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Whatever Happened to Our Black Neighborhoods?

Something tragic happened to the old black neighborhoods where I grew up in the 60’s. In those days, most of the businesses up and down 31st and 35th Streets, from King Dr. (South Park) to Michigan were owned by our neighbors. There was a drycleaner and a hardware store, both owned by the parents of kids I went to school with. The Griffins owned the funeral home on 33rd Street.

On warm summer mornings, we’d sit on the stomp in front of our house and watch the watermelon man go by on his horsedrawn wagon,

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Anybody Remember Typewriters?

My 27 year-old daughter and I had a ball laughing at how my generation had to use manual typewriters for our high school and college term papers. I thrilled her with stories of hundreds of balled up papers tossed on the floor near the trashcan. These papers boasted mistakes, lumpy whited-out corrections, and strikeovers warranting me to have to start all over again. I described all-night typing sessions, pumped up on “No Doze”, while I slaved over a paper that was due the next morning.

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Rosa Parks As Much Malcolm X as Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this Black History day, new book, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” by Jeanne Theoharis, a Brooklyn College professor shows Rosa Parks as much Malcolm X as she was Martin Luther King Jr.

The book, reviewed by New York Times writer, Charles M. Blow is on my list of books to read this month.

In the book, Rosa Parks states in her own words, “I had felt for a long time, that if I was ever told to get up so a white person could sit, I would refuse to do so.”

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Let’s Deglamorize D’Jango for Black History Month

It’s a cinch that hundreds of thousands of teens have seen D’Jango, the fictionalized account of slavery, and have begun to glamourize Jamie Foxx’s character. Therefore, D’Jango seems like a good place to start the conversation with black children about Black History month. Let’s begin the discussion with, there were no D’Jango actions back then that didn’t go unpunished.

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