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Yawu Miller

Stories by Yawu

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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. 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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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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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.

Michelle Wu voting for Bill Linehan over Matt O'Malley as City Council President

Michelle Wu upsets her progressive base with her vote for Bill Linehan over Matt O'Malley.

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Management firm United Housing Management improves housing, lives in Grove Hall

Ten years ago, Otis Gates and John Strodder bought a piece of Longbay Management’s portfolio, taking over management contracts for 721 units of housing in Roxbury and Dorchester and hiring 31 employees to manage and administer services under their new business United Housing Management.

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Protesters take aim at Walmart worker wages

As shoppers parted with their paychecks in the Black Friday shopping frenzy, across the United States staked out space in front of Walmart stores, calling for the chain to provide better pay and benefits to its employees.

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Activists keep immigration reform in national spotlight

In many ways, 2013 should have been a good year for immigration reform advocates. The Senate voted in June on immigration reform legislation that would grant the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. temporary legal status and a pathway to citizenship within 13 years.

Mass. Senate votes to hike minimum wage to $11

With labor activists planning a ballot referendum to raise the state’s minimum wage underway, the state Senate passed a bill that would raise minimum wage from the current $8 an hour to $11 by 2016.

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First in the nation: memorial, park in Boston honor Puerto Rican veterans

When the curtain came off the nation’s first-ever memorial to Puerto Rican veterans, it was the culmination of 14 years of effort by a pair of Vietnam veterans determined to see their fellow soldiers honored for their service to their country.

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Boston entrepreneurs discuss challenges, opportunities

Boston has long had a reputation as a city unwelcoming to black professionals, but a new cadre of entrepreneurs is looking to change that. At a panel discussion in the Emerald Lounge in the Theatre District, seven business-owners shared their success stories with an audience of 60 people and painted a picture of a city full of opportunity.

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Dominican Republic high court ruling sparks international outrage

A controversial ruling by the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court to strip citizenship from people of Haitian descent born there has sent shockwaves through the Caribbean and in the Dominican and Haitian communities in the United States.

Marty Walsh says administration will reflect diversity of Boston

On the campaign trail, state Rep. Marty Walsh and City Councilor John Connolly both pledged that their administrations would reflect the diversity of Boston. Having won election to mayor, Walsh, now tasked with putting together the first new mayoral administration in 20 years, says he will honor his pledge to have at least 50 percent of the top positions in his administration filled by blacks, Latinos and Asians.

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Marty Walsh vote cut across Boston’s race, class lines

As political pundits begin analyzing the results of the election that propelled state Rep. Marty Walsh into the Boston mayor’s office, it’s becoming clear that the traditional nexus of white liberals and people of color gave way to a new alliance between people of color and working-class whites.

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Walsh forming transition team

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh is moving forward with his promise to assemble an administration that is 50 percent people of color, appointing former mayoral candidates Felix G. Arroyo, John Barros and Charlotte Golar Richie to his transition team.

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President Obama makes case for health law in Boston

After Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, it ran a gauntlet of opposition, surviving a Supreme Court challenge and serving as a political football in the 2012 presidential election and this year’s government shutdown.

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Marty Walsh wins mayor’s seat, pledges to work for equity

Backed by a formidable army of volunteers, state Rep. Marty Walsh opened up a lead of more than 4,908 votes to beat City Councilor John Connolly, winning the mayor’s seat with 72,524 votes.

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Boston City Council overrides Mayor Thomas Menino’s veto on banking ordinance

A simmering battle over the city’s banking services came to a boil last week when the City Council overrode a veto from the mayor for the first time in 19 years, passing Councilor Felix G. Arroyo’s Invest in Boston ordinance over Mayor Thomas Menino’s objections.

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Blacks, Latinos split support between John Connolly, Marty Walsh in Boston mayor’s race

The mad dash that’s taken Boston mayoral candidates John Connolly and Marty Walsh to seemingly every corner of the city has given Boston residents multiple opportunities to meet them. But many in the city’s black community still haven’t made up their mind who to vote for.

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Michelle Wu on track to win seat in at-large Boston City Council race

Voters in the Sept. 24 Boston preliminary went into the voting booth with 12 mayoral candidates,19 at-large district councilors and as many as eight district council candidates to chose from. Remarkably, political neophyte Michelle Wu managed an impressive fourth-place finish in the at-large field with 29,359 votes — more than 13,000 votes ahead of fifth-place finisher Martin Keough.

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Ayanna Pressley keeps focus on families, schools

In 10 minutes on a sidewalk in Dudley Square, City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley engages in a series of conversations with constituents that outline the highlights of her work over the last two terms.