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December 21, 2018

One of my latest pieces in The Commercial Appeal...

As far as sports betting goes, Beale Street is an ideal spot.

It already attracts tourists who, if they bet on sports there, they’ll likely eat at Beale Street restaurants or hang out at its clubs and leave after a few days.

Also, seeing that tourism adds $3.2 billion to Shelby Coun...

October 17, 2018

I had the great honor of interviewing David Porter, the legendary Stax songwriter, for this narrative piece for The Bitter Southerner. He talked about how the songs he and Isaac Hayes wrote for Stax during the 1960s were designed to honor resiliency in African-Americans while entertaining everyone else. Read and learn...

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October 6, 2018

I was 57. But since age 53, I had been too busy with graduate school and writing and research projects to get a mammogram.

When I finally got my mammogram - I was trying to beat the clock on my graduate assistant insurance running out in the months after I got my masters from the University of Florida - I went through an MRI and tw...

July 9, 2018

By now, Tennessee should get that it can't punish people out of poverty.

But it doesn't.

In fact, it took a federal judge to drive that point home to lawmakers.

A judge just ruled a Tennessee law that revokes people's licenses for not being able to pay court costs was unconstitutional. 

Now, people who have answered for their crimes a...

March 29, 2018

I landed in Memphis at a fortuitous time, in the 50th year since Martin Luther King Jr. was cut down by his greatest adversary, violence, as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel on April 4th, 1968. While King became a martyr for justice and courage. these men, Memphis' striking sanitation workers, became the foot soldiers...

February 8, 2018

The casual acceptance of rioting by Philadelphia Eagles fans over winning the Super Bowl got me to thinking not only about how San Francisco 49er's quarterback Colin Kaepernick was blackballed from the NFL for simply taking a knee to protest police brutality, but how, in 2014, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was widely...

February 8, 2018

I can't say I was surprised this week when Philadelphia Eagles fans tore up the city when their team won the Super Bowl.

And I can't say that I was surprised when many people acquiesced the vandalism, window-smashing and car overturning as hijinks and not thuggery.

That's because football is part of Americana - and smashing windows,...

February 5, 2018

Throughout my journalism career, I've worked in the South. I started out at The Pensacola News-Journal, where I finally persuaded the editors to publish a piece on the Pensacola Creoles - many of whom had spent most of their lives trying to conceal their African-American roots, and had frightened a couple of the top editors with l...

February 5, 2018

Many people were appalled that Yo Gotti, a local guy who made good by purveying profanity and misogyny into a successful hip-hop career, was briefly glorified as a role model on a billboard. I say that his success, one that doesn't happen for many people who grow up surrounded by poverty and gangs, is an example of him making lemo...

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