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"On August 6, we observe the anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This landmark legislation struck down a range of barriers to Black citizens' exercising their right to vote, including "literacy tests" and poll taxes."
"A family lives in a small village by a river—a mother, two girls and a boy. The water isn't clean, but the children play in it avoiding dead fish whose pale bellies roll on the surface. There's a mill or refinery or food processing plant several kilometers upstream that spews thick raw sludge into the river."
"I often write in this space about a national or global challenge confronting our children and recommend how readers might support a policy or initiative to address it. In this week's column, however, I'd like to talk about how each of us can do more to personally develop our own children."
"The Children's Defense Fund's top policy goal in 2007 has been comprehensive health coverage for all 9 million uninsured children and pregnant women in America. It will remain our top priority until we succeed. Meanwhile, pending congressional legislation gives new hope to three to four million children across the country."
"Two years ago, on August 29, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi, displacing hundreds of thousands. Black communities that had been economically depressed before the hurricane were hardest hit."
"In the 1940s and 50s, a very small but very committed band of highly trained NAACP lawyers launched a war in the nation's courts to end legal apartheid in American education. Their leader was the brilliant Charles Hamilton Houston, who unlike his partner Thurgood Marshall, is one the unsung heroes of that crusade."
"The recent conviction of Black high school student Mychal Bell in the small rural town of Jena, Louisiana, demonstrates why the struggle for civil rights and equal justice must continue with renewed vigor. In a vindictive miscarriage of justice, LaSalle Parish District Attorney J. Reed Walters brought the full weight of his office as a prosecutor down on Bell, 17, who may face a 15-year prison term for aggravated second-degree battery for participating in a school fight."
"I'm writing to urge all of my readers to take action and demand justice for the African American youths known as "the Jena Six." These young men, all teenagers, are in great peril of being condemned to long prison terms for allegedly participating in a school fight in the small rural town of Jena, Louisiana. Mychal Bell, 17, has already been convicted by an all-White jury of aggravated second-degree battery and may be sentenced to as much as 15 years and a $10,000 fine at a hearing scheduled for September 20th."
"Late on a Friday afternoon in the middle of the August congressional recess, after the House and Senate passed legislation reauthorizing and extending the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), the Bush Administration issued harsh and restrictive rules for SCHIP that would make it virtually impossible for states to extend health coverage to many of America's more than nine million uninsured children."
"The Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution as a roadmap to, as the Preamble says, "establish justice," "promote the general welfare" and "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." Somehow over the last 220 years, our nation lost its way and developed a system that has established America as the prison capital of the world."