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Racial Issues

Latest Articles

Top Seat or Hot Seat?

It must be challenging to come into a top spot for something in Maine when you're not a Mainer. I think being a person of color only makes it more challenging. Case in point: Portland's new school superintendent.
Diverse City
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  July 20, 2012

'Sorry' was the wrong word

I’ve waited a long damn time for this state to become less white. Now, I can see at least a few people of color every day without breaking a sweat, when nearly nine years ago I could go days upon days without seeing a single non-white face.
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By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  September 17, 2010

Deval Patrick and the mosque

I was extremely disappointed to read your close-minded, ignorant, and bigoted position on Governor Deval Patrick’s meeting with Muslims at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury.
Letters to the Boston editor, July 2, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  July 02, 2010
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Review: Harlan — In The Shadow Of 'Jud Süß'

The story of Veit Harlan, the director of the Third Reich’s most notorious anti-Semitic film, still provokes and fascinates.
How film became a murder weapon under the Third Reich
By PETER KEOUGH  |  May 28, 2010
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Freedom Watch: Speak no evil

It wasn’t the first time members of the Congressional Black Caucus had heard – and done nothing about – Sudan’s dirty secret. Even before a recent House international-relations subcommittee hearing on human-rights violations in Sudan, they knew that kid
Why are African-American leaders silent about slavery in Sudan?
By TIM SANDLER  |  May 21, 2010
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Review: The Girl on the Train

Here in this country, we’re familiar with the practice of pinning a crime on a member or members of another race.
The truth gets sidetracked in Téchiné’s Train
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 30, 2010


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Make yourself uncomfortable

In the past month, Sandra Bullock’s husband betrayed her by screwing a white supremacist with a face tattoo, a Georgia teenager was granted the right to take his boyfriend to prom, and Ricky Martin declared himself a “fortunate homosexual man.”
Xiu Xiu bloom on Dear God
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  April 09, 2010
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UMass racial-confrontation case may finally come to a close

A racial incident that rocked Western Massachusetts two years ago may finally be laid to rest this week, as a black former UMass Amherst student charged with aggravated assault returns to court, apparently having reached an agreement with the Northwester
Is justice being served?
By JEREMY C. FOX  |  April 02, 2010

A very long way to go

“You’ve come a long way, baby.”
Diverse City
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  April 02, 2010
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Tired sleuth

Has Walter Mosley gone off crime fiction? With the creation of Easy Rawlins in 1990, Mosley perfected the African-American side of the genre — along with a poetic and insightful take on post-war LA up through the 1960s — in 11 consistently solid books, t
Can Walter Mosley kick the crime-novel habit?
By CLEA SIMON  |  March 19, 2010
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The Soft Pack | The Soft Pack

This Los Angeles foursome first emerged in 2008 as the Muslims, a name they elected to change after they grew disgusted with and exhausted by all the ignorant — and often racist — bullshit that came out of people's mouths during shows/interviews/conversa
Kemado (2010)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 05, 2010


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The war over peace

In the early infancy of this five-week-old year, Boston has been rocked by four homicides and 10 non-fatal shootings. By the time this goes to print, there may well be more.
A decade after the 'Boston Miracle,' violent crime has again overtaken parts of the city. Can the miracle makers create a new peace?
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 05, 2010

Ask a Black Woman: Harry Reid edition

Just in time for Black History Month, another installment of "Ask a Black Woman," thanks to JT in Portland who in early January asked me: What's your take on the Harry Reid thing?
Diverse City
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  February 05, 2010
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Is there 'hope' in Hollywood?

Buoyed by President Barack Obama's campaign slogan, many had hopes for change after his election.
Three controversial (and sure to be Oscar-nominated) films tackle race in the age of Obama
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 29, 2010
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Rainbow Nation

After a torturous history of being treated like second-class citizens, the black population in this country stunned the world by pulling off the unimaginable: voting a black man in as president.
The US isn't the only country exploring its complex racial history. South Africa prepares for its moment in the sun.
By LANCE GOULD  |  January 29, 2010
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Finally, a GOP gubernatorial contender!

Speaking of the GOP, it appears the party has a candidate — at last! — for the gubernatorial race, provided he doesn't wimp out like Rory Smith did when he realized he was in a no-win, not-ever situation.
Robitaille gives it a go. Plus, voter unrest, Reid puts his foot in it, and more.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  January 15, 2010


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Main man of Mattapan

Ask any group of teens on Blue Hill Ave how many of them rap and you'll get more affirmatives than you would surveying kids at Mass and Boylston for slap-bass skills. Allston might be a crab bucket of indie-rockers, and one in three JP residents is an a
From the curb to the club with Singapore Kane
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 04, 2009
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Menino, again

At a time when Americans are racked by anxiety about the uncertain future of a weak economy, Boston voters handily returned Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to an unprecedented fifth term.
Plus: Latino gains, same-sex defeat, and a buzz for pot
By EDITORIAL  |  November 06, 2009
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Holding his punches

All year, Boston’s political observers have been watching for signs of an anti-Menino tipping point in the mayoral race.
The pundits think a desperate Michael Flaherty needs to be throwing haymakers at the mayor, but he insists that steady pressure will win the fight
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  October 23, 2009

Ask the Black woman: 'Good Hair' edition

Time to don the official robe and mantle of Black Representative, and answer a question of "blackness."
Diverse City
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  October 16, 2009

A child shall lead them

There's good news from Sanford: my hometown is experiencing a surfeit of leadership, and it's manifesting itself in a couple of areas.
Balls, Pucks, and Monster Trucks
By RICK WORMWOOD  |  October 09, 2009


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Desegregation Day

Southie: Ugly Crowds at the Trouble Spot
Southie: Ugly Crowds at the Trouble Spot
By TOM SHEEHAN  |  September 18, 2009
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Review: The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Cash for clunkers? Not completely.
Idiotic, but not a total lemon
By SHAULA CLARK  |  August 21, 2009

Ask the black woman

I've lived in Maine for seven years and been writing for this fine publication for about five, and during that time I've covered a wide array of subjects on the issue of diversity in Maine.
Diverse City
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  August 21, 2009
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The Gates case isn't about race

The weeks-long hubbub over the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates Jr. by the Cambridge Police Department has centered on race, understandably, for two reasons: 1) the African-American population has suffered inequitably in its relat
Doesn't Matter If You're Black or White Dept.
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  August 07, 2009

Me, myself, and race

I have been told by many different people at many different times that I put too much thought into race, that perhaps I overreact and see race as a factor when it might not be.
Diverse City
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  July 24, 2009


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King, as in mayor

To begin with, I'd like to set down the political and ideological frame of reference under which I try to live.
Another page from an optimist's agenda
By TOM SHEEHAN  |  July 17, 2009
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Who's next?

If Melvin B. Miller has his way, last week's shutdown of the Bay State Banner — the African-American-focused weekly paper Miller ran as editor and publisher for nearly half a century — won't be the end.
What the Banner 's closure means for Boston's African-Americans
By ADAM REILLY  |  July 17, 2009

Moving Off the Plantation?

Rhode Island, whatever its obsession with history, has only lately begun to come to terms with the darkest stain on its past: slavery.
Rhode Island's identity crisis
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 03, 2009
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Send in the clowns

The New York Post got to resurrect its priceless "Wacko Jacko" headline. Barbara Walters scored Super Bowl-level ratings without having to lift a pretty little finger. And Michael Jackson, well, no matter how you slice it, he got screwed royally.
The wacky worlds of Michael Jackson and Ozzy Osbourne
By MATT ASHARE  |  July 03, 2009