August 25, 2014 |
A child struggling for breath after a nerve-gas attack; a nurse attending to victims of barrel bombs; the tears of a Syrian doctor after a missile destroyed his hospital. Such are the images that haunt the days and nights of Rim Albezem, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), a humanitarian-aid group of medical professionals of Syrian descent. "People have the capacity to be very, very monstrous," Albezem said Tuesday, the same day Islamic State extremists released a video depicting the decapitation of American journalist James Foley, who was abducted in Syria two years ago. SAMS wants to be an antidote, said Albezem, 46. "It shows the capacity for good.
August 1, 2014 |
AT 16, KAREN Asper-Jordan went off to the picket line as part of the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters, the Philadelphia civil-rights group that helped lead the efforts to desegregate Girard College. Forty-nine years later, after an event last night inside Reading Terminal Market aimed at promoting a dialogue about race, Asper-Jordan said that she learned how much she's grown since childhood. And that she, too, had some stereotypes that have to be "broken down. " "This dialogue that we have here makes us all think," said Asper-Jordan, 65. "And it makes us evaluate ourselves and our own thought processes.
July 29, 2014 |
FOR CELESTE A. Morello, a local historian who has applied for historical markers at various sites in the area for two decades, Old St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, in Society Hill, had the significance worthy of such an honor: It's the oldest Roman Catholic church in Philadelphia. The problem was, no one had prepared the in-depth paperwork. So, with the blessings of the church's pastor, that's exactly what she set out to do before the Dec. 1 deadline. "Because it needed it," said Morello, 56, of Norristown.
July 24, 2014 |
Jason Allen would like to spend the summer reaching out to the community, organizing exhibits, tours, and special programs that tell the history of Camden County. But lately, the executive director of the Camden County Historical Society has been dealing more pressing needs: rehabbing the organization's deteriorating building complex in Camden. A new roof is desperately needed for Pomona Hall, an 18th-century plantation house, and that site, along with the adjacent Camden County Museum, is awaiting about $150,000 in repairs to fix water damage caused by leaking pipes.
July 10, 2014 |
HE WAS Martin Luther King one day, Malcolm X another, Jackie Robinson the day after that. Nearly 100 years before each man carved his indelible mark on the tree of American history, Octavius V. Catto hacked away at it, as well, blazing a zealot's trail amid the dangerously racist backdrop of post-Civil War Philadelphia. His assassination at age 32, on the day his exhaustive voting rights efforts flipped the city's corrupt political system upside down, only emphasized the messianic impact he had on his people and his times.
May 12, 2014 |
One thing was clear: Keri White was ready for city life along the Northeast corridor. She was definitely not keen on moving to Arkansas, where her husband's early roots were. And after his days in law school and hers as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where they met, both were ready for a change. "So we considered several cities and decided on Philadelphia, although neither of us even knew the city," said Matt White, who began applying for jobs with law firms here.
March 18, 2014 |
RECASTING the overarching narrative that - outside of sports and music - black men and boys are assets vs. a drain on society is a radical one, based on invisible truths that are no less real. This is the apparent goal of the White House's recent My Brother's Keeper initiative. However, there is another challenging truth that makes this bold civic strategy more complex: The reason African-Americans are in this country at all is because our black ancestors were also highly valuable assets, literally.
March 2, 2014 |
When he came to work in January, Jason Allen got a chilly reception. A boiler pump providing heat for the Camden County Historical Society building complex in Camden had broken down during the holiday break as outside temperatures plummeted to single digits. Allen, the society's executive director, quickly called in a contractor, who restored the heat but unintentionally set in motion an even bigger problem that will end up costing about $100,000. Frozen water pipes thawed, then sprouted leaks at couplings in ceilings and walls over the next few days - first in the Camden County Museum, then in the Charles S. Boyer Building, where the Richard Hineline Library and administrative offices are located, and later in Pomona Hall, an 18th-century plantation house.
February 12, 2014 |
Page Talbott, a museum and exhibition consultant, curator, and author, has been named president and chief executive of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the society's board of councilors announced Monday. Talbott, 63, has been acting head of the society since April 2013, when former president Kim Sajet departed to become head of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Bruce Fenton, chairman of the society's board, said he is "thrilled" that Talbott will take over, noting she has "worked closely with historic societies and organizations across the region" for four decades.
January 19, 2014 |
As a breed, Hungarian pianists are often so fiercely individual that the best of them project a distinctive sound world all their own. So it was with Dénes Várjon, whose local debut Thursday at the American Philosophical Society was a configuration of repertoire whose components weren't unknown but converged into an overall experience that went to harrowing places. The key piece at this Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert was Bartok's early-period, little-known Two Elegies , one of his most unfiltered expressionistic works, written after the demise of his relationship with violinist Stefi Geyer.