunteers from around the country joined organizers and local activists in a historic effort to end the vestiges of racial oppression across the South, including what PBS described as "one of the nation's most viciously racist, segregated states."
Jessye Norman's once-in-a-century voice has carried her from 1960s segregated Augusta, Ga., to the opera houses and recital halls of Europe, Asia and America. Norman tells her extraordinary story in a just-published memoir, Stand Up Straight and Sing!
Younger sports fans may have been shocked to see players from the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat wearing their warmup jerseys inside-out in silent protest against Clippers owner Donald Sterling, after a recording surfaced of a telephone call in which Sterling allegedly told his then-girlfriend not to bring African-American guests to the team's games. Sterling subsequently was banned for life by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Parties aren't always fun, even during the Christmas season. Sometimes late in the evening, when only a few remain, the conversation can become both serious and revealing. It was that way for us last Saturday night.
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