Philly icons

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Reggie Bryant: The Trailblazing Broadcaster Who Spoke Truth to Power

“It’s not what you know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know that’s just not so.” That’s how Reggie Bryant would end every […]

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Bennie Swans: The Warrior

When I was born 50 years ago, a young Bennie Swans had already joined the pitched battle for the souls of Philadelphia’s Black folks. His […]

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Charles Bowser: The Ultimate Power Player

From listening to my parents and grandparents wax eloquent about him decades ago, to reading the glowing local newspaper articles about him, to eventually working […]

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Michael Hinson: The Voice in the Hall

“Have you met Michael?” Longtime activist Tyrone Smith asked me this back in 2016 as I was writing about acts of racial discrimination in the […]

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Heroes: Black Philadelphia Icons

When the city erected a statue of Octavius Catto on the apron of City Hall last September, it went up with a jaw-dropping distinction: It […]

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Sadie T.M. Alexander: Philly’s Great Hidden Figure

It’s important to understand that I’m not a native Philadelphian. I was born and raised in a Midwestern city where Black people were supposed to […]

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Marian Anderson: A Voice That Shattered Barriers

Marian Anderson had a special affinity for D-flat because the note was so flattering to her voice. “D-flat made me think of velvet,” she said. […]