'Let 1994 go': Simpson case's racial symbolism now a relic (Associated Press, 7/22/2017)

Justin Zimmerman was a 7-year-old black boy in Moreno Valley, California, when O.J. Simpson was on trial for murder. He wasn’t old enough to understand the “trial of the century,” but his parents and the older black people in his community made their position clear: They were cheering for Simpson, and were convinced the former NFL star was an innocent dupe in a racial conspiracy. For them, Simpson was a symbol of racial tension and uneven justice. But Zimmerman, now 30 and living in Washington, D.C., grew up amid the hashtags that have come to symbolize the killings of unarmed black men by police. On his Facebook page on Thursday — after Simpson was granted parole from armed robbery and assault convictions — Zimmerman posted: “Let 1994 go guys.”

Newark riots recall era echoed by Black Lives Matter (Associated Press, 7/7/2017)

The rumor spread quickly: A man had been beaten to death by police. For blacks — frustrated by high unemployment, inadequate schools, substandard housing — yet another abuse by police was too much to bear, and they erupted. There were no shouts that black lives mattered. This was Newark in 1967, long before deaths at the hands of police in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, gave birth to another movement in another era. For four days in July, Newark was the epicenter of black rage. The rioting left 26 dead, more than 700 injured and nearly 1,500 arrested, mostly black. In addition to the $10 million in property damage, the riots left economic and emotional scars on Brick City that, in many ways, have not yet healed.

Small university outranks many others in black physics grads (Associated Press, 5/26/2017))

One of the smallest historically black colleges in the U.S. boasts a huge accomplishment: pound for pound, tiny Dillard University in New Orleans graduates more physics majors -- and, notably, more female physics majors -- than far bigger schools with more resources. With an enrollment of 1,200, Dillard ranks second in the country in black physics undergrads. Nine of the top 10 physics departments in the country — at black or white schools — producing the most African American undergraduates in physics are at HBCUs, according to the American Institute of Physics. Currently, the top producing school is Morehouse College, an all-male HBCU with nearly twice as many students as Dillard. Dillard, the smallest on the list, ranked comparably with North Carolina A&T University, with more than 10,000 students. The private, liberal arts college has conferred 33 physics degrees since 2007, including nine to black women.

Boston sports struggle with perception built on racist past (Associated Press, 5/3/2017)

When Red Sox fans hurled the N-word toward Orioles outfielder Adam Jones in Fenway Park, it was a reminder of Boston’s racial legacy — particularly around its sports teams. Boston’s reputation as a racist sports town developed through decades of barriers broken and maintained, intertwined with broader struggles for progress along with today’s climate of racial tension that sports can’t avoid. Despite its teams and the city making strides on race, Boston still has perceptions of racism to overcome.

King's shift from dreamer to activist resonates for activists (Associated Press, 1/14/2017)

For Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, the Martin Luther King Jr. he learned about as a child was a man of love, peace and racial harmony, a gifted orator. It wasn’t until Muhammad became an activist that he came to know, and appreciate, the King who decried the Vietnam War as “unjust” and made a firm, insistent case for economic justice for black Americans. “There is a Martin Luther King that is important to the resistance movement that we don’t hear about,” said the 33-year-old co-founder of the Black and Brown Workers Collective in Philadelphia. “We always hear about love and forgiveness. ... There was also a King who was radical.”