The brutal truth about lynching

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. — Maya Angelou On July 5, 1933, Elizabeth Lawrence, a black school teacher, was lynched in Jefferson County (Birmingham), Alabama. A mob of white men dragged her from her home, burning the house down as they left, […]

Even liberal whites may have prejudices

My nine-year-old is already a big fan of Starbucks. Like many large American corporations, the company starts early to recruit its customer base, offering kid-friendly drinks. Carly likes the hot chocolate with a buttered croissant. I’ve never been enthusiastic about wretchedly overpriced coffee — my daughter was introduced to Starbucks by a friend — and […]

Paul Ryan’s tarnished reputation

If House Speaker Paul Ryan believes he can still save his reputation, he is sadly mistaken. Historians — and voters — will remember him as one of the once-bright stars of the Republican Party (and there are several) who was irreparably tarnished by his association with President Donald J. Trump. When Ryan made the surprising […]

Dr. King changed the country

A few years ago, I took my young daughter to Atlanta’s High Museum of Art to see an exhibition of photographs entitled “Gordon Parks: Segregation Story.” I wanted Carly, just 5 years old at the time, to begin to understand that central pillar of the history of her country. Alongside works by the legendary Parks, […]