January 19, 2016 |
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day has added significance. By the time the national holiday arrives next year, Barack Obama will have only four days left in his tenure as America's first African American president. There is no telling when there will be a second. Ben Carson is fading as a contender for the Republican nomination, and even if he got it, his right-wing positions would cost him many votes among African Americans, who tend to be socially conservative but vote liberal. Among Democrats, up-and-comers like New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker hold the most potential.
October 28, 2015
WORDS HAVE POWER to make you believe, but also to deceive. In 1984 , his brilliant "Big Brother" novel (that in some ways has achieved reality), George Orwell invented Newspeak, a language in which words don't mean what they say. In real life, Orwell fought against opaque, meaningless words he thought discouraged clear thought. If you are pushing your point of view, you want it to sound smart and nice. You want the other guy's position to seem dumb and nasty. That's why abortion activists on both sides frame their positions as being positive: " pro -choice" or " pro -life.
March 12, 2013
Cheltenham is worth every penny As a child raised in East Oak Lane by two Philadelphia schoolteachers, I wanted strong public schools for my children, so my husband and I chose Cheltenham. Twenty years and three children later, my community continues to delight me through its activism and honest dialogue, but most of all because of the people who choose to live here - artists, writers, teachers, professors, scientists - people who are changing the world for the better ("It's 'wonderful,' but taxing," March 3)
January 22, 2013 |
Now that Barack Hussein Obama has placed his hand on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Bible and taken the oath of office for his second term as 44th president of the United States, the clock begins to tick on history. Sure, you could argue that Obama made history when he was sworn in as the nation's first African American president four years ago - and he did. Hope and change. First black president. Post-racial society. Talk about giddy with optimism. Obama stood as the embodiment of everything for which King and the civil-rights movement had cleared the way. Obama's very presence soothed the worn feet of Rosa Parks; justified the Bloody Sunday scar still visible on John Lewis' head; avenged the murders of four little girls in a Birmingham church.
November 12, 2012
By David M. Kennedy Barack Obama made history in 2008. It may now be his fate merely to mark time. Obama's election as the first black president closed a chapter - though surely not the book - in America's long, vexed racial history, just as John F. Kennedy's election amounted to a major cadence in the nation's turbulent religious history. Kennedy proved to be both the first and last Catholic president, in the sense that Catholicism has never since defined political identity as it did for most of the republic's first two centuries.
November 8, 2012 |
Barack Obama has always said it was never about him. It was about us. And in the end, it was. Forget all of the polarization and backbiting. The voter suppression and racist dog whistles. The obsession with polls and the divisive parsing of our nation. On Tuesday, it was our turn. And we used our single most powerful weapon. The vote. Four years ago, I could hardly type the words to express my euphoria when the nation resoundingly placed its future in the hands of its first African American president.
June 20, 2012 |
NEW ORLEANS - The Southern Baptist Convention voted Tuesday to elect its first African American president in one of its biggest steps yet to reconcile the 167-year-old denomination's troubled racial past and appeal to a more diverse group of believers. The Rev. Fred Luter Jr. was unopposed in being elected by thousands of enthusiastic delegates Tuesday at the annual meeting of the nation's largest Protestant denomination in his hometown of New Orleans. Pastor David Crosby of First Baptist New Orleans nominated Luter, calling him a "fire-breathing, miracle-working pastor" who "would likely be a candidate for sainthood if he were Catholic.
April 24, 2012
LeRoy Walker, 93, the first African American president of the U.S. Olympic Committee who attended the Penn Relays for six decades as a coach and referee, died Monday in Durham, N.C. Dr. Walker spent more than 40 years at North Carolina Central, first as track coach and later as chancellor. During his career, he coached eight Olympians who won a total of 11 medals, including back-to-back golds by hurdler Lee Calhoun in 1956 and 1960. Dr. Walker became the first African American coach of the U.S. Olympic men's track and field team in 1976 and led the squad to 22 medals, including six gold.
May 27, 2011
MARC LAMONT Hill's May 25 column ( "Black Pols Vs. Pols Who are Black" ) may be accommodating to "whites," who he suggests may be "uncomfortable" with "race" talk - but he, conveniently, never made the point that there seems to be a double standard when it comes to the African-American vote. For example, it's said that Barack Obama is "everybody's president," not just the president of African-Americans. Yet not a single other president in U.S. history has ever had that standard of representing all voters, from the slave owner George Washington to Bill Clinton, who was president when the Million Man March occurred in 1995.