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Yawu Miller

Stories by Yawu

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Scholars mull Obama’s record on race issues

The conference was organized by the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University

A funny thing happened to Professor Matthew Whitaker on his way to the Barack Obama and American Democracy Conference at Tufts University. "I got a text message from my mother," the Arizona State University Foundation Professor of History said. "She said don’t be too critical of Obama." The other conference participants nodded in agreement with Whitaker’s point: black people are uncomfortable with criticism of the nation’s first black president.

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U.S. marshals raid Roxbury radio station

Charles Clemmons says "our community will not be silenced".

Elected officials and community activists are rallying around the Grove Hall-based underground radio station Touch 106.1 FM radio after U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz ordered U.S. marshals to shut down the unlicensed station.

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Prince Hall Grand Masonic Lodge averts auction

A foreclosure auction for the Prince Hall Grand Masonic Lodge in Grove Hall scheduled for Thursday was called off last week after officials from the lodged reached an agreement with Northborough Capital Partners, the entity that currently holds their loan.

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Rev. Eugene Rivers courts controversy, stays in media spotlight

Fifteen years ago, the Rev. Eugene Rivers was at the height of his influence with his face on the cover of Newsweek magazine, his frequent critiques of Boston’s black political and religious readers appearing frequently in the pages of the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine and the Boston Herald.

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Evandro Carvalho wins Boston 5th Suffolk by wide margin

Political neophyte Evandro Carvalho cleared the field in the five-person Democratic primary special election for the 5th Suffolk District seat formerly occupied by Carlos Henriquez, securing 49 percent of the 1,957 ballots cast.

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Majority of high-paying Boston jobs dominated by whites

For people of color, the school department is a mirror image of the rest of the city. While whites make up the majority of the employees in the schools with 57 percent, people of color make up the majority at the highest level of pay, with 53 percent of those jobs.

BJ’s Wholesale Club has signed a letter of intent for a 90,000 square-foot space in Parcel 3

This gives the P-3 Partners LLC development team the needed anchor tenant for its million-square foot Roxbury development project.

The letter of intent was announced Monday night at a meeting of the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee. Committee members congratulated members of the Parcel 3 development team for the commitment, which will allow the project to secure funding for construction.

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Compromise bill dies amid battle over charter school cap

A battle between charter school supporters and public school parents came to a head last week, but the event that precipitated the dustup was an attempt at compromise.

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Boston luxury market booming, middle class gets squeezed

While activists in Roxbury debate whether the 44.9 percent of units designated affordable there have concentrated too much poverty in the neighborhood, real estate developers in downtown Boston are grappling with a radically different problem — a boom in the construction of $4,000-a-month luxury units that may soon result in a glut.

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Candidates for 5th Suffolk seat debate issues at forum

The forum for the 5th Suffolk District could have ended at the candidates’ opening statements. The auditorium at the First Parish Church was packed with supporters of the four candidates who showed at the forum with no discernable undecideds in the room.

Recent cases suggest bias in Mass. justice

Former state Rep. Carlos Henriquez was expelled from the state legislature by a House vote he and his supporters say had no basis in state law. Jailed on two misdemeanor assault charges, Henriquez will likely be released next month before the hastily-scheduled April 29 election to replace him occurs.

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Linda Dorcena Forry breathes new life into Boston St. Patrick’s Day breakfast

Linda Dorcena Forry’s bid last year for the 1st Suffolk Senate seat was certainly contentious enough, but once in office, she had to battle for control over one of the spoils of the seat — the right to host the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

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Roxbury history preserved in Warren Street house

For decades, the puddingstone house at 130 Warren Street, known as the Warren House, has beat the odds that laid waste to so many other homes from the early 1800s — the ravages of time, the wrecking ball of Urban Renewal and, most recently, a raging fire two weeks ago that reduced the Second Empire Victorian next door to a pile of charred wood.

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Main Streets Director Ed Gaskin sees bright future for Grove Hall

When Ed Gaskin talks about Boston’s Grove Hall, he sees the community’s assets first and foremost — its proximity to Franklin Park with its golf course and zoo, a newly-constructed nearby commuter rail station, the surrounding housing stock of stately one- and two-family Victorians, and commercial anchors like the One United Bank and Bank of America branches and the Grove Hall Mecca Mall.

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Entrepreneurs float ideas for Dudley Square business incubator

Speaking to the Mass Technology Leadership Council last month, Mayor Martin Walsh urged industry leaders to look beyond the Seaport District and Kendall Square to neighborhoods like Mattapan as locations for new\ innovation districts.

Latino representation seen lacking in Boston’s civic leadership

Along with African Americans and Asians, Latinos suffer the same pattern of underrepresentation in virtually all spheres of Boston’s civic life — a high concentration at the bottom of the pay scales and decision-making chains with little to no representation at the top.

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Parking may be casualty of Dudley development

The completion of the Ferdinand Building at the end of this year will be a major milestone in the rejuvenation of the Dudley Square area. The 532 employees the building is expected to bring to the business district will be an infusion of activity, lunch money and cars.

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Tito Jackson spearheads Boston commission on black boys and men

Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson’s call for a special commission to study the issues confronting black boys and men dovetailed so well with President Obama’s announcement of his My Brother’s Keeper initiative aimed at black boys, it almost seemed planned.

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Historic night at Oscars with trio of big victories

The 2014 Oscars marked a few rare wins for blacks in the white-dominated world of the Academy Awards: Best Picture for the Steve McQueen’s film “12 Years a Slave,” Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o, and Best Adapted Screenplay for writer John Ridley.

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Missing in action: Althea Garrison

Five of the six candidates who pulled papers to run in the special election for the 5th Suffolk District have cleared the first hurdle: turning in 150 valid signatures.

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Roxbury program spawned generation of photographers

In the summer of 1967, Wesley Williams and a group of Roxbury teens launched the Roxbury Photographers Training Program in Dudley Square with help from MIT and professional photography Harry Emerson.

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Few police abuse cases find way to civilian review

Seven years after the city established the Civilian Ombudsman Oversight Panel to review allegations of police abuse, the board remains largely powerless, ineffective and little-known according to attorneys and community activists contacted by the Banner.

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Governor says state can cut recidivism rate in half

Speaking at a forum held at UMass Boston and sponsored by MassINC, Gov. Deval Patrick says recidivism, the rate at which people convicted of crimes are re-arrested, can be cut by 50 percent in Massachusetts over the next five years if state policy makers continue an ongoing trend of criminal justice policy reform.

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Heritage Guild honors 19th century luminaries

When Adelaide Cromwell arrived in Boston in the 1940s, the history of the city’s African American community was all but forgotten, with the stories of prominent 19th century blacks gathering dust in out-of-print books and century-old newspapers.

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Roxbury’s boundaries buried in town history

The racially driven cartography to determine black neighborhoods has added much confusion to the location of neighborhood borders, but Boston’s neighborhood boundaries have always been confusing, even to indigenous Bostonians.

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Roxbury real estate values depressed by historic stigma

Roxbury’s real estate market is booming, according to brokers who sell listings in the Boston neighborhood. But entrenched perceptions that Roxbury is a black neighborhood and lingering concerns that Roxbury is dangerous conspire to suppress home values.

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City Council President Bill Linehan is bailing out on this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Breakfast

City Council President Bill Linehan is bailing out on this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Breakfast

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Chinatown residents seek relief from rising rents

Last Wednesday, housing activists in Boston’s Chinatown met with Mayor Marty Walsh and members of his administration seeking help in stemming the displacement of low-income residents of the city’s densest neighborhood.

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All politics is local: gov. candidates take back seat in caucuses

As can be expected in a year with multiple candidates running for open seats for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and treasurer, the recent Massachusetts Democratic caucus meetings were packed with political activists seeking signatures and support for candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer and attorney general.

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John Barros joins cabinet; Mayor Marty Walsh defends record on hiring

Mayor Marty Walsh tapped former mayoral candidate John Barros to serve as Boston’s first Chief of Economic Development, a cabinet-level position with supervision over the Boston Redevelopment Authority and six city departments.

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House votes to expel state Rep. Carlos Henriquez

The Massachusetts House voted 146-5 today to expel state Rep. Carlos Henriquez, despite his spirited defense delivered from the floor of the House. Henriquez, who was convicted in January on two counts of assault on a woman, maintained his innocence.

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Diversity lacking in Mayor Marty Walsh cabinet picks

When Mayor Marty Walsh meets with cabinet members to plan for a snow storm, the whiteout conditions aren’t just on the city’s streets. Despite campaign trail promises to build an administration that is reflective of the diversity of the city at every level, the highest level of his administration remains overwhelmingly white.

Scientists study bias with association test

It may not be surprising to learn that most people in the United States — 80 percent of whites — harbor a pro-white bias. Perhaps more surprising is that a large minority of blacks — 40 percent — hold a pro-white bias.

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Carlos Henriquez appears before House Ethics Committee

Jailed Massachusetts state Rep. Carlos Henriquez returned to the State House in handcuffs twice in the last week to appear before the House Ethics Committee — the first step in the Legislature’s process to strip him of his seat.

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Mass. political campaigns slow to hire blacks

While the Democratic primary is still nearly nine months away, the Massachusetts gubernatorial race is going full throttle for Democratic Party activists, with campaigns phoning potential delegates on a race to secure the party nomination during the June convention.

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Mass. Senate legislation a victory for electoral reform coalition

The Massachusetts Senate approved electoral reform measures aimed at making it easier to vote, register to vote and monitor the accuracy of towns’ voting systems.

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Mass. State Rep. Carlos Henriquez gets six month jail time in assault case

The details of what happened on the night of July 8, 2012 remain sketchy, but the end result is not: convicted of assault, state Rep. Carlos Henriquez has been sentenced to six months in prison and will likely lose his 5th Suffolk District seat.

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Pressure yielding results for Haitian immigrants in Dominican Republic

While running for Congress in 2012, Joe Kennedy III highlighted his experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, where he worked with migrant Haitians to improve horrific living conditions in sugar-cane camps.

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Local groups pressure loan giant on evictions, foreclosure policies

A coalition of Boston housing activists is calling on the federally funded housing giant Fannie Mae to end foreclosure policies they say are destabilizing Boston neighborhoods and driving up the cost of housing.

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Boston parents select schools under new assign plan

Parents of school-age children in Boston begin the process of selecting schools under the Boston Public Schools’ new assignment policy this week.

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Marty Walsh inaugurated; Boston City Council picks Bill Linehan as president

The new Boston and old Boston were in stark contrast Monday with the inauguration of Mayor Marty Walsh and a contentious vote for the presidency of the City Council.

Dr. Kenneth Edelin, advocate for women’s right to abortion, health care, 74

Prominent obstetrician and women’s rights advocate Dr. Kenneth Edelin died Monday in Sarasota, Fla. after a battle with cancer. He was 74 years old.

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Year in review: 2013 politics in Boston marked by multitude of campaigns

Mayor Thomas Menino’s March announcement that he would not seek office opened a floodgate of political ambition, as five city councilors, one state rep., three nonprofit leaders, a businessman, a district attorney and several perennial candidates joined a pool that thankfully winnowed down to 12.

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Year in review: Key events of 2013 left indelible mark on Boston

From the departure of Mayor Thomas Menino and the resulting political shakeup to the school assignment policy, Boston underwent major changes in 2013, and not all of them good. The tragic marathon bombing and ensuing days-long manhunt for the perpetrators also left an indelible mark on the city.

Boston City Council votes to lift cap on liquor licenses

In a move aimed at increasing the number of restaurants in the city’s neighborhoods, the City Council approved a measure last week to lift the cap on liquor licenses in Boston.

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Governor Patrick announces $2 million renovation of Roxbury state park

The governor wants the Roxbury Heritage State Park cleaned up and he’s on a schedule.

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Union boss at center of efforts to reform Mass. economy

Back in 1996, Veronica Turner was a rank-and-file member of the Service Employees International Union 285, working as a data coordinator at Boston City Hospital. She has risen to executive vice president of SEIU 1199 Massachusetts, as her local is now called.

Housing issues loom large in Boston town hall meeting

The ideas shared at Mayor-elect Marty Walsh’s town hall meeting at Roxbury Community College on Tuesday ranged from practical to cosmic, giving his transition team members much to consider as they chart the course for the first new mayor the city has seen in 20 years

Wu Train derailing with progressives. Vote for Bill Linehan angers her base

Michelle Wu continues to take heat from her progressive supporters over her support of Bill Linehan for City Council president.

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Junot Diaz, MIT professor, writer pushing for equality in Dominican Republic

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and MIT Professor Junot Diaz helped focus attention on the plight of Haitian-descended Dominicans who will lose their citizenship due to a September ruling from the Dominican Constitutional Court. In November, he co-authored an op-ed critical of the court sentence in the L.A. Times along with Haitian American novelist\ Edwidge Danticat and other Dominican and U.S. writers.