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Education

Reggae legend Bob Marley talks with James G. Spady at the United Nations in New York City on June 15, 1978.

Remembering a cultural historian and hip-hop scholar whose ‘Spady School’ reshaped the lives of Penn students

By Editors' Choice, News & Current Affairs

By Valerie Russ, The Philadelphia Inquirer — It had no classrooms, no courses, no credits, and a faculty consisting of just one man of uncertain academic credentials who carried his books and papers in plastic grocery bags. But around the University of Pennsylvania campus, Spady School was said to change lives. For 40 years, James G. Spady, best described as an independent scholar, set out a movable feast for hungry…

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Participants in the Cuban Literacy Campaign march in December 1961.

Bernie Sanders Was Right About the Cuban Literacy Campaign

By News & Current Affairs

One of the key strengths of the Cuban campaign was to reframe illiteracy as a collective issue. By Catherine Murphy, Truthout — The corporate media have long been looking for ways to discredit Bernie Sanders, and they settled on a surprising statement he made in the 1980s during his tenure as mayor of Burlington when he said, “We have a lot to learn from Cuba.” Now, they have latched onto…

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Military Recruitment

The student debt crisis is fueling the poverty draft

By Commentaries/Opinions

With the cost of higher education skyrocketing, many young Americans from economically struggling communities across the South and elsewhere have turned to the military as a solution for student debt. By Benjamin Barber, Facing South — Earlier this month, after a United States drone strike in Iraq killed 10 Iranian military leaders including the country’s top security and intelligence commander, elevated tensions between the U.S. and Iran raised alarms about…

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy in St. Augustine, Florida. June 1964.

‘Until We Are All Free’: Learning from Tubman, King, and Stevenson

By Commentaries/Opinions

All of them returned to the South’s frontline struggle for racial justice. By R. Drew Smith — In 2020, January remembrances of Martin Luther King Jr. are occurring against the backdrop of two high-profile films emphasizing sacrificial servant leadership. First, the film Harriet provided a renewed focus on celebrated abolitionist Harriet Tubman. This biopic chronicles her mid-19th century enslavement in Maryland, her daring escape to a hard-won freedom in Philadelphia, and her…

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Plaque depicting warrior and attendants (16th-17th century), Edo peoples, Benin kingdom, Nigeria.

Liberating the precolonial history of Africa

By Editors' Choice

The West focuses only on slavery, but the history of Africa is so much more than a footnote to European imperialism. By Toby Green / Edited by Sam Haselby, Aeon — To understand the complexity and significance of West African history, there is no better thing to do than to go to Freetown. Sierra Leone’s capital is sited in the lee of the ‘lion-shaped’ mountain that gives the country its…

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