Black to Black

What Now After Tributes To King?

By Barney Blakeney   This week, Charleston and the nation wrapped up celebrations of the Martin L. King Jr. Holiday. What now, that the celebrations and programs are over? In Charleston, the Greater YWCA of Charleston marked its 46th annual tribute to King with 10 days of observances. The YWCA’s tribute has grown since it…

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Two Things That May Not Be So Different

By Barney Blakeney   Work with me, ya’ll. I want to talk about two things – while the “#MeToo!” outcry is resonant, reality demands caution; and people in Charleston sure can’t drive. That also requires a lot of caution. I find it hard to write about the #MeToo phenomenon. Some things really are touchy, and when…

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We Need New Leadership

By Barney Blakeney   What’s that poem which starts with some line like ‘death be not proud’? Before the New Year rang in, death had a field day taking out a lot of good folks. Father Ted Lewis, Rollins Edwards, Mrs. Ethel Taylor and Rodney ‘Fats’ Alexander all passed in the last few days! I…

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I Hope Avery’s Race Study Triggers Some Change

By Barney Blakeney    Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing about the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture’s report on racial disparities in Charleston County. Its commissioner and author said the report is important because it documents what most of us already know – that racial disparities in our community…

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If There’s Economic Hell Below, We’re All Gonna Go!

By Barney Blakeney    I cut hooky from church again last Sunday trying to fight off a cold. Seems a bug’s going around. It gave me a chance to catch some of the Sunday morning ETV shows I usually miss. One was Carolina Business Review. I can’t remember the host’s name, Chris William I think,…

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Some Folks Still Want To Shoot The Messenger

By Barney Blakeney   There is none so blind as he who will not see. After 40 years in this business I’ve learned to accept criticism. Much of my work is critical. If you can dish it out, you must be able to take it. But that’s not a common trait. A lot of people…

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Slager’s Debt To Society – Paid In Full, Or Pay It Forward

By Barney Blakeney   Michael Slager is back again. Slager is the former North Charleston police officer videotaped in 2015 shooting an unarmed Walter Scott in the back five times as Scott ran away. Slager this week is being sentenced in federal court for violating Scott’s civil rights. The incident occurred more than two years…

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Students Are The Losers In Adults’ Political Games

By Barney Blakeney  Over the past week, a couple of things have gone down that illustrates how the political agenda of adults continues to stifle our children and their futures. I got the call as I left Wesley UMC Sunday where young Rev. Sh’Kur Francis had given a dynamic message telling our young people to…

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The Future Lies in Land and Education

By Barney Blakeney I was watching something on television the other day when one of the characters said, “It’s the future that counts.” The comment made me reflect on what we so often think is important. It made me think about my maternal grandfather, Washington Miller. I never knew my grandfather. He died before I…

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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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