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Special Series: A Fla. Man Cherishes the Idea of Promise

On this day, when Carlos Lopez’s voice is heard over the phone, he is in Dade City, a municipality with a population of about 6,000 people. It’s located in Pasco County, about 40 miles from the Tampa Bay area. Carlos goes by “Eddie.” “It’s so hot here,” he says, “and humid.” Eddie is no stranger [...]
A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Those Who MarchedGracious God, our hearts are filled with gratitude for the 600 strong, the men and women who, as one in your Spirit, marched for freedom on Bloody Sunday. Their way of courage and non-violence remains alive and inspires us to follow them. In our mind’s eye, as we remember their witness, guide us in their [...]
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Pettus Bridge in Selma Needs New Name, Students SaySELMA, Ala. (AP) — When the nation’s first Black president steps onto the Edmund Pettus Bridge to honor the marchers beaten there 50 years ago, he’ll be standing on a structure that’s at once synonymous with the civil rights struggle and a tribute to a reputed Ku Klux Klan leader. The latter fact had all [...]
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Selma: Experienced as a Child, Remembered as an AdultIt was New Year’s Day, January 1, 1966. My older sister, several of my younger siblings, a cousin and I had attended the annual Elmore County Emancipation Proclamation Celebration (the observance of Abraham Lincoln’s signing the proclamation freeing Blacks from slavery). The guest speaker for this occasion was a Birmingham civil rights preacher, Rev. Jesse [...]
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Too Small to FailLong bus rides, boarded-up schools and withering small towns: This is the legacy of school consolidation in Arkansas, rural residents say. More than half a century after the Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education, virtually every state in the nation continues to struggle with how to fund [...]
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Gays Creek, Kentucky, is no booming metropolis. In fact, it isn’t even an official town. It’s an unincorporated community in Perry County, in the heart of Appalachia. The nearest town and county seat, Hazard, is about 20 minutes northeast by automobile. This remote area of Kentucky perpetually loses its most promising young people to greater [...]
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In Tennessee, Pregnant Women Flee Because of the LawThe godmother of NAS research is Dr. Loretta Finnegan, a scarlet-haired, Catholic-raised mother of five who looks like she walked off the stage of the Grand Ole Opry and into a Philadelphia neonatal ward. Finnegan coined the term “neonatal abstinence syndrome” in the 1970s; the Finnegan score for measuring symptoms of NAS, the medical name [...]
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A Tennessee Law Makes Motherhood a CrimeAt around midnight on Nov. 13, 2014, Tonya Martin slipped out into the yard that separated her trailer from the one in which her grandparents live on a lot in the eastern hills of Tennessee. Just two months earlier, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department arrested Martin after she gave birth to a son. Her crime: [...]
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Gay Couples in Alabama Can Marry: ‘It’s About Time’MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday despite an 11th-hour attempt from the state’s chief justice — an outspoken opponent — to block the weddings. The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday morning that it wouldn’t stop the marriages, and shortly after, probate judges began granting the licenses to couples, [...]
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A Path Forward for Little Rock Schools? It’s EngagementI hate it. I hate that the Arkansas Board of Education on Jan. 28 took control of the Little Rock School District (LRSD). I hate that the board ignored the broad-based community support for LRSD, including the incredibly-powerful voices of student leaders. I hate that the takeover will overshadow the great schools, educators and programs [...]
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