The life of Maya Angelou BORN IN St. Louis in 1928 and raised in Stamps, Ark., Maya Angelou dared to reject the preconceptions of others, choosing instead to define herself. Words were her tools, and she wielded them with expert precision, even when those words came from others. Her brother discarded her given name, Marguerite, and…

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APPARENTLY, WE tv has decided to take relationship shows to a new level. They’ve gathered the most outrageously dysfunctional people from reality TV, and they’re forcing us to watch them again. They call it “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars,” and the premise is pretty simple: They put cameras on over-the-top people and subject them to…

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A new voice on senseless shootings THE HORRIFIC KILLING spree that took seven lives, including the perpetrator’s, near the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) was the latest in a string of gun-related atrocities. The killer was Elliot Rodger, the allegedly deranged son of a Hollywood director. He stabbed three people to death, shot and killed three more, and injured 13.…

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MEMORIAL DAY is the unofficial start of summer, and, despite my best efforts, I am not prepared for my hot weather debut. I blame my wife. She spent much of the winter and spring baking bread, and forcing me to eat it by allowing the aroma to waft through our house. Perhaps if it were…

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INTRODUCING REAL TALK, a new video series from Solomon Jones. We’ll talk to the people who make a difference both in Philly and on the national stage, holding no-holds-barred conversations on the real issues that affect our communities. Vote or shut up Episode 1 is on the only issue that matters right now–voting. Click the video…

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ELECTION DAY is one of those days that every parent should have circled on his or her calendar because it’s one of the most important days for your kids, whether you know it or not. You do want to make sure that kids aren’t being dragged down the street for several blocks, right? I guess I…

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Question of the day Family violence is in the news. Solange Knowles was caught on camera assaulting Jay Z in an elevator. Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice knocked out his long-time girlfriend, dragged her off an elevator, and married her a short time later. What do you have to say about the domestic violence that’s spilling outside the home?…

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Jay Z and Solange: The fight JAY Z FENDED OFF blows from sister-in-law Solange Knowles in an elevator, and the ensuing scandal said more about us than it did about them. We were excited to learn that money couldn’t shield Jay Z and Beyoncé from family conflict. That’s why so many were so keen to pass judgment on what happened that…

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The journey to hell and back THE STREETS WERE dangerous, but I survived them because I had a loving extended family that nurtured my spirit and an educational environment that built my mind. Those things held me for a time, but eventually I chose to let go. [blocktext align=”right”]”The money I earned sustained me, but it…

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WHEN YOU welcome someone new into the family, it’s always a risk, especially when the new family member has a sketchy background. To be blunt, the newest Jones isn’t exactly part of the 1 percent. In fact, she was pretty much homeless. She slept under discarded couches, sheltered under outdoor decks and dodged wild animals…

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