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A Little Of This, A Little Of That

It's the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and a number of NPR shows (which frankly have more time and resources than we do) have focused their attention on that important historical milestone.

We decided to take on another anniversary: the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP — that would be (of course) the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Many people probably don't remember this, but the NAACP was founded because blacks were being slaughtered in race riots and lynchings across the country. Law enforcement failed — and in many cases refused — to protect them. A group of white activists, along with black intellectuals and activists (because back then, frankly, you couldn't afford to be one without the other) formed this group with the purpose of exposing this slaughter and trying to stop it. It became clear that the killings were a function of black powerlessness. Despite the end of slavery and the minimal constitutional protections in place, in many parts of the country the old Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, though superseded by the law, was still true in fact: blacks did NOT have rights that whites were bound to respect. The organization evolved beyond lynching to the pursuit of equal rights under law in all spheres: voting, housing, education, etc. But inevitably, the question for this era is: what now?

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Clearly the question takes on more flavor in the era of the first African-American president, but it would be asked anyway. So we decided to look to a new generation to ask it. We invited a man who founded an online civil rights group that tries to mobilize mainly minority voters to rally around progressive causes of particular concern to blacks; a woman who has been involved with the NAACP since she was 14; and a woman who kind of dips into both worlds — she's a blogger and an activist who has worked in politics.

Tell us what you think.

We always make an effort to focus on international news on Thursdays. Because the world is getting smaller, today's story about the narco war just south of the border should get your attention.

And because we NEED a pick-me-up in these sad times: we organized our FIRST Annual TMM Poetry Slam.

And for you drinkers out there, wine expert Callie Crossley tells us what wines go nicely with that box of chocolates you bought for your sweetie pie. No sweetie in sight? Then consider what relationship expert Iyanla Vanzant suggested yesterday on the show — buy that bottle of wine for yourself. I rarely drink, so if there are rules about drinking alone, I assume you know them and can handle your business. But, take if from Iyanla. This is one treat that does not have to be shared. Get out that DVD none of your friends wants to watch and pour a glass of wine ... I would.

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