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Herb Boyd

Stories by Herb

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Rep. Joseph H. Rainey, a prominent Reconstruction leader

America’s simmering discord, its factions of democracy and intolerance ever at odds, exploded last week in mob violence at the Capitol Building.

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Trump impeached again!

One week after Trump fomented an insurrection on Capitol Hill, the House Representatives voted to impeach him.

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A second impeachment of Trump looms

A second impeachment of Trump looms

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Zelia Page Breaux: A music teacher who mentored Ralph Ellison

One of the longest entries in “The Achieving Black Woman in Oklahoma, Past and Present” edited by Etta Perkins, Christine Pappas and R. Darcy is on Zelia Page Breaux (1880-1956).

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Rev. Warnock from pulpit to Senate chamber

Early Wednesday morning was a glorious one for the Rev. Raphael Warnock.

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Trump has spurred an insurrection in the nation’s capital

Trump has spurred an insurrection in the nation’s capital

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More turmoil from Trump

More turmoil from Trump

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Government uncertainty into January

All of the issues and concerns that have plagued the nation’s democratic process may not end in January, as many Americans have been hoping.

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Dr. Oliver Cromwell Cox, a cogent arbiter of class, race and caste

If nothing else, Isabel Wilkerson’s bestseller Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, has resurrected a longstanding debate among scholars about the relevance of the term, particularly when caste was defined by the sociologist Oliver Cromwell Cox.

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Aileen Cole Stewart, a Black nurse during WW I and the 1918 pandemic

A little more than a century ago in 1918, the same year the U.S. entered World War II, the Spanish influenza swept across the nation like it’s doing today.

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Barr batters Trump

If Trump needed a final decisive blow to his attempts to overturn the election, it was delivered by Attorney General William Barr.

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Charley Pride, from sharecropper to chart topper, dead at 86

It’s not every man who derives inspiration from both Jackie Robinson and the Grand Ole Opry, but Charley Pride did. Eventually he set aside his glove and baseball dreams, picked up his guitar and sang himself into a singular niche of American culture.

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Book review: ‘The Dead Are Arising—The Life of Malcolm X’

Each spring at City College of New York for 15 years, I have taught a course on the life and legacy of Malcolm X.

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Elizabeth Carter Brooks, architect and women’s club leader

In recent columns male African American architects such as Vertner Handy and George Washington Foster have been featured.

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Hear us roar, Black women demand

Black women, who played such a decisive role in the Biden-Harris victory, are putting pressure on the president-elect to live up to his promise

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Black architectural forerunner, George Washington Foster, Jr.

Several years ago after featuring the famed architect Vertner Tandy in this column, we promised to profile his partner one day.

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Virginia Proctor Powell Florence, her degree in library science a first for a Black woman

There are hundreds of notable African American women librarians in the nation’s history, including Jean Blackwell Hutson, Regina Anderson Andrews, Dorothy Porter Wesley and Clara Stanton Jones, all of whom have been featured in this column.

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Trump has Georgia on his mind

With his own chances of upending the election results out of reach, Trump remains a formidable politician in play as he heads to Georgia.

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Harun Kofi Wangara (Harold G. Lawrence), a gifted teacher and historian

A week or so ago, while researching the life and times of the late poet Naomi Long Madgett, I came across the name of Harold Lawrence

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A one-two punch staggers Trump’s quests

Michigan and General Motors delivered a one-two punch to Trump, hurting him on global warming and his determination to delay the increasingly dim prospects of flipping the Midwestern state.

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Rather than conceding, Trump incites

There were no events on Trump’s schedule for Tuesday, Nov. 17, but his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is seeking to join the team to stop Pennsylvania from certifying a projected victory of Joe Biden. His request comes in the wake of other lawyers on the lawsuit quitting.

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Margaret Danner, a poet who framed wonderful word structures

Asked to name a Black woman poet from Chicago, Gwendolyn Brooks is the usual response.

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Gov. Cuomo takes his daily reports to church

After praising him for his leadership, calling him a “people’s governor with a sensible approach,” the Rev. Michael Livingston, the pastor of Riverside Church, turned his pulpit over to Gov. Cuomo on Sunday, who used a metaphor of a low tide to illustrate how devastated the nation has been for the last eight months of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Gov. Cuomo takes his daily reports to church

Gov. Cuomo takes his daily reports to church

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Noted poet laureate of Detroit, Naomi Long Madgett, dead at 97

Amid the illustrious women listed on the cover of Haki Madhubuti’s book “Taught by Women” is Naomi Long Madgett.

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James P. Ball, a Black pacesetter in photography

Many years before Gordon Parks, and even James Van Der Zee set their cameras and focused their lens on Black life, James Presley Ball had already captured treasured moments in his daguerreotype photography.

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Black vote the win(d) under Biden’s wings

What Rep. James Clyburn and Black voters in South Carolina started by igniting and salvaging Joe Biden’s presidential dream, the rest of the Black electorate finished.

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Josephine Ruffin, Women’s Club Pioneer

Few books chronicling African American history are without at least a mention of Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin.

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Biden needs the Black vote to succeed

Like so much of 2020, the presidential race is a wait and see proposition.

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Queens King of politics, Archie Spigner, dead at 92

It was commonly said among political pundits that Archie Spigner was to Queens what former Representative Charles Rangel was to Harlem.

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Book review: ‘Taught by Women: Poems as Resistance Language’

“Helen Maxine,” Haki Madhubuti’s poem dedicated to his mother, may not be the exact center but it’s certainly the heart of “Taught by Women,” his latest book of poetry.

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Trump and the courts

Amid Trump’s barrage of lies, he has also found moments to gloat as his nominee Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed to the Court, by a 52-48 partisan vote, and hearing his other Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh charge that state courts “do not have a blank check to rewrite election laws for federal elections.”

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Clement Morgan, a Harvard first, attorney and activist

There is a classic photograph of 12 men, seemingly all Black, posing in front of what appears to be either Niagara Falls or a replicated background.

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Alice Dunnigan, first Black female reporter to cover the White House

During a recent call from a young journalist our discussion touched on the history of Black women in the profession and I was reminded of a pacesetter who is seldom mentioned—Alice Allison Dunnigan.

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Trump v. Ben Sasse and the last debate

As the presidential election nears the finish line with less than two weeks in the race, Democrats may be getting a shocking October surprise as Trump rants against fellow Republicans.

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Frederick C. Tillis, master musician, teacher and college administrator

Last week at the University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center a centenary tribute for Dr. Yusef Lateef (1920-2013) was a multidimensional event, including musical performances, reflections, videos, and other artistic presentations in keeping with Lateef’s enormously creative life.

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Trump’s moves to count us out

With or without the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Trump is getting what he wants and needs, even if he doesn’t deserve it.

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Beloved First Lady Joyce Dinkins, passes at 89

Whenever former Mayor David Dinkins mentioned his wife, Joyce, he referred to her as his beautiful bride, and she was indeed beautiful and bountiful too.

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An imperious Trump imperils the nation

Even as more people in his orbit test positive for the coronavirus, Trump relentlessly downplays the pandemic and his erratic behavior since his release from the hospital is cause for further alarm as the nation spins from crisis to crisis.

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Patrick Henry Reason, noted engraver and lithographer

Patrick Henry Reason was one of America’s earliest engravers and lithographers who was also a devout abolitionist and a leader of a fraternal order.

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Lois Mailou Jones: Visionary artist with a global perspective

When acclaim is dispensed for African American artists, Lois Mailou Jones, for the more perceptive chroniclers, is usually included, and more than just a footnot

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A debacle, not a debate

A debacle is about the best way to summarize the first debate between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

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James Armistead Lafayette, great American spy during the Revolutionary War

Among the least known facts about the American Revolutionary War is the role of spies, and this important fact is buried even further when a Black man or woman risked their lives in this endeavor.

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Trump and the Republican women

Two things seem to have the most attention from Trump as we enter the last 40 or so days until the election—a Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Cindy McCain’s endorsement of Joe Biden.

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Stanley Crouch—A Writer Hailed and Assailed

“I usually have no more interest in memorial celebrations than I have in funerals, since both bring out the hysterical nature of sentimentality, allow some to invent relationships and concerns they never had, and others to breathe more easily if an honest person will no longer be able to bear witness to their own lies.” - Stanley Crouch

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Lt. Colonel Charity Adams Earley, a distinguished WAC commander

When the man in the Oval Office impugned the war dead, calling them “suckers” and “losers,” it’s easy to recall the countless number of brave men and women who sacrificed their lives in the fight against an enemy.

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Trump gloats on the Gulf States deal as he loses favor in US Midwest

Lots of fanfare and whoop-de-doo from Trump as two Gulf States—Bahrain and the UAE—signed an agreement Tuesday, Sept. 15, to normalize their relations with Israel.

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Trump disparages the war dead

When you have lied and defamed people as much as Trump has, it’s easy to believe the current reports that he privately disparaged the war dead, calling the deceased troops “suckers” and “losers.”

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Judge William Hastie, the first Black federal judge

Last week we featured Judge Constance Baker Motley and with the focus now on Judge William Henry Hastie Jr. we feel there is both gender and judicial balance.

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Trump trips in Kenosha

For a Democratic governor and for the mayor of Kenosha, Wisconsin to ask Trump to reconsider his visit is like extending him an open invitation.

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