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Dr. Martin L. King Jr. killed in Memphis by the lack of courage

by Dr. L. LaSimba M. Gray Jr. Special to The New Tri-State Defender Dr. Martin L. King Jr. demonstrated courage on a daily basis because of his moral convictions. Dr. King was willing to stand alone when he felt strongly about a strategy or position in the...

COMMENTARY: Tennessee’s distorted moral narrative and commitment to voter suppression

by Dr. Earle J. Fisher -- On Tuesday morning, January 8, 2019, hundreds of lawmakers made pledges and took oaths evoking themes of freedom, justice, equality, fairness, propriety, peace and love. And with one hand on a sacred book and the other held high towards...

No alternative facts – The truth of the IRV campaigns

Commissioner Edmund Ford Jr. wrote in this paper last week that he believes special interests controlled last November’s Memphis referendum election.  He contends – without any evidence – that if you voted against the referendums that you, yes you, were “bought and sold.”   This...

Outside interests with checkbooks – not the Russians – interfered with our local elections

by Edmund Ford Jr. Nationally, people have been making relevant noise about how dark money should not influence their elections. I believe in transparency and disclosure in government as well in campaigns. Unfortunately, this did not occur in our local November elections. In October 2018, there...

FISHER: 2019 is the Year of Legitimate Discontent – let’s get to work!

by Rev. Dr. Earle J. Fisher, Special to The New Tri-State Defender In August of 1619 the first enslaved Africans arrived on the shores of America in Jamestown, Va. Two hundred years later in 1819, the city of Memphis (named after Memphis, Egypt) was founded....

‘Stepping down, but not giving up,’ says Black AIDS Institute Founder Phill Wilson

by Phill Wilson Twenty years ago, I called a few friends to ask them to help me actualize a dream that my best Brister – “Brother and Sister” – Reggie Williams and I had been working on for 10 years. We wanted to start an...

BOOK REVIEW: “Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land”

by Terri Schlichenmeyer Your hands are filthy. Dirt lines every crease and covers much of your knuckles. It’s beneath your fingernails, all the way up to your wrists, soiling the edges of your sweatshirt and down your front. Yes, your hands are filthy but once you’ve read...

AFRICA NEWS IN BRIEF: Former Nigerian president remembered, ‘messy’ elections in Republic of Congo and more

FLAGS FLY FOR AN EX-PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA ‘TOO NICE’ FOR THE JOB Dec. 31, 2018 (GIN) - Former President Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari, a devout Muslim, a former school teacher, son of a farmer, trader and herder, was remembered this month as a nice man,...

Grandson tells story of grandmother, who helped bring down a mobster

by Terri Schlichenmeyer Here I am! You raise your hand higher so you don’t go unnoticed. You speak up, so you aren’t overlooked. It’s a natural human need: pay attention, here I am, look this way, see me. For some, it’s easy to get recognition; for...

COMMENTARY: From the crucible of segregation to Kwanzaa

by Dr. L. LaSimba M. Gray Jr. In spite of the pathos of segregation, there were some benefits for African Americans. Segregation created the “crucible of necessity.” A crucible – in its classic sense – is a vessel used to melt materials at a high temperature...