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February Recap

African American History month is always a busy time for me. This year was no exception. I had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of college students, community activists and business people around the country.

February was also a month of big news and sad news.

I am excited to announce that I am now a regular columnist for The Nation magazine. I will continue to contribute as an online blogger, but now I also have a column titled Sister Citizen. I am thrilled about this newest opportunity.

I am sad to report that my partner, James Perry, was unsuccessful in his New Orleans' mayoral campaign. Despite not winning the election, we each learned a great deal about ourselves and about politics. We both remain committed to ensuring that New Orleans has a bright future. Speaking of which, did y'all see that Super Bowl? Geaux Saints.


Recent Media Appearances

Countdown with Keith Olbermann
February 23, 2010

One on One with Maria Hinojosa
February 22, 2010

Religion and Discrimination in Virginia
Maddow Show
February 22, 2010

People and Politics in the Big Easy
Rachel Maddow Super Bowl Edition
February 5, 2010

The American Presidents
A Disney Production

Recent Writings

Progressive Bible Study
The Nation.com
February 24, 2010

History is replete with examples of how religion has been used to divide, abuse, and justify horror. Christian theologies have been distorted to fit ideologies of white supremacy, patriarchy, imperialism and oppression. Today many Conservative spokespersons continue to selectively quote scripture, employ religious imagery and deploy twisted religious rhetoric to support policies of unprovoked international aggression and domestic oppression.

Read the Full Article
The Obama I Remember
The Nation.com
January 29, 2010

Watching Barack Obama become President of the United States made me proud and hopeful, but I also found the experience somewhat amusing. I think many of us who were his Hyde Park neighbors and Illinois state senate constituents feel the same way. We may have always believed he was extraordinary, but because he was familiar it is sometimes hard to believe that he is now, as president, the purveyor of such power and the object of such scorn.

Read the Full Article
End Don't Ask, Don't Tell
The Nation.com
February 2, 2010

Today Congress will hear testimony aimed at finding a way to end the military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Groundhog day seems appropriate, because it was March 2009 when I first wrote a response to DADT. The Obama administration's failure to unilaterally end the policy along with Congressional inaction on the matter gives me chance to revisit this issue. We must immediately end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces. We must do this because the existing policy sanctions, maintains, and enforces second-class citizenship that is incommensurate with the ideals of American democracy. Military service is at the heart of citizenship.

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New Orleans Deserves the Best
Huffington Post
February 2, 2010

I am in New Orleans and it is a pretty exciting place right now. After more than forty years the New Orleans Saints are finally going to the Super Bowl. This is much more than a football game for this still recovering city; it is a symbol that excellence is possible.

New Orleans is arguably the country's most distinctive city. But even before the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina it has been plagued by poverty, crime, neglect, and municipal mismanagement. It is a great city, but it is a city that often has a hard time imagining itself as truly capable and worthy of things other cities take for granted: low crime, good streets, quality schools, little blight, strong leadership.

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On Losing in New Orleans
Huffington Post
February 9, 2010

My partner, James Perry, was a candidate for mayor in New Orleans. His campaign was built on creative criminal justice ideas, environmental commitments, civil rights credentials, racial unity and a progressive vision. It was a campaign of few traditional contacts and no significant financial resources, but it was not a symbolic campaign. We worked hard to earn a spot in the runoff and we hoped ultimately to assemble a winning coalition.

On Saturday we lost badly.

Read the Full Article
- February 2010 -
About Melissa
Melissa Harris-Lacewell is Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of the award-winning book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought. And she is currently at work on a new book: Sister Citizen: A Text For Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn't Enough.
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10 African-Americans Who Support the Freedom to Marry
MHL Monthly Archives
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- December 2009
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Lynne Murphy, Media Relations Specialist