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By Joseph Orosco (July 28, 2021) I was listening to the interview with Questlove on NPR the other day.  He was talking about the new documentary he produced (Summer of Soul) on the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969 and discussing the performance of the group, The Fifth Dimension.  The Fifth Dimension, for me, is always ..
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By Joseph Orosco (July 7, 2021) During the Occpy Wall Street, groups of activists organized a spaced called the people’s library.  Thousands of books and magazine were organized to be available for free to whomever wanted to come to the encampment and find literature and radical scholarship that could help them make sense of Occupy ..
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By Joseph Orosco (June 27, 2020) Dear Commissioners Augerot, Malone, and Jaramillo: This June, you issued a statement in response to the historic protests across the globe reacting to the killing of George Floyd.  You recognized that communities were gathering together to “give voice to the centuries of inequality, exploitation and abuse suffered by Black ..
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State police officers during a “Reopen Virginia” rally around Capitol Square in Richmond on April 22, 2020. Getty/Ryan M. Kelly / AFP Shauna Shames, Rutgers University and Amy Atchison, Valparaiso University Dystopian fiction is hot. Sales of George Orwell’s “1984” and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” have skyrocketed since 2016. Young adult dystopias – for ..
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By Mark Naison (June 15, 2020) Right now, your Black sisters and brothers are depending on you to make this country a safer place for them to live, work and raise their children. That can only happen if white people hold other white people accountable for behavior which makes Black people feel isolated, stressed out, ..
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By Louis Colombo (June 9, 2020) What’s striking about Democratic proposals for police reform, aside from the awful optics provided by Pelosi and Schumer (best forgotten), is that proposals that would have seemed to most people pretty bold and forward looking a few weeks are already being met by charges that they don’t go far ..
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By Mark Naison (June 9, 2020) If we want to have a society where life expectancy and infant mortality are not at the bottom of advanced nations, and where 50% of the wealth doesn’t accrue to the top 1 percent, we have to gradually shift public funds from prisons and policing to education, health care, ..
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By Teka Lark (June 8, 2020) During WW2, over 127,000 Japanese Americans were put into internment camps. The Japanese American community lost $400 million, which would be $5 billion in today’s money. I don’t give a damn if Japanese Americans got a pathetic amount of reparations (if they were still alive), you never recover from ..
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  By Joseph Orosco (June 3, 2020) The past week has seen an explosion of urban uprising that has not been experienced in the US in decades. Almost 5000 people have been arrested nationwide in protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd at the hand of police in Minneapolis. What is unique about this ..
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(Photo by Heather Mount, @heathermount) By S. (June 2, 2020) A number of thoughtful friends have reached out to ask me how I’m doing in the wake of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Christian Cooper and the riots that followed. Short answer: I’m optimistic. Longer answer: 20 years ago Amadou Diallo was murdered by the ..
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By Mark Naison (May 30, 2020) As an historian, I am am hardly surprised at the uprisings taking place in cities throughout the country. The murder of George Floyd pushed people filled with rage at their position in Trump’s America over the edge. It is not just that repeated murders of unarmed Black men and ..
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