BIRMINGHAM: more than a name of a city in Alabama


It was 50 years ago this week that black men, women, college students, high school students, and elementary students marched in Birmingham, Alabama, in one of the most significant demonstrations against racial inequality at the time. Organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, known as the SCLC, the demonstrations were a powerful expression of ultimate […]

MUNICIPAL BANKRUPTCY: when a city has no prospect for meeting its financial demands


Several municipalities known to us have gone bankrupt.   The first of which I was aware was Bridgeport, Ct., where I worked when I was in grad school in New Haven.  But since moving to Rhode Island the neighboring cities of Central Falls and Woonsocket have followed the same course.   It is a heart-rending experience for […]

INTER-RACIAL: a couple from two different racial backgrounds


Flap is a word that, among other things, means “controversy.”   And that’s just what we discovered  in yesterday’s news.   There was a lot of flap over an advertisment on television.  The culprit?   That nasty, liberal, communistic, socialistic, company called, of all things, General Mills.   They dared to produce an advertisement that featured a beautiful little girl […]

MEMORABLE: not easily forgotten


Friday night we went to see the opening night showing of the new film 42.  It is the story of Jackie Robinson, the first black man recruited into Major League Baseball.  He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the late 40’s. The film is a blunt exposé of the racism which greeted Robinson’s recruitment as […]

SCINTILLA [sin-TIL-uh] : a minute particle, tiny


Scintilla is a Latin word which means a spark.  In its original Latin form, you might apply the word to the act of panning for gold, for instance, in which a tiny spark or sparkle of gold flashes in the midst of dirt from the creek.  That’s the best I can do in terms of its […]

MINSTREL: 19th and 20th century entertainment which mimicked black culture

It was an annual event in my hometown.  The Annual Minstrel Show was a well-attended, highly-appreciated entertainment staged in the auditorium of our local high school.   My memory tells me that nearly everyone in my hometown bought a ticket for one of the three night’s of rollicking, joke-filled, musically challenged productions, featuring some of the […]