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Shades of White

"Racial passing is one of America’s deeply hidden traditions, a largely unacknowledged and unstudied aspect of national life. Historically, African-Americans with identifiably dark skin have had only two choices when confronting racial discrimination and oppression: either they could try to ease their burden through accommodation, making the best of a bad situation, or they could engage in protest and active resistance. The situation was often quite different, however, for light-skinned African-Americans of mixed parentage. For them, there was a tempting third option of trying to pass as white.

In an illuminating and aptly titled book, “The Invisible Line,” Daniel J. Sharfstein demonstrates that African-Americans of mixed ancestry have been crossing the...

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Orindatus Simon Bolivar Wall

A hero of African-American history whose story is forgotten because his descendants decided they were white.

By Daniel J. Sharfstein,  Posted Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, at 7:20 AM ET,


His very name hovered on the line between slavery and freedom: Orindatus Simon Bolivar Wall. Orindatus was a slave's name, through and through. It had a Latinate grandiosity that many masters favored for their chattel when Wall was born on a North Carolina plantation in the 1820s, the son of his owner and a slave woman. All his life, people got the name wrong. They called him Oliver. They called him Odatis. Eventually, he went by his initials: O.S.B. Wall.

As much as Orindatus signaled slavery, his middle names suggested the opposite: Simon Bolivar, the great liberator of Latin America, a man who had decreed...

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 Tracing lives of three ‘white’ families and their black forebears

By Dan Cryer, Globe Correspondent / February 20, 2011

"Randall Lee Gibson, an urbane, Yale-educated Confederate general, mocked black people as “the most degraded of all races of men.’’ Later, as a US senator from Louisiana, he helped broker the end of Reconstruction, freeing the South to harass and lynch blacks virtually at will.

In the 20th century, his orphaned son, Preston, was raised by an aunt and her husband, who had been a justice on the US Supreme Court that legitimated racial segregation in the infamous case of Plessy v. Ferguson.

At the beginning of the 21st century, a rent-a-car employee and genealogy buff dubbed himself Sir Thomas Murphy after tracing his mother’s lineage...

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 Hezbollah, Israel And Egypt: What Happens Next?

Fresh Air from WHYY, February 2, 2011

"All of our assumptions about the Arab world has been turned on their head in the last month, says veteran Middle East correspondent Thanassis Cambanis.

"Everything that the experts say and everything that the activists and politicians have taken for granted for a generation, at least, is really off the table," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "What's been happening, first in Lebanon and then in Tunisia and now in Egypt and who knows further afield, suggests that new forces have been unleashed and we have no idea where they might lead and what new dynamics they might create."

On today's Fresh Air, Cambasis puts what's been going on in Egypt in a historical context — and explains the rising...

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 Children's: Middle Grade: REAL MERMAIDS DON’T WEAR TOE RINGS author Hélène Boudreau’s next two books in the Real Mermaids series, about a plus-sized, aquaphobic teenager with mermaid tendencies, again to Rebecca Frazer at Jabberwocky,  by Lauren MacLeod at The Strothman Agency (World English).


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Hezbollah’s Latest Suicide Mission


"THE collapse of Lebanon’s government on Tuesday signaled the final stage in Hezbollah’s rise from resistance group to ruling power. While Hezbollah technically remains the head of the political opposition in Beirut, make no mistake: the Party of God has fully consolidated its control in Lebanon, and will stop at nothing — including civil war — to protect its position. 

The crisis was precipitated by Hezbollah’s opposition to a United Nations-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of a former prime minister, Rafik Hariri. Some analysts speculate that the current Lebanese government — led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the assassinated man’s son — could stabilize the political situation by rejecting the legitimacy of the tribunal.


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Boston Globe-- The Internationalist

Talk to terrorists

How negotiating will make us stronger

By Thanassis Cambanis, December 12, 2010

"Ronald Reagan framed the debate over whether to talk to terrorists in terms that still dominate the debate today. “America will never make concessions to terrorists. To do so would only invite more terrorism,” Reagan said in 1985. “Once we head down that path there would be no end to it, no end to the suffering of innocent people, no end to the bloody ransom all civilized nations must pay.”

America, officially at least, doesn’t negotiate with terrorists: a blanket ban driven by moral outrage and enshrined in United States policy. Most government officials are prohibited from meeting with members of groups on the State Department...

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On January 1st, 2011 The Strothman Agency will begin only accepting electronic submissions. Physical query letters will be recycled or returned unopened.

Please visit for more submission information.

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For more information and other ways to win, click here!



Tweet using the hashtag #realmermaids for a chance to win one of the FIVE twitter copies. For example:

#realmermaids don’t wear toe rings (but that one’s taken ;-) ) or I brake for #realmermaids

Funniest tweets win! Winners are totally up to the discretion of my judges @bostonbookgirl, @authoressanon, @jodimeadows, @kathleenpeacock and @elissacruz. Thank you, lovelies!

Please keep it PG, though, people! Think of the children!!...

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