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Peering Through the Hazy Past: Floyd Patterson and Fats Domino

Even as Black America continues to battle crime, violence, death, and a hostile political and economic policy, it can be soothing to peer through the haze and marvel at the richness of Black American stories. Two such stories: Floyd Patterson and Fats Domino.

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If You Love Tupac, Help Find His Killer

Mark Reynolds
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Modern Day Hottietots

Mark Reynolds
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Martin and Coretta are Both Gone Now. It Is Not Their Battle No More

With the passing of another leader from the civil rights era, it's up to us, whose songs of freedom come with a hip-hop beat, whose advocates preach online instead of on street corners, who live in a world multicolored beyond just black and white, to assume our awesome legacy and move the mountain some more.

Mark Reynolds
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In the Time of B.K. (Before Kobe)

They didn't command big bucks and they'd never know the level of celebrity of today's counterparts, but the early black players transcended the sport and were vital to creating this legendary black cultural institution; otherwise known as basketball.

Mark Reynolds
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Good Night, Annie Lee Moss, and Good Luck

She knew the community and she knew the dynamics of life and activism in those perilous, McCarthy-era, pre-Rosa Parks days. What else did Annie Lee Moss know?

Mark Reynolds
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The Holy Grails of Jazz

With reissues of music past, so much of history lives on to be rediscovered, over and over again. Yet one can't help but wonder how much has been forever lost.

Mark Reynolds
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Today the Hill District, Tomorrow the World: August Wilson

August Wilson now takes his place in the pantheon of black arts and letters for the dignity he gave the blues singers, mill workers, rooming house owners, ex-cons, neighborhood eccentrics, and 300-year-old matriarchs among us.

Mark Reynolds
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Ebony Then, Now and Later

With its founder, John H. Johnson passed, can Ebony adapt to the new era of black publications -- and live on?

Mark Reynolds
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Cleaning Up After the Train Wreck

When (witting and unwitting) celebrities make train wrecks of their lives, the crowd will be sure to be there to cheer them on. But in the aftermath, they're alone with nothing but a broom and one helluva mess.

Mark Reynolds
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I'm Not a Social Policy Expert, But I Play One on TV

When all the righteous Cosby-induced bluster has blown, all that's left the poor is caught up in tree branches and clogging the gutters, same as before.

Mark Reynolds
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One Diaspora Under a Groove

At an African concert set in Philadelphia, Reynolds experienced the rare feeling of being a distinct minority in a virtually all-black setting in America. He considers the divide between Africans in America, and African-Americans.

Mark Reynolds
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Diary of a Mad White Film Critic

In defense of Roger Ebert, Reynolds notes that it's not at all necessarily racist to say that a black film isn't very good. Earnestness, sensitivity to a community's culture, and good intentions don't automatically make a solid work of art.

Mark Reynolds
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Ossie Davis, A Celebrity of the People

Davis' true art was in his representation of all that was noble and heroic about being a black man. He gave dignity to our workaday struggles, and ceremony to our highest joys.

Mark Reynolds
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10 Good Reasons to Celebrate Black History Month

Black History Month is subject to a lot of commercial hype, trotted out once a year, as it is. February alone cannot contain such history. But 2005's Black History Month is a good opportunity to look at the history lessons brought to us in just the past year.

Mark Reynolds
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Let the Good Times Roll... Again

Up in the Pop Culture Attic, where all those wonderful things that get trampled by the new and exciting eventually end up, radio DJs worthy of their stuff pull out and dust off some '50s R&B for the holiday season and for the joie de vivre this music brings.

Mark Reynolds
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Barack Obama, the Great Fill-in-the-Blank Hope

Everywhere Barack Obama went, people flocked to get a glimpse of the politician who stole their hearts with just one speech.

Mark Reynolds
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Will the Real Harlem Please Stand Up?

Harlem's current renaissance has less to do with the art and culture that flowed freely during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and more to do with good old-fashioned commerce. The new gentry went looking for a new ground floor, and found it right in their own mythic backyard.

Mark Reynolds
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The High and Low of Black Literature

What's happening now in black literature is similar to the smooth jazz/serious jazz dichotomy; urban fiction is getting more 'play' to the public, and fine literature is experienced only by the cognoscenti.

Mark Reynolds
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Role Model at Bat?

It's not that a black child can't appreciate the talents of a white baseball star; it's just that a black athlete's accomplishments mean more to that child because the athlete looks like him/her, and therefore, that black athlete is a role model.

Mark Reynolds
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Back Down the Chisholm Trail

Before Michael Moore, there was Shirley Chisholm.

Mark Reynolds
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Fighting the Power For Real

At the first US hip-hop political convention, generations of black activists struggle with translating good ideas into real activism.

Mark Reynolds
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Whatever Happened to Mumia Abu-Jamal?

One could argue that, until the current Bush administration and the Iraq war, Mumia Abu-Jamal was the only thing that came remotely close to galvanizing the far left and its myriad individual causes, from Puerto Rican independence to anti-imperialism. Such is the state of the left in America that for years, Abu-Jamal's case was the only thing that aroused unanimous passion.

Mark Reynolds
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TV, Validation, and the Three Sistas

Somewhere in the country, a black woman who has no use whatsoever for the Bush administration's approach to global politics watched Rice on the witness stand and chanted, 'You go, girl.' Political and economic progress be damned, we still live vicariously through our celebrities.

Mark Reynolds

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