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A slave market: illustration to Uncle Tom
Don't blame Uncle Tom
This is suicide. For a politically engaged black writer I might as well pen my own obituary. Or at least sentence myself to a life in purdah - for the words will almost certainly be taken down in evidence and used against me at a later date. But we cannot always espouse fashionable causes. So hang it. It is time that someone spoke up for Uncle Tom.
Role model behaviour
One hot, childhood summer, I remember sitting under a tree talking with friends about the jobs we wanted to do when we grew up. Among us there were potential mechanics, models, footballers and hairdressers whose pre-teen dreams were greeted with interest. It was only my plans that provoked howls of derision. I said I wanted to go to university and be a doctor.
Another Ireland
To the eye of even the occasional visitor the changes that have taken place in the Republic of Ireland over the past decade have been remarkable. From the oppressive bustle of Dublin's trendy Temple Bar to the British navvies looking for casual labour, it is almost unrecognisable compared to 10 years ago.
Let's be friends
But there can be few less likely places to hear Wanniski's name mentioned than from the lips of the leader of the Nation of Islam and pariah of the political establishment, minister Louis Farrakhan, at a hip-hop summit in Los Angeles attended by, among others, the mad, bad and ever so dangerous Suge Knight. Here, in the Four Seasons Hotel, at the cutting edge of black street fashion and musical achievement, Farrakhan is literally spelling Wanniski's name out for the audience. Here, where the seats of the jeans hang so low they scrape the ground and the afros, complete with afro-comb, stand so high that it would make Don King blush, former gang members scramble for pens to take down the website address of one of the key proponents of Reaganomics.
Democracy and destiny
Imagine, in short, that he had been just a realist rather than an idealist. Who could have blamed him? The year that four black girls were bombed to death in their Sunday school class in Birmingham, Alabama, was arguably not the most propitious time to head off in search of a mythical future when his children would be judged "not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character".
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No Place Like Home – A Black Briton’s Journey through the American South
book review
'The idea of retracing the route is a great one, urgent and necessary.'
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