Black to Black

For Charleston Sax Man, George Kenny – The Music’s In His DNA

By Barney Blakeney    I’ve been trying to pull together a story about Charleston musician George Kenny for years. The 84-year-old saxophone player was my high school music teacher and marching band director. Last week some of my old schoolmates from the gone, but not forgotten Charles A. Brown High, put something on Facebook about…

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Racism 101 – Denying Civil Rights

By Barney Blakeney   This is an issue I really didn’t want to weigh in on –  former Trump advisor Steve Bannon’s upcoming speech at The Citadel. I got an email from Charleston Rep. Wendell Gilliard protesting Bannon’s invitation to speak to the Citadel’s Republican Club. I got bad vibes from the get-go. I really…

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Nov. 7’s Not A Time To Stay Home

By Barney Blakeney Next week voters will go to the polls to elect candidates to a variety of public offices in many different communities. But in this climate of extreme political consequence, I read something the other day that makes me shudder. My man Hicks, a columnist for the daily paper, wrote about the depressingly…

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Blacks Can Read & Write

By Beverly Gadson-Birch    NFL players are not the first to protest during the National Anthem.  The players’ protest is in support of Colin Kaepernick and his right to kneel to bring attention to the disproportionate number of blacks that are killed by police officers in this country. In the back of my mind, I…

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You Stop Being Racist!

By Barney Blakeney     I recently took to Facebook. Mind you, I’m computer illiterate, but I figured Facebook gives me another avenue to do some work. It’s all about the work, ya’ll. Forty years ago, I thought I’d get rich at this writing thing, but that ain’t gonna happen. I’m blessed to be doing…

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And The Brother Tells Me “Times Have Changed”

By Barney Blakeney It’s old news now. Too many public school students in Charleston County don’t perform well academically. The past few weeks I’ve been receiving reports about student performance. The information mostly has been depressing. Among some of the comments and statistics were: Tri-county region sees declines in key reading, math test results; 50,681…

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SCANA Debacle Is Just Business As Usual

By Barney Blakeney   I like to keep things simple. Although we live in a complicated world, I’m convinced most things really aren’t that complicated. People make stuff more complicated than they are because, as my dear departed brother Ellis Mack used to say, “Everybody’s got an agenda.” So I’m looking at this whole SCANA/SCE&G…

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Ralph Johnson’s Story Is One We All Should Know

By Barney Blakeney   A couple of months ago I got an email from USN Ret. Capt. Taylor Skardon asking if I could do some things to put out the word about the Navy League’s effort to educate more people in our local community about Vietnam War hero Ralph Henry Johnson. I agreed. I figured…

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Building An Economic Infrastructure

By Barney Blakeney For the past little while I’ve been thinking about how getting stuff done takes time and effort. What’s the saying, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’? So as I thought about the $17 million that blanketed Charleston along with the August 21 solar eclipse, I better understood why Black owned businesses saw…

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What’s Good For The Goose …

By Barney Blakeney    I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was reading a news report about the sentencing of the first of nine suspects involved in the local college illegal drug ring Charleston police busted last year. According to the report a circuit court judge gave 24-year-old Benjamin Nauss two years’ probation instead…

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