October 11, 2012 |
When Gallup asked Americans to identify the top challenge facing the country in 1964, 60 percent named racial issues. In 2012, 1 percent picked race. These findings reflect the great distance America has traveled. In the current issue of the American Interest, Walter Russell Mead credits a post-civil rights "Compromise of 1977," encompassing such policies as race-conscious university admissions and the Voting Rights Act, which helped build a black middle class and boost minority representation in government.
May 28, 2012
By Charles Lane Good news for Memorial Day weekend: Since peaking at a national average of $3.93 on April 5, the price of regular gasoline has fallen almost 25 cents a gallon. That's like a $25 billion tax cut for consumers. In fact, gas is cheaper now than it was a year ago. Futures markets are signaling further possible declines. All hail President Obama! Clearly his brilliant energy policy has gotten results, and fast. Don't believe it? I'm just applying the logic of Republican rhetoric, according to which Obama caused the pre-April 5 surge in gas prices.
July 24, 2011
A Life of Reinvention Viking. 608 pp. $30 Reviewed by Kia Gregory In his eulogy for Malcolm X, noted actor and activist Ossie Davis offered something to consider for those who would reduce his legacy to nothing more than fiery demagoguery, asking rhetorically: Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? In the brutal and bloody racial tumult of Jim Crow, when blacks, especially black men, were denied every human dignity, Malcolm X stood for them, as Davis declared that day in 1965, as a symbol for "our manhood, our living, black manhood.
September 12, 2010
Here in the nation's capital, something remarkable has happened: Students in the public schools, long regarded as among the nation's worst, have shown dramatic improvement on standardized tests over the last few years. Here's something even more remarkable: Local voters seem indifferent, if not hostile, to the reforms that have produced those gains. If anything points to the difficulty of changing the nation's underperforming classrooms, the controversy surrounding Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee does.
December 10, 2008 |
In the almost half-century in which we have gone from George Wallace to Barack Obama, America has another, less hopeful story to tell about racial progress. In 1965, a young assistant secretary of labor named Daniel Patrick Moynihan stumbled upon data that showed a rise in the number of black single mothers. As he wrote in a now-famous report for the Johnson administration, the growth in illegitimacy, as it was called then, coincided with a decline in black male unemployment. Strangely, black men were joining the labor force more but marrying - and fathering - less.
February 29, 2008 |
Former President Bill Clinton yesterday looked back 40 years to the landmark federal commission that investigated urban riots in the 1960s and warned that persistent racial discrimination "leaves in its wake a quieter riot of disillusion and despair. " In his keynote address at "Kerner Plus 40," a University of Pennsylvania-hosted symposium on the legacy of the 1968 National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder (known as the Kerner Commission because its chairman was Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner)
December 10, 2007 |
A recent poll has found that 61 percent of black Americans believe that the values of poor blacks have become "more different" from the values of middle-class blacks in recent years. With the possible exception of Bill O'Reilly - who professed astonishment at the good manners of black patrons at a Harlem restaurant - no one should be surprised at those findings. There have long been two Americas - both black. One is inhabited by the accomplished, the educated, the pragmatic. The other is the home of the marginalized, the undereducated, the incarcerated.
July 27, 2006 |
With more than 200,000 members, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is the largest sorority for black women in the world. Sorors are active well after graduation, and famous Deltas include educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, and singer Aretha Franklin. Today, close to 16,000 Deltas will be in town for the sorority's 48th annual convention, which will feature workshops on leadership, economic development and political awareness. Like all black fraternities and sororities, Delta Sigma Theta's social network extends beyond its membership to include the black middle class in nearly every American city.
April 25, 2006 |
Rotan E. Lee, 57, a prominent Philadelphia lawyer and president of the city's Board of Education in the 1990s, died of heart failure yesterday as an ambulance was rushing him to Lankenau Hospital. Mr. Lee, who also served as chairman of the board overseeing the Philadelphia Gas Works, was remembered by friends as a larger-than-life figure, a physically imposing man with a wide-ranging intellect and deep love of the English language. "He has a fabulous way of spinning a tale; he could tie together Wilt Chamberlain, jazz music, and the fall of Rome in a few paragraphs and make you look at them all from a new angle," said Seth Williams, the city's inspector general, who regarded Mr. Lee as a mentor.
April 12, 2006 |
In the last two days, the investigation of gang-rape allegations against Duke University's lacrosse team has taken two dramatic turns. First, test results showed that no DNA from the white players was found on the alleged victim, an African American woman who had danced at a team party. Or so lawyers for team members said Monday. Then yesterday, the district attorney said that he was not dropping his investigation. The case has roiled the university and its city, Durham, N.C., with issues of race, class and gender.