A native of Boston, Melvin B. Miller has been actively involved in political and public affairs for more than 40 years. In 1965, he founded the Bay State Banner, a weekly newspaper advocating the interests of Greater Boston’s African American community. Miller has served as the Banner’s publisher and editor since its inception.
Prior to the establishment of the Banner, Miller was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. In 1973, the State Banking Commissioner appointed him as the Conservator of the Unity Bank and Trust Company, Boston’s first minority bank. Under his stewardship the bank’s operations became profitable for the first time. In 1977, the Mayor of Boston appointed him as one of the three original commissioners of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. He later became chairman of the commission in 1980, and managed its operating budget of $193.2 million.
Miller was also a founding partner in the law firm of Fitch, Miller and Tourse, a primarily corporate law firm and he engaged in the practice of law there from 1981 until 1991. He was also Vice President and General Counsel of WHDH-TV, Boston’s CBS affiliate from 1982 until 1993.
A long-term trustee of Boston University, Miller became a Trustee Emeritus in 2005. He served in the three-member National Advisory Council to American Companies doing business in South Africa under the Sullivan Principles until the council was disbanded after the fall of apartheid. Miller is also a trustee of the Huntington Theatre Company and a director of OneUnited Bank, the largest African American owned and operated bank in the U.S.
A graduate of Boston Latin School, Harvard University and Columbia Law School, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters was conferred on him by Suffolk University and Emerson College.
One thing is clear: The continued failure of blacks and Latinos to qualify for Boston Latin School is not acceptable.
What they call patriotism now is a pale reflection of the love for America that abounded in the 1940s.
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study recently sponsored a well-attended conference entitled “Universities and Slavery: Bound by History,” to discuss the complicity of academia with slavery in America. When considering slavery, one’s first thought is the Civil War and plantation owners growing rich from forced labor. The nation’s exalted institutions were considered to be far removed from such a depraved practice. However, with the growing recognition of the involvement of esteemed universities in slavery, it is becoming more apparent that slavery was more extensive than was generally believed. Ironically, academia has become a major battleground for opposition to affirmative action.
Felix Arroyo, the first person of color elected to be register of the Suffolk Probate Court has been suspended from office, pending an investigation of the dysfunctional operation of the office.
As the annual Black History Month draws to a close, it is well to remember George Santayana’s aphorism, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” After Barack Obama’s ascension to the presidency, there is a strong desire to conclude that a non-racial America has evolved. Indeed, the great legacy of black achievements for the benefit of the nation warrants the status of equality for black citizens. Every February African Americans note their contributions, but it is painful to recollect in detail the infliction suffered in generations of racial abuse.
An Obama rule requires investment advisors to consider the best interests of their customers in making decisions in retirement accounts was upheld.
The highest paid city employee in 2016 was a Boston police detective who was paid $403,000. In fact, 98 of the top 100 highest earners were employees of the police department.
Americans believe that the president of the United States is due the greatest show of respect. Political commentators and the media have been trying to be deferential despite Donald Trump’s bizarre views and inappropriate conduct. But finally the lid is off. Sen. Bernie Sanders declared that Trump is a fraud. This statement by a highly regarded senator enables the public to criticize the president without being attacked for impropriety.
David Jacobs decided to appropriate the Boston Guardian name when he found it inadvisable to continue publication of his Boston Courant under that legend. Any copyright protection of the Boston Guardian had expired, but Jacobs was nonetheless informed that the Guardian had special historical significance. Now every week there will be another desecration of the special status of Trotter’s Boston Guardian. Certainly Trotter’s protest against racial defamation ranks up there with other early Boston oppositions to injustice.
Despite great public awareness of the violence between the police and unarmed blacks, the incidents continue. President Trump seems to have great sympathy for the police as does his attorney general designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Chances of blacks prevailing in criminal prosecutions against offending police officers are slim.