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How do you think Boston has changed since last year’s marathon bombing?

I think there’s an increased awareness of how to work together among citizens, medical, emergency and police personnel. There’s more of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood and keeping our community safe. Stephen Hanley, Executive Director, Roxbury

What’s the best way to encourage children to read?

Sit down and be patient with them. Spend more time and pay more attention to them. —Horace Banks, Building Maintenance Technician, Dorchester

You pay taxes: Why doesn’t General Electric?

You pay your fair share of taxes. Small businesses do too. It’s the price we pay to educate our kids, protect our communities and have some security in retirement. Why shouldn’t some of America’s largest corporations pay their fair share ...

Reading skills are essential to success

Research by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center of the University of Wisconsin revealed that only 3 percent of books published last year had black characters and only 2 percent of the writers were black. The industry’s response to the data ...

New strategies needed for future victories

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Over the months there will be numerous celebrations of various aspects of this legislation that changed the course of American society. Yet even after 50 years many ...

Blog - Melida Arredondo - on the anniversary of the Marathon Bombing

Melida and her husband, Carlos Arredondo, were witnesses to the Boston Marathon bombing. This is not their first up close and personal experience with violence and death, and Melida shares her message to all the survivors of violence.

Do you think it’s important for blacks to serve in government?

Yes. We need representation. The only people who know about our everyday experience is black people. It’s very important to have a voice in government. — Mark Mitchell, Human Services Advocate, Dorchester

McCutcheon ruling is another blow to democracy

The Roberts Court, in its 5-4 “McCutcheon v. FEC” decision last week continued its drive to give Americans a government of, by and for big money. While doing so, it demonstrated once again just how out of touch with political ...

A lost opportunity to tackle legislative misconduct

With lightning speed the Massachusetts House recently approved stronger measures against domestic violence. Unfortunately, the legislative enthusiasm waned and there has been no change in the rules of conduct for representatives. There is still no requirement for the summary expulsion ...

The monetization of the voting process

Republican sycophants gathered at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas to audition for Sheldon Adelson’s political support only a few days before the U.S. Supreme Court published its opinion in the McCutcheon case. The 5-4 decision lifted any restrictions on ...

The wisdom of the elders is still relevant

“Never let your enemies define you!” That is sage advice often given by the elders to young black men generations ago. When understood, it enabled males to steel their psyches against the “slings and arrows” of aggressive bigots. Perhaps this ...

Life expectancy disparity a national blight

The life expectancy of its citizens is one measure of determining the standard of living in a country. One would expect that the industrialized nations would top the list. However, the United States, the greatest industrial power in the world, ...

Black students under fire: still more likely to get expelled

Fifteen years ago, the U.S. Department of Education found black students were getting the boot far faster and in much bigger numbers than white students. While blacks made up then less than 20 percent of the nation’s public school students, ...

How does racism affect you?

All kinds of ways. I have missed a lot of opportunities to get ahead. — Bernard Washington, Retired, Roxbury

Black teens show strength in confronting adversity

When the Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman overdosed on heroin in February, America discovered that the nation has a serious drug problem. Until then, many people thought that drug addiction was essentially an affliction of black, urban communities. After all, ...