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.
Seven, 17, 23, 25, one. Seven, 17, 23, 25, one: no, not my lottery picks, but numbers I’ve been thinking about in the countdown to next week’s election. Let me explain.
Seven: It’s just seven days until November 4 — voting day — and I’m getting hoarse trying to talk folks into going to the polls. For any number of reasons, chiefly apathy and anger, people I know are saying they are not paying attention to this election.
I hate to be the skunk at the pink garden party. But, some truths must be told about October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the proliferation of pink to mark the annual event.
Thirty years ago breast cancer awareness was a grass roots movement. The pink ribbon was originally peach, designed by 68-year-old Charlotte Haley whose grandmother, sister and daughters were sufferers. Her effort to inform lawmakers and others about the need for more research funding morphed into Breast Cancer Awareness month a massively marketed national campaign.
Twenty-four years ago, this month, Stuart, faked a car jacking, killed his wife and unborn baby, and claimed a black man committed the murder. His lie sparked a months long random stop and frisk of every black man in Boston within sight of a policeman.
Their victory is bittersweet. Five years after being fired by Hyatt Hotel, 98 former Boston area housekeepers will split a $1 million settlement.
The hospitality workers union filed suit against local Hyatt hotels after they replaced the housekeepers with lower paid workers. Hyatt then asked the housekeepers to train them, saying they were vacation fill ins. The replacements were also cheaper $8 an hour versus the housekeepers’ $15 plus benefits. The housekeepers took their story public, and their protests to the streets.
Where I come from, every kid knows what a switch is.
Memphis is smack in the middle of the Bible Belt where "Spare the rod and spoil the child," is a religious prescription and a cultural assumption. A rambunctious child is always disciplined with more than a good talking to. A "pop" on the behind — sometimes a belt, and sometimes a switch, a small tree branch stripped of leaves.
Duane Merrells walks with an upside down flag in a protest Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. Brown's shooting has sparked more than a week of protests, riots and looting in the St. Louis suburb. (
Only a politician on his way out of office can afford to disappoint.
And so it was two weeks ago lame duck President Obama backed away from his promise to take executive action on immigration reform. To be precise, the president characterized it as a postponement of his longstanding promise, one he said he would fulfill later in the year. Translation: right after the November midterms. A more nakedly political decision would be hard to imagine.