Heritage


How Maya Angelou made me feel

“I want to acknowledge how Maya Angelou made me feel as a young black American woman, and how those feelings have defined how I experience myself as a complete human being.”

George H.W. Bush’s legacy on racial issues is complicated

George H.W. Bush got elected president after a campaign marked by the infamous Willie Horton ad, about a black murderer who raped a white woman while on a weekend furlough from prison. On the other side of the racial ledger, Bush appointed Gen. Colin Powell as the first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Ethiopia Gets Its First Female President

Ethiopia’s parliament has made Sahle-Work Zewde the country’s first female president. And while the role is largely ceremonial, her appointment carries power in what it signifies.

Vermont town honors the nation’s first ordained black minister

More than 220 years after the first ordained black minister in the U.S. became a pastor in a small, predominantly white community in Vermont and preached about brotherly love, freedom and unity, people there are honoring his life and work with an historic marker.

New coalition seeks sainthood for five African-Americans

The founders of two religious orders and an African-American priest who had to train in Rome because no U.S. seminary would accept him are among five candidates being supported for sainthood by a new coalition of black Catholic organizations.

Mysterious missing parts of Malcolm X’s autobiography found

For decades, a burning question loomed over a towering 20th-century book: “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”: What happened to the reputedly missing chapters that may have contained some of the most explosive thoughts of the African-American firebrand assassinated in 1965?

Feds Reopen Emmett Till Case

Last year, the 1955 case came to light again when Till’s accuser, Carolyn Bryant Donham, admitted that she lied in her testimony about the brutal beating and murder of the 14-year-old Chicago boy.

When gospel sermons came on the phonograph

The first truly African-American musical form, the “Spirituals,” took shape in the 17th and 18th centuries within the generations of slaves born into the tough American experience. Music was a daily part of their survival and sustenance. Spirituals were sung “a...