Let’s get something straight off the top: There is no more vile a word in the English language than “nigger”. Full stop. However, let’s agree — at the very least — that it is a word. If it’s a word, then you might want to consider that there are just certain times when its use is appropriate and no other word will do. Otherwise, I have a number of objectionable words that maybe we can talk about banning. I’m a writer. I’m in love with words and language. I hate euphemisms. This awful construct our society has created, “The N-Word”, is an affront ...
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    We have to go all the way back to 1712, before this country was even a country, for this week’s Throwback Thursday. At the time New York City was merely a small town, in a province of Britain, on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean. The crown colony known as New York (as opposed to old York, of course) was much larger than the current state. It included “all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania“, as the WikiWackyWoo tells ...
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    One of the largest slave auctions before the Civil War — alternately called The Great Slave Auction or The Weeping Time — took place 158 years ago today. Pierce M. Butler inherited the slaves from his grandfather and namesake, Major Pierce Butler. The elder Butler no longer spoke to his son, so he willed his property to his 2 grandsons, one of which was Pierce. The younger Pierce was a bad businessman and a worse gambler. Eventually creditors forced him to sell off his assets. When the land wasn’t enough to settle his extensive gambling debts, Butler agreed to sell his human ...
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    Gordon Lightfoot’s autograph on a picture of my father’s store taken in Detroit on THE “Black Day In July,” 1967. A question I have been asked repeatedly since Monday night is “Did you think you’d be seeing riots so many years after the the ’60s?” My answer is both “yes” and “no.”  While I’m not an authority on riots, I did write The Detroit Riots ► Unpacking My Detroit ► Part Five, an investigative look at Motown’s several Race Riots, beginning with the first in 1863. The other reasons I get asked such a question is because of my studying of Race ...
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    The Coconut Grove Playhouse anchors one corner of Charles Avenue, where it dead-ends at Main Highway History is complicated, real estate history even more so. At one time all the land at the east end of Charles Avenue in Coconut Grove was owned by E.W.F. Stirrup, one of Florida’s first Black millionaires. In fact, Mr. Stirrup once owned most of Coconut Grove, the irony being 33133 is now considered one of ‘Merka’s most exclusive area codes. To honour history I propose the Coconut Grove Playhouse name be changed to the E.W.F. Stirrup Theater. Follow along: Back in the day, when a man of Mr. ...
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