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William H. Turner
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William H. Turner writes freelance from Houston, Texas.

Entries by William H. Turner

Donald Trump Brings Malcolm X to Mind

(3) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 1:09 PM

Those who want to understand why Donald Trump is so popular going into this week's Fox News-sponsored debate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination need look no further than back to the life and times of Malcolm X, the much maligned human rights leader of the 1950s and 60s, who,...

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Sale of Ebony and Jet Photos Like Eating the Seed Corn

(15) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 1:19 PM

Johnson Publications of Chicago -- the parent company of Jet and Ebony magazines -- in hopes of raising $40 million, is selling off its photographic collection that contains more than five million of the most iconic images of African-American life and culture. That the venerable black-owned firm will...

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Booker T. Washington Inspires Barack

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 3:23 PM

President Obama made public last week his initiative titled My Brother's Keeper, an initiative aimed at breaking down the obstacles that deprive and disenfranchise young American men of color of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There are many parallels between Mr. Obama's work in this field and that...

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MLK's Kids' Money Fight -- So What Else Is New?

(3) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 10:59 AM

So the children of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. -- sons Martin Luther III, Dexter Scott, and their sister, Rev. Bernice King -- are squabbling because the boys want to sell a few items from their dad's "stuff," and sissy thinks that's a bad idea. When I first read...

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Motor City Madness

(1) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 3:36 PM

"Imported from Detroit" was the tagline for a very popular 2011 Super Bowl XLV commercial. It featured images of rapper Eminem driving a newly restyled Chrysler 300 through the streets of his hometown. Near the end of the piece, Slim Shady struts towards a uniformly-robed Black gospel choir and says,...

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2013: In the Shadow of Slavery

(2) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 3:56 PM

Seven score and ten years ago President Abraham Lincoln returned to Washington from Pennsylvania after communicating to his war-torn nation the inconsistencies between the American ideal of human equality and the practice of slavery. The 16th President's two-minute long discourse is considered one of the best speeches of all time.

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Sarah Palin and Kanye West: Peas in a Pod

(4) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 7:55 PM

At the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition's Fall Fundraiser in Des Moines last weekend, conservative political spokeswoman Sarah Palin compared the federal debt to slavery. "Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from China," said Palin; "When that money comes due...

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Grambling University Football Boycott: Canary in a Coal Mine

(18) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 5:06 PM

When my father started out in the 1930s, the coal mines he worked in Harlan County, Kentucky did not feature ventilation systems, so the miners would bring a caged canary into new coal seams. Canaries are especially sensitive to methane and carbon monoxide, which made them ideal for detecting any...

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1963-2013: Between Dr. King and Bob Dylan

(3) Comments | Posted August 18, 2013 | 5:41 PM

The summer of 2013 on the U.S. racial map should remind us of the endurance and current significance of some of the high-quality metaphors from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech as well as references in Bob Dylan's powerful 1965 lyric, "You don't need a...

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The Zimmerman Trial, Orwell and Race

(1) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 1:37 PM

In George Orwell's 1948-published novel, 1984, all inhabitants of Oceania are always watched by cameras, are served contrived news stories, and are taught to accept as logical truth nonsensical statements that are obviously self-contradictory. The crazier the idea, the more likely and quicker it is accepted as truth by the...

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Mississippi, Again! Between Lil' Wayne and Nina Simone

(8) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 8:40 PM

In 1969, while a graduate student at Notre Dame, I had a one-night career on WNDU, the campus radio station. After I played Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddam!," I was banned from the airwaves. Her song was in response to the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi and the bombing of...

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