Category Archives: Commentary

Broken Bootstraps

Witness.Justice.Jaramillo.web“Making it big” in this country means being worth a lot of money.  It is not easy to get rich (in money) if you do not have wealthy parents or grandparents.  It is doubtful that someone who was born and grew up in poverty can become wealthy.  The assumption that a person “came from poverty, but worked hard and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and made it big” is an unlikely reality in our current economic system.  The problem is our capitalistic culture regularly measures our importance and success by how much money we make rather than the moral and ethical values by which we live our lives. Continue reading Broken Bootstraps

Renewed faith for freedom . . .

Faith for Freedom is the name of the first pamphlet handed me following my (less than cordial) response to the introductory presentation of the Baha i Faith, 43 years ago this month, at The Roanoke Tribune office while still on Henry Street. Upon searching for a good reason to through the materials left me in the trash, I decided to at least read the first line–of which I memorize to this day: “The Baha’i Faith is a new, independent, universal  religion whose aim is to revitalize mankind spiritually, to break down the barriers between peoples and to lay the foundation for a universal, world-wide society based on the principles of justice and love! Thus my belligerence ended, my investigation began –and the rest is history. Continue reading Renewed faith for freedom . . .

Julian Bond: Champion of intergenerational justice for all

by Jim Antal

Today I join the millions who remember and mourn the death of civil rights champion Julian Bond. His leadership as a founding member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and then as a core advisor to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is what most will recall and celebrate. But his courage and vision drove him to oppose the Vietnam War long before the anti-war movement gained traction, and to advocate early and passionately for the rights of LGBTQ persons. Continue reading Julian Bond: Champion of intergenerational justice for all

“My performing arts mishaps”

by Pearl Fu, Roanoke’s Muticultural Ambassador

Every day when you open the pages of the newspaper or magazine, turn on the radio or the TV, it never fails that the headlines blasting back at you are about: international terrorists, assassinations, bombings, murders, natural disasters, kidnapping, depressing reports on terminal illnesses, etc. This is not only the symptoms of my Parkinson’s disease. It really makes us become numb, expressionless and depressed – tendency to dig a hole, and withdraw. Continue reading “My performing arts mishaps”

Identity Crisis

by Kamila Love

What is the idea of being Black? One of the funniest things I’ve heard is if a young Black man doesn’t wear the average Hip Hop fashion or any Hip Hop fashion it’s called “The White Boy Swag.” “Gurl, look at him! He got that White boy swag!”
What were we doing before Hip Hop became the phenomenon it is now?
Did all the men have “White Boy Swag”? Continue reading Identity Crisis