Black to Black

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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Beyond The Politics Of Workplace Violence

By Barney Blakeney   I got the call while writing on deadline. My mind was on the story I was writing so it took a minute to understand what the caller was talking about. The mind works a lot faster than the mouth. A lot of times people speak with half sentences as their mind…

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Changing The Flava Of Charleston

By Barney Blakeney    There’s a new flava in the house. There’s a brand new flava in the house. I was reminded of those lyrics from some song, whose title I can’t remember, the other day during a conversation with a new friend. The guy grew up in the Upstate, but now lives here. His…

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The Priority of Symbolism

By Barney Blakeney    I have mixed feelings about calls to tear down monuments and stuff related to The Confederacy. I think symbolism without substance is just so much stuff. But I also know that symbolism can represent stuff that perpetuates things like racism, hate and separatism. Since the melee that broke out in Charlottesville,…

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Crime and Sentencing

By Barney Blakeney I get crime reports all the time. So much, I’m concerned about becoming desensitized. I’m seldom surprised at what I get. But for some reason a report other day that some 17-year-old kid received a 30-year sentence stuck in my craw. The report said the kid must do 85 percent of the…

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Solving Conflicts Require Understanding

By Barney Blakeney I received a telephone message the other day that’s been bothering me ever since. There must have been a bad connection because I could understand very little of what the caller said except that he was ticked off at me about something. I have no idea what he was saying otherwise. The…

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Cops Or Crooks – Blacks Can Make The Choice

By Barney Blakeney   Something came across my desk the other day. The South Carolina state board, which oversees the Criminal Justice Academy, voted unanimously to require mental health screening for all aspiring officers. According to information from The Clyde Group, a D.C.-based communications and public affairs firm, the University of Phoenix conducted a national…

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Cops Are Scared As Hell

By Barney Blakeney ”They’re scared as hell!” That’s what a local civil rights leader said to me recently during a conversation about police/community relations. We were talking about how cops conduct business in Black communities and the comment was made as a remark on the side. I agree with the civil rights leader. When Minneapolis…

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