American Slavery Was Born 393 Years Ago Today

As you take your lunch break today in Center City, stroll over to Front and Market where the historic London Coffee House once stood, and celebrate the institution that made America one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world, the institution born exactly 393 years ago on August 20, 1619: the institution of slavery. In fact, it was at that site in downtown Philly, where black men, women and children were bought and sold like cattle and like tools. Read more »

Why Is One of Philly’s Greatest Teachers Being Ignored?

The birth of Edward Wesley Robinson Jr. on April 24, 1918 in Philadelphia laid the foundation for the birth of African consciousness—and the academic excellence of black students—in Philadelphia’s school district. Robinson, who died at age 94 on June 13th, was a historian, educator, professor, author, documentarian, filmmaker, and curriculum specialist who attended Central High School, Virginia State College for Negroes (now Virginia State University), Temple University School of Law, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Read more »

Mitt Romney Doesn’t Care About Black Students

Corporate money men love Philadelphia’s black children so much that they are altruistically fighting to provide an Ivy League-caliber education to every one of them. And they’re doing this despite the interference of the underworked and overpaid fat-cat teachers who have no professional training in education, no official certification in education, and no day-to-day experience in education. And the “poor people’s champion,” Mitt Romney, is selflessly leading that battle for little Jamal and little Keisha, just like his hero MLK used to do. In fact, as he stated in 2007, Romney actually “saw his father march with Martin Luther King Jr.” Umm … I … ah … just did a little fact-checking and found out that I kinda got all of that completely backwards. Let me explain. Read more »

10 Things You Don’t Know About the Trayvon Martin Case

Ever since mainstream media finally decided that the February 26th shooting death of black teen Trayvon Martin was newsworthy, which was about a month after black activists began raising hell, there has been non-stop coverage of this tragic crime. Because there are massive volumes of information and because those volumes are updated on a nearly weekly and sometimes daily basis, there’s a need to compile all the pertinent facts. Read more »

Philly’s Bomb-Dropping, Guns-Blazing, Child-Murdering Day

On May 13, 1985 at 5:20 p.m., a blue and white Pennsylvania State Police helicopter took off from the command post’s flight pad at 63rd and Walnut, flew a few times over 6221 Osage Avenue, and then hovered 60 feet above the two-story house in the black, middle-class West Philadelphia neighborhood. Lt. Frank Powell, chief of Philadelphia’s bomb disposal unit, was holding a canvas bag containing a bomb consisting of two sticks of Tovex TR2 with C-4. After radioing firefighters on the ground and lighting the bomb’s 45-second fuse—and with the official approval of Mayor W. Wilson Goode and at the insistence of Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor—Powell tossed the bomb, at precisely 5:28 p.m., onto a bunker on the roof. Read more »

Would Arizona Police Stop Jennifer Lopez for ID?

Picture this: A-list actress Jennifer Lopez and All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez are hanging out at a Phoenix club, dancing and drinking with friends after leaving their courtside seats a few minutes before the end of the Suns’ 116-83 shellacking of the 76ers. They decide to discreetly slip away from their entourages and the paparazzi to get something to eat at a nearby restaurant. While walking the two blocks to get there, they are stopped by the police and asked for ID. But neither has any because J.Lo’s pocketbook and A-Rod’s wallet are back at the club with their personal assistants. So they are questioned, detained, arrested and then transported to the local INS lock-up where a deportation hearing is scheduled. No way, you say. Way, I say. Although this never really happened, it could if Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 is upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court, which began hearing arguments on April 25th and is expected to reach a decision by the end of June. Read more »

Occupy Philly Activists Go to Trial, Maybe to Jail

On April 26, 2012, several defendants could be sent to prison for what they did outside a government facility on November 29th last year, prior to the police arriving and catching them in the act. Sounds like a gang of terrorists caught red-handed, doesn’t it? But words, like appearances, can be deceiving. These were no terrorists. And they weren’t gangsters either. They weren’t even criminals. They were simply a group of nonviolent and selfless activists who, in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., social reformer Maggie Kuhn, homeless advocate Mitch Snyder, and labor leader Dolores Huerta, did what justice demanded. Read more »

Florida State Attorney Should Prosecute Zimmerman Like She Does Black Kids

In America (which obviously includes Florida), “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.” W.E.B. Du Bois was correct when he wrote that in 1903. And he’d be just as correct 109 years later by replacing the 20th century with the 21st century. That’s why I always say I’m not a lawyer who happens to be a black man. Instead, I’m a black man who just happens to be a lawyer. Accordingly, I view the February 26th shooting death of the stalked and confronted unarmed kid, Trayvon Martin, by the stalking and confronting armed adult, George Zimmerman, as an intentional and racist criminal homicide, not a mere happenstance and spontaneous killing. Therefore, Zimmerman should have been—and still should be—charged with first, not second, degree murder. Read more »

Not Everyone With an Illegal Gun Deserves Jail Time

Most Philadelphians believe that violent crime is the city’s biggest problem. As a result, you might think severe punishment for anyone who illegally possesses a gun—regardless of whether the person committed a separate non-violent crime with it—is part of the solution. Mere unlawful possession, you’d argue, is enough to warrant mandatory imprisonment. No probation. No fine. No community service. No parole without a required minimum jail sentence. Good, you say. Bullshit, I say. Read more »

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