If ideas died with people, America would have won the fight against modern-day terrorism by killing al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. If killing people were the only answer , then America would have won the day with the invasion of Iraq, or the war in Afghanistan, or with drone attacks. Ending terrorism isn’t just about killing…

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ON SUNDAY, my son and I and watched President Obama speak from the White House in the wake of the deadly San Bernardino attacks that killed 14 and wounded 17 others. I was numb as I listened. Perhaps I was still trying to grasp the reality. After all, the fact that Syed Rizwan Farook, 28,…

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I LOOKED at my 10-year-old son about a week ago and something around his mouth looked almost . . . dirty. “What have you been eating?” I asked, figuring that the shadow on his upper lip was the remnants of a meal. “Nothing,” he said. “Then what’s that on your face?” He shrugged. I moved…

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THERE IS A CREEPING SENSE of bitterness in our society – an ugly cynicism that says that fathers are no longer necessary. I’d seen hints of this viewpoint over the years, and I couldn’t blame those who espoused it. It sometimes came from women who’d been abandoned by men whom they were better off without.…

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I’VE PARENTED both as a noncustodial father and as a married father, and the experiences are vastly different – both for the parent and for the child. As a noncustodial father, a man can be reduced to little more than a voice on a phone, a playmate on a weekend or a name on a…

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THIS WEEKEND we went to a bat mitzvah. For many black families, this peek into Jewish tradition is culture shock. For the Joneses? It’s old hat. We’ve been to so many bat mitzvahs that LaVeta is starting to hum along to the tunes. Little Solomon has started checking out the young men’s yarmulkes. And Eve?…

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MY 13-YEAR-OLD daughter, Eve, has been onstage since before she was born. As the star of so much of my writing over the years, she’s accustomed to being the center of attention. In July 2001, when my very-pregnant wife, LaVeta, traveled with me to New Orleans for a conference, Eve was there. And though we…

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WHEN LAVETA caught me in her smoldering stare for the first time, we fell in love. I still see those memories in her eyes. Those eyes take me back to a time before children and bills, before heartbreaks and disappointments, before triumphs and tears, before books and columns. Those eyes – like honey sparkling in…

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IT WAS EARLY Saturday morning when I burrowed beneath the covers, my lips turned up in a self-satisfied smile. This would be the weekend that my dream of sleeping in would be realized. As I settled in for a long winter’s nap, familiar sounds filled my home. My wife, LaVeta, the early riser, was downstairs,…

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I TOOK MY family to see “Selma,” the Golden Globe-nominated film that portrays the bloody battle for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I took them, not because of the film’s historical lessons or cinematic splendor. I did so because my children must see their story on screens large enough to hold…

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