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The Languages of the Unheard

In Culture by fivefifthsLeave a Comment

“There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of individuals within that society who feel that they have no stake in it…” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was addressing the Universalist Unitarian Assembly. The year was 1966, late spring, in the slow interstitium between Selma’s success with the Voting…

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The Galveston Giant

In History, Sports by fivefifthsLeave a Comment

April 5th, 1915   The spectators still keep pouring in. The racetrack in sweltering Havana. White Americans and Europeans stream alongside Cuban men in in suits and panama hats as President Menocal looks on. Jack Johnson and Jess Willard, two giants in silk robes, step into the ring pouring sweat. Willard weighs in first, a…

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A Yogi in the South Side: Reaching Black Youth in Chicago

In Culture, Health by Frank Jackson1 Comment

I had been working for I Grow Chicago, a non-profit organization helping "at-risk" youth revitalize one of the Englewood neighborhood's many vacant lots by transforming it into an art garden. As we broke for lunch under a sweltering summertime Chicago sun, the leaders of I Grow approached me with a proposition. They wanted me to…

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The Acts of God

In Culture, History by fivefifths1 Comment

The flood started with a flood. Sure, there was a certain wayward trickle of Blackness that found itself absorbed into Ellison’s cans of paint in places like St. Louis and Chicago and Milwaukee before, but things really got to moving when the levees broke for the first time. On a summer’s day in ‘26, eighty…