Paula Cooper was just 16 years old when she became the youngest person on death row in the United States.
That was in 1986.
Today (June 17), after 27 years behind bars, Cooper will walk out of the Indiana's Rockville Correctional Facility a free woman.
The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture on Wednesday announced that Oprah Winfrey would donate $12 million to support the capital campaign of the new museum.
Combined with her $1 million gift in 2007, this brings Winfrey's total contribution to $13 million, the museum's largest donation to date. Winfrey, chairman and CEO of OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, has been a member of the museum's advisory council since 2004.
In recognition of her gift, the museum's theater will be named the Oprah Winfrey Theater. The 350-seat theater will be a forum in the nation's capital for performers, educators, authors, musicians and filmmakers. The theater's programs will enable audiences to gain a broader understanding of how African American history and culture shape and enrich the country and the world.
Last week a Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial family generated such a strong racist reaction on YouTube that the comments section had to be closed. The video had received more than 1,600 likes and more than 500 dislikes, as well as references to Nazis, "troglodytes" and "racial genocide."
Of course, that reaction generated its own reaction from nonbigoted Americans that's pretty much summed up by "Is this seriously happening in 2013?"
A stone monument in Rex, Ga., celebrating first lady Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandmother Melvinia Shields was knocked over from its pedestal onto a concrete slab Saturday night.
"It was done purposely. If I had to speculate some people may think it was a prank; not realizing what a serious matter it is. I really believe we have gone beyond any other motives," Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton told CNN Tuesday during a phone conversation.
Clayton County has an open investigation into the incident, but has no leads, Singleton said.
When it comes to public service announcements related to things like teen pregnancy, people love to be controversial. Love it. And we can't blame them; if you want people riding a bus to digest your message, you'd better get their attention first.
(Sometimes, of course, it works out better than others: New York City's recent efforts to dramatize the plight of children born to young parents were slammed as a "shame campaign.")
NBC News reports on the latest effort to "spark conversations among adolescents and adults on the issue of teen pregnancy and to make the case that teen parenthood is more than just a girl's responsibility": Images of teenage boys sporting "pregnant" bellies, courtesy of the Chicago Department of Public Health. They're on billboards and buses around the city.
Across the political spectrum, unwed fatherhood is viewed as the scourge of American society with inner-city fathers often dismissed as "deadbeat dads."
But according to scholars Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson, the significant economic and cultural shifts that have transformed society at large have also revolutionized the meaning of fatherhood and family life among the urban poor.
These mammoth changes, Edin and Nelson say, are more responsible for this new familial paradigm than any character flaws or a lack of responsibility in the fathers.