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Loving Day, Juneteenth, and the Right to Family

Mildred and Richard Loving on June 12, 1967

The anniversary of the Loving case on June 12 and Juneteenth on the 19th should remind us that, within the African-American freedom struggle and broader movements for equality, there has always been a struggle to determine the right to marry, select an intimate partner of one’s choice, and to form the families that we want.

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And Still She Wrote: Remembering Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou’s life could not be contained by a single autobiography, so she wrote six, making the audacious claim that she—as a Black woman reared in the segregated South—was fully human and a worthy historical subject who needed no outside narrator to tell or validate her story.

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On Darrin Manning, and Reproductive Justice for Young Men of Color

Police in Hawaii successfully lobbied house lawmakers to leave in place a decades-old provision that allows officers to have sex with prostitutes, arguing that the measure is necessary for them to catch individuals who are breaking the law. Critics, however, call it an invitation for misconduct.

While reproductive justice is inclusive of men and families, what would happen if Black males were more consciously integrated into this framework?

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Why I Visit Sites of Slavery

Tryon Palace, a colonial governor’s residence in New Bern, North Carolina.

Erasing plantations from the landscape or simply lambasting them doesn’t get rid of slavery; it just rids us of its most uncomfortable and most visible symbols.

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New Film Tackles South Dakota ‘Battle of the Abortion Ban’

Sunny Clifford (far right) with two other young women from her reservation.

Young Lakota chronicles the story of Cecelia Fire Thunder, who, after South Dakota passed the nation’s most restrictive abortion measure in 2006, proposed what seemed to be a neat workaround: open an abortion-providing Planned Parenthood on her property on the Oglala Lakota reservation.

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Why Don’t More People Care About Black Maternal Deaths?

In September, 19-year-old Ayaanah Gibson (above) bled to death in her Benedict College dorm room after delivering a stillborn child.

What will it take to get people to recognize not just the racial disparity in death rates but the disparity in concern over U.S. Black women’s health and lives?

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An Abortion Story Both Radical and Ordinary

Faith Rein with Udonis Haslem.

This past weekend, the New York Times profiled a couple who talked openly about their shared abortion experience.

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T.R.M. Howard: Civil Rights Rabble-Rouser, Abortion Provider

Forty years ago, the March 22, 1973 issue of Jet magazine featured Dr. T.R.M. Howard and a staffer attending a prostrate female patient on its cover, all under a yellow headline: “Legal Abortion: Is it Genocide or Blessing in Disguise?” This remarkable image reportedly depicts preparations for one of the first legal abortions in Illinois (though it could also have been staged).

Just two months after the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the Roe v. Wade decision and a week after Illinois OKed the procedure on its soil, Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Mason (or T.R.M.) Howard began performing legal abortions at his Friendship Medical Center in Chicago.

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The Road to Roe: Paved with Bodies of Women of Color and the Legal Activism of African Americans

(Favianna Rodriguez, www.favianna.com)

Every year when the anniversary of Roe v. Wade rolls around, I am troubled by the loud silences in our triumphant tales of struggle. As a history doctoral student who researches African Americans and abortion, the story I tell is quite different.

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Can a Female Governor Hold Back an Anti-Choice Tide in North Carolina?

Just hours before a looming midnight deadline on Monday, North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed a state bill mandating an abortion waiting period and pre-abortion counseling. But the fight is not over yet.

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