The Crisis

The Crisis is the official publication of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Crisis publishes articles on current affairs, in addition to poetry, review, and essays on culture and history.

Articles from Vol. 113, No. 3, May/June

A New Dawn in Liberia
LAST NOVEMBER, Liberians overwhelmingly elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a dashing Harvard-educated former World Bank official, to be president of one of the world's most tortured states.That election was historic because it broke two critical barriers:...
Black Banks in a Technologically Advanced World
African American-owned banks once played a vital role in the Black community. From 1888, when Capital Savings Bank opened its doors in Washington, D.C., until 1934, the United States boasted 134 Black-owned banks. More than half of these banks shut their...
Books in Brief
BOOKS IN BRIEFColor Monitors: The Black Face of Technology in America, by Martin Kevorkian (Cornell University Press, $17.95 paper). To advance his theory that technology is being used to contain Blackness, the author offers an analysis of "digital slaves"...
Brown Leads New Generation of Freedom Fighters
Stefanie Brown formed a special bond with the NAACP 10 years ago. At age 15, the Bedford Heights, Ohio, native excelled quickly as a member of a youth council chapter in Cleveland. (She was elected president, too.) In between studies in business management...
Coming Soon: One Man's Bumpy Road to Success
Coming Soon: One Man's Bumpy Road to Success The Pursuit of Happyness By Chris Gardner with Quincy Troupe (Amistad, $25.95)Fatherhood - the difference between a bad father and a true father, a true man - is the key theme of Chris Gardner's rags to riches...
Connecticut NAACP Files Suit against State
A lawsuit that the state of Connecticut filed against U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings last August may not be in the best interest of low-income and minority students, according to the Connecticut State Conference of the NAACP Branches....
First African American Women to Open a Bowling Alley
When Gail Richards and her niece Sharon Joseph launched Harlem Lanes in March, not only did they make history as the first African American women to own a bowling alley, but they also had former President Bill Clinton help them cut the ribbon on opening...
Gordon Parks's Hungry Heart
APPRECIATIONFor those of us who look for a compassionate voice in photography and film, the name Gordon Parks comes to mind. He spent some seven decades observing, writing, documenting, photographing and interpreting life experiences. Gordon was an artist...
How Universities Are Keeping Diversity on Campus
Responding to pressure from Washington, colleges and universities nationwide are reviewing fellowships, scholarships and other programs once reserved for minorities.While most everyone agrees on the need to maintain diversity in higher education, the...
Jacksonville NAACP Investigates Nooses at Fire Department
Nooses discovered hanging in the protective gear of two Black Jacksonville firefighters have prompted investigations by local and federal officials into allegations of civil rights violations.Rufus Smith, 44, and Roderick Laws, 34, found the nooses Friday...
Kindred Spirit: Science Fiction Author Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler was a paradox. She was a visionary who melted the boundaries of popular fiction. And she was a loner who hated to draw attention to herself. As a writer, she was bold enough to change the entire landscape of science fiction. As a person,...
Letters
Fields of DreamsThank you for the photo essay about the plight of the American Black farmer in the March/April 2006 issue. The Black farmer is not asking for a handout nor that he be given special treatment. He is only asking that he be given the same...
Lives
Octavia Butler, 58, writer, died Feb. 24 in Seattle, after a fall. Butler was the first prominent Black female science fiction writer. In 1995, she was the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur "genius" award.Anne Braden, 81, civil rights...
Looking Up: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson
Five hours before giving the commencement address to his graduate school class at Columbia University, Neil deGrasse Tyson returned to New York from a seven-day trip to the Andes Mountains. He'd spent most of his time in Chile 7,000 feet above sea level...
Louisville NAACP Rallies to Get More African Americans on Juries
Jury duty: You might consider it an inconvenience, try to get out of it, or even ignore that jury summons that comes in the mail. But the Louisville, Ky. NAACP wants people to know that shirking jury duty can have serious consequences.Research findings...
Madame President
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia's newly elected head-of-state, faces a monumental task. Maintaining peace and restoring basic services are among her priorities.Ellen Johnson Sirleaf knows a lot about being exceptional. On Jan. 16, 2006, the day she was...
Mission Possible
A NUMBER OF PROGRAMS NATIONWIDE ARE GROOMING MINORITY YOUTH TO PURSUE CAREERS IN SCIENCE, MATH AND TECHNOLOGYChristopher Parks is considering a career as a physician's assistant. This fall, the 17-year-old high school senior from Martinsburg, W.Va.,...
NAACP Offers Assistance to Displaced Voters in New Orleans Election
More than six months after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, citizens of New Orleans went to the polls to elect a new city government. Elections were held for mayor, city council, sheriff, tax assessor and other city offices.NAACP President Bruce...
NAACP Partners with Black AIDS Institute
This year marks a sad anniversary: The first cases of HIV were reported in the United States 25 years ago. While a cure continues to elude scientists, some things have changed since the disease appeared in the gay community in 1981."The rate at which...
North of the Border: Black Canadians Share Diverse Stories
North of the Border: Black Canadians Share Diverse Stories Revival: An Anthology of Black Canadian Writing Edited by Donna Bailey Nurse (McClelland & Stewart, $21.95)Any work of writing - whether poetry, prose or a short story - should move its reader...
Other Compelling Pan African Films
While South African films have long been viable draws at the Pan African Film Festival, Haitian ones have also traditionally been strongly supported by the mostly African American audience. That trend continued this year, as three Haitian films captured...
Q&A: A Job out of This World
As a young girl growing up in Pittsfield, Mass., Stephanie Wilson spent hours gazing into the sky searching for the stars. This summer, Wilson will get an up-close view of the universe when she heads to space as an astronaut on Space Shuttle Discovery's...
Reading, Pa., Chapter Claims Discrimination in Fire Department
The NAACP has joined a lawsuit against Reading, Pa., for failing to recruit and hire Blacks and other minorities to the Reading Fire Department. The amended complaint was filed in the United States District Court in eastern Pennsylvania on Feb. 27.Cortney...
Science Matters
A CONVERSATION WITH SHIRLEY ANN JACKSON, THEORETICAL PHYSICIST AND PRESIDENT OF RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE, THE NATION'S OLDEST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITYThe atom. For better or worse, it's the fundamental root of all matter - from your favorite ballpoint...
South African Film Comes of Age
FILMSouth African history unfolded at an unlikely place this year. With the rest of the world watching, the country won its first Academy Award at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. A month before Tsotsi received the Oscar for Best Foreign Language...
Spring Forward
Spring is upon us and commencement time is here. Big names and personalities will fan out across the nation to address students during this time of transition. Martin Luther King III will speak to seniors at Cornell University. Brown University President...
Study Looks at State of Older Black Women
At 51, Maria Hamm is the wife and mother of three adult sons. She works as an office manager in Virginia and enjoys going to the movies or out to dinner with family and friends. Hamm raves about her good health, saying she doesn't suffer from high blood...
The Visionaries
THESE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LEADERS ARE MAKING REMARKABLE STRIDES. THEIR WORK - ON MATTERS RANGING FROM HOMELAND SECURITY, ROBOTICS AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE COMPUTER TO BREAST CANCER AND STEM CELL RESEARCH - IS AIMED AT IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF OUR...
Virginia Beach Branch Marks 65 Years of Fighting for Equality
On October 16, 1941, Virginia Beach police were called to 19th Street and Cypress Avenue because of a domestic dispute. When police arrived on the scene, they shot George Smith, an African American man, in the back of the head and killed him. The Reverends...
Wanted: Genuine Liberal Thinkers
Wanted: Genuine Liberal Thinkers The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual By Eric Lott (Basic Books, $26)In 1953, in the bleak stretches of the early Cold War, Langston Hughes was summoned to appear before Sen. Joseph McCarthy's infamous committee which...
What Is a "Civil Right"?
When his White brethren in the fight for gay people's liberties invoke the slogans of Martin Luther King Jr. and other Black civil rights leaders, H. Alexander Robinson chafes."I hear a misappropriation every now and again. Having to 'sit in the back...
Will the Immigration Debate Impact Black Employment?
North Carolina is fertile ground for the debate in Congress over how to harness immigration through a dichotomy, or some cruse convergence, of wall-building and door-opening reforms.The state is home to the nation's fastest growing Hispanic population....
Women Taking the Lead
In many countries that have been mired in strife, women are now playing lead roles in demanding peace.When I was a little girl growing up in Liberia, West Africa, my grandmother, a schoolteacher in Gedetarbo, Maryland County, was a leader in her church...