Maya Angelou, the internationally celebrated poet and author, died at 86 on Wednesday, May 28. In addition to her trove of writings about her heartbreaking childhood, her convictions on civil rights, and dozens of film, television and play scripts, Angelou often wrote about her faith as well.
Below are several excerpts and quotes from the-late inspirational woman who, in 2010, became a recipient of the Medal of Freedom.
1. In 2013 in a promo for "The Bible" series, she says: "In a world of confusion and noise I look for the moments that help me understand who I am, where I come from and what I want to be. This Bible series brings to life the stories that have shaped our world and shaped my life. Stories that have helped me to forgive. Helped me to love. Helped me to overcome. Helped me to survive, and even do better than that, helped me to thrive." more >>
Christian social justice advocate Shane Claiborne mourned a "sad day in the movement for a better world" after Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam decided last week to sign a law that will authorize the state to use the electric chair if lethal injection drugs are not available for the death penalty.
"I don't think there is any good way to kill someone, but there is definitely an evil way – and electrocuting someone to death is evil," wrote Claiborne on Facebook. "No one speaks with more credibility than former executioner Ron McAndrew who describes what it is like to smell someone as they die by electrocution, and to watch someone's head smoke as they die. I cannot believe that we are actually considering the electric chair a viable form of 'justice' in the United States in 2014."
Claiborne, who is in the middle of writing a book speaking out against the death penalty, begged Haslam personally last month to halt the execution of 10 inmates currently set to die later this year. more >>
Retired neurosurgeon and conservative darling Ben Carson scored big points with the audience and actor Terry Crews in an appearance on ABC's "The View" Tuesday when he argued that welfare "doesn't provide a way out of poverty."
Carson who appeared on the show to promote his new book 'One Nation' was asked by Crews if he thought the welfare system in its current state is racist.
The neurosurgeon who was raised by a single mother argued that welfare works against people who are seeking to become independent productive citizens. more >>
Two of the most prominent partisan splits in the United States today, race/ethnicity and religion, are undergoing a generational shift that promises to shake up the traditional alliances that comprise the Democratic and Republican parties. How party leaders choose to respond to this shift could determine the future of American politics for a generation.
A majority of nonwhites support the Democratic Party; a majority of whites support the Republican Party. A majority of those with high levels of religiosity (usually measured by church attendance) support the Republican Party; a majority of those with low levels of religiosity, or no religious affiliation, support the Democratic Party.
These demographic characteristics are not the only ones that describe the differences between the two major political parties. There is the urban/rural gap (urban areas are mostly Democratic and rural areas are mostly Republican), and the gender gap gets much attention these days, for instance. But, the religious participation gap and the race/ethnic gap have been two of the most prominent features of America's two-party system for, at least, the last 10 to 15 years. more >>
Sixty years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America's schools, segregation in America's classrooms remains as problematic as it was when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his final speech, says First Lady Michelle Obama.
Speaking last Friday to 1,200 high school seniors on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the historic decision in Topeka, Kansas, where the case began, Obama said desegregation is now in reverse by some measures.
"So today, by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they were back when Dr. King gave his final speech. And as a result, many young people in America are going to school largely with kids who look just like them. And too often, those schools aren't equal, especially ones attended by students of color, which too often lag behind, with crumbling classrooms and less experienced teachers," said Obama in remarks posted on whitehouse.gov. more >>
Robert Copeland, the defiant police commissioner of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, who refused to apologize for calling President Barack Obama a "f**king n***er" because he thinks he meets and exceeds the definition of the racial slur, has resigned.
According to The Washington Post, Wolfeboro officials confirmed on Monday that the 82-year-old who was heard publicly demeaning Obama with the racial epithet had tendered his resignation late Sunday night.
His resignation came as outrage grew nationally over his comments and a number of prominent New Hampshire politicians, including former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who called for him to resign and apologize. more >>