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Opinion

Susan Taylor’s NAACP-gala appeal to put out the ‘fire’

Susan Taylor’s NAACP-gala appeal to put out the ‘fire’

The Memphis Branch of the NAACP's Freedom Fund Gala drew a crowd of supporters to the Grand Ball Room of the Memphis Cook Convention Center (March 20) for an annual event that brings out the best in Memphis.

Each year a keynote speaker tops off the evening with a poignant message that undergirds the message and mission of the NAACP. For the 37th gala, however, the keynote speaker graced the stage with poise, enthusiasm and zeal, and urged the audience to consider mentoring African-American children.

"We're only asking for an hour a week of your time. We're not asking you to become parents. We just need a little of your time," said Susan L. Taylor, a celebrated magazine columnist who rose through the ranks as a fashion and beauty editor, editorial director, and finally the editor in chief emeritus of Essence magazine.

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  • Written by Wiley Henry

Can the unity of the March on Washington be duplicated?

Can the unity of the March on Washington be duplicated?

In five months, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. In 1963, the March was jointly called by the Civil Rights Movement's "Big Six" – A. Philip Randolph, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, James Farmer and John Lewis.

At this point, it is unclear whether today's leaders will come together and rally around the theme of jobs and justice as leaders did on August 28, 1963.

Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III are planning a march in Washington. Bernice King has announced a commemoration of the "I Have a Dream" speech at the King Center in Atlanta to observe the 50th anniversary. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Dr. King's old organization, will be holding its annual convention in the nation's capital the week of the anniversary and is considering holding an activity.

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  • Written by George Curry

A ‘SAD’ state of affairs looms, if you don’t eat healthy

A ‘SAD’ state of affairs looms, if you don’t eat healthy

The winter months were relatively mild – not too frigid for Southerners like myself. Surprisingly, the birds are chirping, the pollen count is sure to rise, and the icky bugs are surfacing again.

Winter, it seems, is relative. The common denominator for us all is that being cooped up inside during a long winter without the sun's warm glow bathing our skin can lead to emotional discomfort and depression.

Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health described this problem in 1984 as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. It is a syndrome that causes people in cooler climates – where the nights are long and the days are short – to lapse into a state of depression until the return of spring and summer.

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Why cigarettes are here to stay

Why cigarettes are here to stay

Whether you're a three-pack-a-day smoker who doesn't like being lectured to about the health risks, or you're a person who doesn't touch cigarettes and wouldn't smoke one if you were offered a Ferrari in exchange, picture this:

Imagine, for a moment, that cigarettes had never been invented. And that in 2013 an eager entrepreneur went to the Food and Drug Administration seeking approval for a new product – cigarettes – that he wanted to sell to the American people.

Imagine that the Food and Drug Administration, taking its time and doing its homework, came up with all the currently available medical evidence about the dangers of smoking.

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  • Written by Bob Greene/CNN Contributor

Mentoring – It works for African-American males

Mentoring – It works for African-American males

No adult should shy away from mentoring "at risk" youth, especially African-American males.

Through the years, little has been done to erase the enormous gap that separates African-American males from the American mainstream. As markets and social conditions shift in the global economy, so does the competitive nature of those in it. Unfortunately, the greatest loser in the struggle is the African-American male and the odds stacked against his chance at educational progress.

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Spring into a recharge of mind and body

Spring into a recharge of mind and body

Ah, spring is in the air. The flowers have begun to bloom and treetops are sprouting various shades of green leaves. It is a time of rebirth, will all forms of life making the remarkable return to their natural states.

For we humans, spring is a time to refresh, refocus and recharge the mind, body and spirit. Recharging may be challenging to some people, but it doesn't have to be. Recharging could mean simply walking, running, riding a bicycle or hiking the trails along a wooded area. In some sense, recharging will enhance one's state of mind and ultimately one's quality of life.

Quality, however, is relative and depends on what a person is doing to make it happen. When it comes to health, I would venture to say that most people are looking to make incremental changes for the better. If change is your goal, eating fresh fruits and vegetables will help you get started on a wondrous journey to good health.

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GOP, confront your racism problem

GOP, confront your racism problem

(This article contains language that some readers may consider offensive.)

When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he reportedly said Democrats would lose the South for a generation. At the time, 115 of the 128 senators and representatives from the 11 former Confederate states were white Democrats.

Today, all Democratic congressmen from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia are black, except for John Barrow of Georgia; and all Republican congressmen from these states are white, except for Tim Scott of South Carolina.

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  • Written by LZ Granderson/CNN

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