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Opinion

It can happen anywhere!

It can happen anywhere!

September 11, 2001, was the day everything changed, then April 15, 2013, serves as another reminder of that change, of our frailties and of a new reality in which "it can't happen here" has been repla

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  • Written by LZ Granderson/CNN

Jackie Robinson: ‘Too bad he’s the wrong color’

Jackie Robinson: ‘Too bad he’s the wrong color’

You could say "42," the film about the life of Brooklyn Dodgers great Jackie Robinson, is a gripping baseball tale, and your assessment would be correct – but woefully incomplete.

"42" is not just a baseball story. It's a compelling history lesson as well. It tells the story of not just baseball, but of a central facet of 20th Century American life – the suffocating reach of racism – in the decades before the 1960s.

It conveys the grievous wrong African Americans endured and signals what it cost them, and America as a whole. And it indicates how the barrier of racism was cracked by blacks and whites who worked – many over the course of decades – to destroy it.

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  • Written by Lee A. Daniels/NNPA

Madonna and Africa’s ‘celebrity saviors’

Madonna and Africa’s ‘celebrity saviors’

So finally, Madonna's honeymoon with Malawi has ended with a spat. Malawi's minister of education accused Madonna of "bullying officials" and exaggerating the extent of her charity in the country.

Trouble started when the government withdrew her VIP status and she therefore had to wait in line like everyone else to go through immigration. President Joyce Banda said that Madonna felt her charitable work meant that Malawi should "be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude."

For her part, Madonna described the reports as inaccurate, and says they are the result of a spat with the president's sister, Anjimile Mtila Oponyo, who was fired as president of Madonna's charity Raising Malawi and is suing for wrongful termination.

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  • Written by Andrew M. Mwenda/Special to CNN

‘Obamaphone?’ Give me a break

‘Obamaphone?’ Give me a break

The right wing seems determined to associate President Obama with any government program that helps people on the bottom. Thus, the term Obamacare was used to attack the health care program that President Obama fashioned and worked with Congress to approve. While Obamacare is not perfect, it brings more people into the health care system, and further solidifies the safety net that many have attempted to fray.

Now these folks are running with the term "Obamaphone," which speaks to the fact that President Obama has simply extended a Lifeline plan that was authorized by Republican President Ronald Reagan when it was clear that those who were either isolated by poverty or by their rural status needed telephones to connect themselves to the world.

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  • Written by Julianne Malveaux

Retire the myth: black men, jail and college

Retire the myth: black men, jail and college

"There are more black men in jail than in college" is a line that has transfigured our understanding of persistent problems among black men in the United States. Many activists and scholars recite it to invoke urgency to fight unjust social structures, while culture critics say it to condemn the social failings of black men.

The line is memorable, immutable, provocative and piercing, but as I revealed last week, it is not true.

This realization creates a sense of reprieve and ambivalence among many black people. Since the first article was released, many have argued that the rate of graduation among black males is still too low, and the rate of incarceration is too high – assertions I will not dispute. However, the natures of these issues are different and should not be contorted to produce a pedestrian soundbite.

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Jay-Z, Beyoncé Embarrass White House – again

Jay-Z, Beyoncé Embarrass White House – again

Having previously shared my thoughts on the first couple's close association with hip-hop's first couple, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, I vowed not to address the issue again, since I'm not a fan of treading over the same territory in my writing. But I relented at the behest of a TV producer.

While I didn't have a lot to say about Jay-Z and Beyoncé's vacation itinerary, I do have an opinion about the rap legend's newly released rap on the matter.

On Thursday, the gossip site TMZ posted a clip from Jay-Z's new song, "Open Letter," in which the rapper rails against the lies of politicians and waxes poetically about Havana, where he and his missus vacationed recently, despite a U.S. travel embargo against the country. (Full disclosure: I've also been to Cuba, on a student visa when I was in college, as part of a conference.) Then the world's greatest rapper drops the boom, saying the following: "Obama said, 'Chill, you gonna get me impeached ... We don't need this s--t anyway, chill with me on the beach.'"

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Don’t be offended by ‘Accidental Racist’

Don’t be offended by ‘Accidental Racist’

In 2009, Brad Paisley released the song "Welcome to the Future" from his album "American Saturday Night."

In it, he sings about all the cultural changes he's witnessed in his life, including the evolving demographics of the country. He includes glowing references to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. The election of Barack Obama inspired him to write it.

It's important to keep all of that in mind because for some, Paisley's latest song, "Accidental Racist," is making him look like an intentional one. I am reminded of an adage (but with a twist): No good ditty goes unpunished.

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  • Written by LZ Granderson/CNN

African leaders avoid African Americans

African leaders avoid African Americans

Two weeks ago, President Obama met with three African presidents – Koroma (Sierra Leone), Sall (Senegal), Banda (Malawi), and Prime Minister of Cape Verde Jose Maria Pereira Neves. This was the White House's way of rewarding these leaders for their examples of good governance. Receiving an invitation to the White House is one of the most sought after invitations in the world, especially for foreign leaders.

African leaders constantly complain about how they are negatively portrayed in the U.S. media, about how African Americans don't invest in Africa, and about how there seems to be a disconnect between Africans and African Americans.

My response has always been quite simple – It's your fault!

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  • Written by Raynard Jackson/NNPA

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