Prince, who died Wednesday at 57, was more cultural force than musician. While his soaring guitar riffs and piercing falsetto voice spoke volumes about his talent, it was what he didn’t say that changed our views on race. Prince, in daring to combine the black musical virtuosity of R&B with the structured chaos of white…

Read More

In what is probably the biggest non-surprise in electoral politics this year, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that she’s throwing her hat in the ring for her husband Bill’s old job, President of the United States. This isn’t her first time at this particular rodeo. For all intents and purposes, the 2008…

Read More

My name is Denise Clay. It’s a simple name, really. D-E-N-I-S-E C-L-A-Y. The “Denise” is the conventional spelling and my last name, Clay, is four letters long. Doesn’t look like it would be too hard to grasp on its face, right? But you’d be surprised at the beating my name takes. “Clay” gets spelled with…

Read More

IT’S ODD that anyone from Topeka, KS, would balk at having Michelle Obama speak at a high school graduation. It was Topeka, after all, that was at the center of Brown v. the Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that was supposed to integrate America’s schools. [blocktext align=”right”]”Schools today are largely segregated. They are…

Read More

LIKE MANY BLACK FANS, I saw a hint of racial bias when DeSean Jackson was released by the Philadelphia Eagles following allegations of gang affiliation. Why? Because when Jackson’s case is compared to that of Riley Cooper, a white player who hatefully  looked into a video camera at a country music concert and said, “I…

Read More

MICHAEL VICK TOOK an improbable path from number one NFL draft pick to federal prison. His long road back took him through Philadelphia, and last week he landed with the New York Jets. There, the man who once lost everything to a dogfighting conviction can shine under the brightest lights, speak in the largest media…

Read More

AS A BLACK FATHER, my concerns for my children are much the same as those of other parents. I want my children to be safe, to be brilliant, to be successful. Most of all, I want them to know they are loved. But beyond those concerns are the underlying anxieties that come with knowing one’s…

Read More

WHEN COLUMBIA Avenue was Jump Street, and Ridge Avenue was a vital commercial artery that snaked through the heart of North Philly, the neighborhood known as Sharswood was a place where black doctors and teachers provided a middle-class buffer against the scourge of poverty. That changed in 1969, when the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) completed…

Read More

Question of the Day The latest Philadelphia-based accusation of police brutality involved a teenage boy being frisked. A female officer allegedly squeezed his genitals so hard a testicle ruptured. Sadly, there have been many other incidents involving our boys, some of them fatal. Given that reality, have you had the dreaded “talk” with your sons? Have…

Read More

Question of the Day: You’re black. Or Latino. Or a liberal white person. In your mind everyone should be treated as an individual. But you’ve seen the news stories about purse snatchings and murders, and you find that you actually racially profile young black males when you see them walking down the street in hoodies,…

Read More