Director’s Desk: What Now?

“No one can stand up against the authority of truth, and the evil of falsehood is to be fought with enlightening speculation.” ― Ibn Khaldun, “The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History” What better description of the times we live in than these words, penned six centuries ago by Ibn Khaldun, the towering genius of the medieval Arab world, indeed of any age. In the end, Ibn Khaldun is telling us, the tyrant will always fall, and the truth will always prevail.

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Director’s Desk: In Praise of AOC

If you have not already seen it, we urge all of you to watch the speech by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the House of Representatives, in which she responded to a verbal assault by Rep. Ted Yoho, a Florida Republican. The speech by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, viewed over 4 million times in the past week, was one for the ages, for it was far more than a rebuke to a single sexist politician for uttering a single vulgarity…

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Webinar on Hip-Hop and Black Culture

Hip-Hop is ubiquitous; there are places without running water and electricity that hip-hop has touched. The culture and its expressions have begun the dominant influence on popular youth culture over the span of the past four and a half decades. That is a significant statement considering the culture emerged from a back to school party hosted by two teenagers in the cramped recreation room of their housing project forty-seven years ago.

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Director’s Desk: Many Juneteenths

Every June 19th was a special day for my family. In the first decades of the 20th century, fleeing the anti-Jewish violence in Eastern Europe, my grandparents and parents emigrated to America seeking a new life in a land where “all men are created equal.”

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Director’s Desk: “The Yellow Peril”

In the midst of our current pandemic, today’s New York Times carried a frontpage article about the outbreak in the U.S. of another type of deadly virus, Sinophobia, the irrational fear and hatred of all things Chinese. Anti-Chinese bigotry in the U.S. was common throughout the latter half of the 19th century…

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