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.
Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby’s grand jury indictment against the six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray demonstrates that district attorney’s can secure justice in cases against police.
The political campaign has begun to elect the successor to President Barack Obama. It is still much too early to engage the interest of the voters, the decisive election is not until November 2016. But before then, the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders should arouse considerable press coverage. While most campaigns are between Democrats and Republicans of varying stripes, Sanders is an avowed democratic socialist who is running as a Democrat.
The economy has improved so the unemployment rate for young college graduates has declined, but unemployment is still too high for black graduates.
With high profile police killings of unarmed blacks increasingly publicized through cell phone videos, the public may no longer be willing to support the exorbitant salaries many officers earn.
The Baltimore protests, and the violent police incidents that precipitated them, raise important questions about racially discriminatory policing.
For some time the nation has been concerned about police violence against black men. Since the police officers involved were the white minions of a white government, it was assumed that the incidents were simply racial oppression. Then came the recent death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black citizen of Baltimore.
During the civil rights era, outstanding black athletes were often called upon to use their celebrity for the cause of racial equality. For various reasons, some failed to answer the call, but those who did attained heroic stature. The consequences for speaking up were often quite severe, and it is appropriate that those of us who benefited from their courage should hold them in great esteem.
At a time when men of their vintage would be seeking greater leisure, Cecil and Kenneth Guscott have just launched a major real estate development project for Dudley Square.
America is suffering from a substantial wealth gap. A small number of residents control a disproportionate amount of the nation’s wealth. With the publication of “The Color of Wealth in Boston” report, the issue of wealth disparity took a shocking twist. This study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston found that while white households in Boston had a median wealth of $247,500, African American households averaged close to zero.
Little attention has been given to the role of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in exposing the egregious discrimination in the voting rights of blacks.