Category Archives: Martin Luther King

The King is Dead — Long Live the King!

I can’t let this day pass without saying something about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr! In the Decisive Decade (the 1960s), Black leader after Black leader was assassinated, but this is the assassination that made it into my … Continue reading

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The “new” Jim Crow is as old as the Union

Ever have a “Eureka!” moment?  During my legal research in the early 1980’s, I came across something that, beyond a reasonable doubt, confirmed what people had been talking about without much evidence, beyond the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, … Continue reading

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A Bigger By Any Other Name

Bigger Thomas, although a fictional character, haunts the imagination of white folk.  Richard Wright’s Native Son, where we meet Bigger Thomas, was published in 1940.  Benjamin Mays, in eulogizing the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 28 years later after … Continue reading

Posted in Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass, crime, ezwwaters, James Baldwin, Justice Chronicles, Lest We Forget, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Murder, race, raising black boys, Streets of Rage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Me and Malcolm X’s Murderer

On this day in American history, Malcolm X was murdered.  I was four years of age.  Fourteen years later, I would meet Malcolm X’s killer.  The first thought that crossed my mind: He, Thomas Hagan, is unremarkable.  And then: What … Continue reading

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“Final” Touches on The Black Blood of Poetry

Early this morning I put the “final” touches on my title poem, “The Black Blood of Poetry.” I wasn’t going to post it, but it is timely, and I’d rather not wait until the collection is published to put this … Continue reading

Posted in Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass, crime, James Baldwin, Lest We Forget, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Murder, Nation of Islam, Poetry, Politics, race, raising black boys, Revolution, Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats, Sonny's Blues, Streets of Rage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ABRACADABRA! Or Notes on the War on Crime, Redux

In 1989 I wrote an award-winning essay, “ABRACADABRA! Or Notes on the War on Crime.” In it I mentioned those magic words crimefighting politicians would utter as the solution to the “crime problem”: “more police, more prisons, longer prison terms.” … Continue reading

Posted in crime, Justice Chronicles, Martin Luther King, police-involved killing, Politics, race, raising black boys, Streets of Rage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fires This Time

Last year, 2019, we marked 400 years since Africans were brought to Virginia and America’s “peculiar institution” took root. Since then, in the annals of American history, there has been systematic oppression and brutality against the descendants of Africans in … Continue reading

Posted in being a teenager, Black patriotism, James Baldwin, Justice Chronicles, juveniles, Lest We Forget, Martin Luther King, police involved shooting, police-involved killing, Politics, race, raising black boys, Relationships, Revolution, Slavery, Streets of Rage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading About Dreaming on the #2 Train

I am on a #2 train, heading uptown.  The train is delayed in the station.  An announcement: “A train in front of this one is having problems closing its doors.”  So we wait.  Recently, there was a fare hike.  It … Continue reading

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If I Were President

My first political lesson came, about fifty years ago, via television.  As any other kid during that time, the Decisive Decade (the 1960s), while political assassinations, JFK, Malcolm X, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., RFK, and a host of … Continue reading

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The Massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church: A Year Later — Lest We Forget!

Recently I read a piece in the AARP Bulletin, the June 2016 issue, on the Charleston Massacre: A Year Later, “The Long Road to Forgiveness.” As a student of history, I almost always think that we don’t remember what we … Continue reading

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