In the past few months, I have had the honor of hearing Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf — who has just become the first woman elected head of state of an African country — three times. In March, Sirleaf was in Washington, D.C., to address a special joint session of Congress.
Thousands of New Orleans residents marched on April to demand the right to vote. They marched across the Mississippi River Bridge where Gretna police had repelled residents as they tried to escape the horrors of Hurricane Katrina. Forty years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, African Americans once more must march to gain the right to vote.
The young Black man hesitated as he stood outside the small furniture manufacturing shop in South Los Angeles. He was well-groomed and dressed neatly. The sign on the narrow glass door read, in English and Spanish, "help wanted" and "trabajo aqui."
This month we mark the beginning of spring and the beginning of the fourth year of the war in Iraq. The president, vice president and assorted generals are out peddling success. But on the ground, sectarian violence is spreading. The Iraqi police are less a national force than separate sectarian forces with divided loyalties.
The parents sat quietly listening as the third-grade teacher explained in detail the coursework our children would be assigned and how it complied with state and federal regulations. A mother raised her hand and asked what the teacher was doing outside of the government curriculum to reach the children.
Back in 1919, in the chaotic aftermath of World War I and the Russian Revolution, President Woodrow Wilson's administration sought to suppress radicals and progressives here at home.
Government agents harassed W.E.B. DuBois and the NAACP's journal, The Crisis.
"We African American Women seldom do just what we want to do, but always do what we have to do. I am grateful to have been in a time and place where I could be part of what was needed."
On Aug. 6, 1945 the United States killed over 100,000 men, women and children at Hiroshima, Japan with the newly invented atomic bomb. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki.