In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during a news conference. Cosby admitted in a 2005 deposition that he obtained Quaaludes with the intent of using them to have sex with young women. In court documents released Monday, July 6, 2015, he admitted giving the sedative to at least one woman.
And now a brief pause from the travails of the world. I don’t know about you but I am psychically weighed down by the recent series of bad news—the terrorist attacks, the Charleston church massacre, the Greek financial crisis, the tornado watches on Cape Cod, and the flash floods and brush fires leveling communities across the country.
I never feel more southern here than when I reflect on growing up in a place where the Confederate flag was sacrosanct. It didn’t take the assassinations in South Carolina’s Mother Emanuel Church for me to know that it is still held in high regard in many of the former states of the Confederacy. I saw it everywhere, including my hometown of Memphis. On any given day I would see the flag on pickup trucks and luxury car bumpers, pinned on lapels, or hanging from charm bracelets. The confederate flag decorated lots of front yards, and flew from too many porches to count.
No matter how it looks, it’s not a simple case of black and white. The twisted tale of Rachel Dolezal — the white woman who reimagined herself black is a comment on American’s fraught racial history and current racial tension. It’s actually an all too familiar context, which often leaves white Americans confused and black Americans angry.
A gunshot knocked 7 year old Divan Silva off his bike and onto the pavement. He was bleeding. He’d been shot in the buttocks. The sound of the gunshot sent his mother running in his direction and strangers coming to his aid. The random gunshot, which hit the second grader, also struck a 20 year old in the head. Neither was a life-threatening wound.
Even though I love fresh vegetables. I’ve never been interested in growing my own produce. Too much work, and I never experienced the much ballyhooed Zen calm often touted by my gardening friends. So when summer arrives I frequent either the small food retailers in my neighborhood, or the large grocery stores. But last year I became a regular at my local farmers markets. During the summer, six farmer’s markets set up shop in my town -- outside on city plazas and parking lots, including one of the oldest and largest located inside a community center.
I rarely take pictures when I’m on vacation, preferring to capture the places I see in my mind. I was following my pattern years ago when I visited Normandy, France, the site of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. Here on D-day more than 12 thousand Allied troops lost their lives. Standing there overlooking the quiet beach it was hard to imagine the deafening sounds of gunfire and screams when the first waves of Allied soldiers met the barrage of deadly German gun fire.
A week ago yesterday was our national celebration of American mothers. But so often I find myself thinking about the children who aren’t being mothered, even if many of them live with the women who birthed them.
These are the children most at risk for abuse or neglect, the children whose plight is often forgotten until it becomes front-page news.
One of my book club members is in the movie business -- sort of. She’s an extra in movies shot in the Greater Boston area. It’s a second career born when she was between jobs. This year she’s been tapped for multiple casting calls -- one sign that the local movie scene is bigger than ever.
Business is booming because of the Massachusetts tax-film credit.
Movie companies get a 25 percent break on production and a 25 percent break on payroll. The state is one of 43 offering tax credits to entice motion picture production companies to do business outside of Hollywood.
“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” The opening lines of poet Langston Hughes’ well-known poem, “A Dream Deferred.” Hughes’ words capture the pent up frustrations of black Americans striving to realize the American dream.
At long last — confirmation of Loretta Lynch, who now is the first black female Attorney General. The 56-43 final tally included 10 Republicans who crossed party lines to vote for her.
It only took weeks of door knocking on Senators offices, protests in the street, a back room deal, and a hunger strike to make it happen. All that on behalf of a nominee who should have been a shoo-in. In fact she had been shooed in--Loretta Lynch was unanimously confirmed twicebefore by the same body, and by many of the same people.
In St Louis, Missouri what started as a meeting inviting citizen feedback, devolved into a physical brawl of fists and curses between angry community members and local police. The fight back in January was perhaps not unexpected in this city just eight miles from Ferguson and just months after the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Before the St Louis Board of Alderman, a deliberation about the pros and cons of a citizen review board was simply too raw for a civil debate.
When I told friends years ago I was moving to Boston, most delighted in repeating that old joke about parhking the cahh in Hahvard Yahrd. The joke mocks the clichéd Boston accent, but having lived here for a while, I think it’s also a joke about parking.
It is unconscionable that patients needing medical marijuana are still waiting to get it. Sixty-three percent of Massachusetts voters approved the 2012 ballot initiative making the drug legal for medical use, but bureaucracy, embarrassing procedural errors, and an apparent lack of political urgency have slowed the process to a crawl.
My cousin got a drone for Christmas. He’s a gadget geek, and drones are all the rage especially for early adapters of cutting edge technology. It seems to me the popularity of drones has shot through the roof in less than a year. Wasn’t it just a year ago when Amazon president Jeff Bezos made big news when he revealed that Amazon hoped to use drones to make same day deliveries?
Audiences are flocking to see Selma the new Hollywood movie depicting the story of the voting rights campaign in 1965. It’s the story of Bloody Sunday, and the marches from Selma to Montgomery. It is history I know well. It was my great honor to chronicle the events and the people for the documentary series, “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965.”
In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, second from right, is depicted with his lawyers, left, beside U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., right, as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors in a jury assembly ro
Week two of jury selection for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and I’m still wrestling with why so many believe his trial will bring closure to the marathon bombing tragedy. Don’t misunderstand-- Tsarnaev must stand trial for the crimes for which he is accused.
I was a one-time smuggler. I trafficked hand-rolled Cuban cigars. I inched my way through customs dripping with nervous perspiration. I was re-entering the country from Canada, and was petrified my stash of premium Cohibas would be discovered. They were a special gift for a loved one. They were in my boot. It was years ago and that episode ended my cigar smuggling. But if the just announced change in Cuban policy had been in place then, I could have legally bought those cigars here.
I discovered recently that when it comes to greeting the New Year there are two kinds of people. They form two camps of folks– those who only look back, and those who only look forward.
I’m in the look back camp. I just can’t put the old year to bed without a thorough review. I need time for a deep reassessment, a revisit of key experiences during the past 12 months. Some of my friends unkindly call this rehashing. Some have even gone so far as to suggest my new mantra should be the song ‘Let It Go’ from the movie Frozen. No matter. I know what works for me.
I hear you. This is YOUR movement. You are the young people who have organized the silent vigils and noisy demonstrations of thousands in Missouri, Berkeley, Boston, and New York. It is you who have inspired a demographic rainbow of white, black, Asian and Latino in protests at state capitals and courthouses, chanting "Black lives matter".
A demonstrator holds his hands up on campus at Boston University Dec. 1, 2014 during one of a series of nationwide in the wake of a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who killed 18-year-old black Michael Brown.
“What is my future now? What is my future now?” The tortured screams of a New York City demonstrator last week — a young black man driven to the streets in fury and frustration. He was one of hundreds clogging thoroughfares and blocking traffic to protest another Grand Jury’s refusal to indict a police officer, this time for the choking death of Staten Island’s Eric Garner.
Whether or not you believe that Officer Darren Wilson intentionally shot teenager Michael Brown, know this-- what happened to the teen was not an isolated incident.
Not in Ferguson, where two other young black men have been killed by police since Michael Brown, and where there have been years of complaints about police harassment and excessive force. And not across the country, where the list of fatal shootings of unarmed black young men has grown since Brown’s death.
Patience may be a virtue but, sadly, not one I possess. Anything in my fast paced life that slows me down –like a sluggish connection to my Wi-Fi network --drives me crazy. There I was the other morning counting down the seconds until the spinning beach ball stopped and the connection locked. Those few seconds of downtime felt like minutes.
In this June 25, 2014 photo, a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas. The epicenter of the recent surge in illegal immigration is a 5-mile slice of deep South Texas th
Nothing makes sense when fear takes over. Which explains why 7 in 10 Americans—according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll---want mandatory quarantines for health workers who’ve treated African Ebola patients, even if they have no symptoms. And why a Pew survey found 41 percent of Americans overall say they are worried about Ebola. Worried about a virus that almost none of us will ever be exposed to, and had hardly thought about a few months ago.