| Same-Sex Marriage Gathers Steam in New England
While California lawmakers are still debating the legality of same-sex marriage, legislatures in several New England states (northeastern United States) are in the midst of deciding whether to legalize same-sex nuptials says Diversity, Inc. (Massachusetts and Connecticut have already legalized marriage for gay and lesbian couples.)
So why is same-sex-marriage legislation gaining steam in New England? "One of the advantages of New England is that we share geography and media markets, so folks in other states have seen marriage in Massachusetts for five years and can see the good," said Lee Swislow, executive director of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, in a Boston Globe interview.
Historically, New England has led the nation at repealing sex and marriage restriction laws.
Pennsylvania repealed its laws barring Black and Whites to marry in 1780 and Massachusetts in 1843.
In 1913, Jack Johnson, who became the nation's first Black heavyweight boxing champion 100 years, was convicted of violating the MannAct by having a consensual relationship with a White woman. Sen. John McCain is now seeking a presidential pardon for the deceased Johnson. All bans on interracial marriage in the United States were lifted only after an interracial couple from Virginia, Richard and Mildred Loving, won their landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1967.
The Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law has released a series of studies that examined the economic impact of same-sex marriage in Vermont and Maine. Click here for the full report and others.
Photo: Jack Jackson and wife.
|Remembering John Hope Franklin
News of John Hope Franklin’s passing at the age 94, brought many e-mails to Port of Harlem’s e-mail box. "We have lost a strong supporter and a dear friend," wrote Dr. John E. Fleming, Association for the Study of African-American Life and History National President. "He has left a void in the world of history that will not soon be filled."
Peggy Seats, Founder/CEO The Washington Interdependence Council, added that the council,
“was privileged and honored to have the King of African-American History, the illustrious
Dr. John Hope Franklin, serve as National Honorary Chair of the Benjamin Banneker
commemorative for over a decade. We are saddened, and will greatly miss his regal
presence and wisdom.” One of his books, From Slavery to Freedom, is considered a core text on the African American experience, more than 60 years after its publication.
Photo: Historian and former Ebony magazine associate editor Lerone Bennett, Jr. joined well-wishers to celebrate historian John Hope Franklin’s 90th birthday in Washington, Friday, April 15, 2005. In his praise of Franklin, Bennett recalled reading Franklin’s From Slavery to Freedom. “It changed what I thought I could do with my life,” he said. Franklin penned the book in 1947, when he was only 32 and Bennett was 19. The Washington Interdependence Council organized the celebration.
POH Cover Model Wins
Donna Smith, who graced our August-October 2008 print issue, was the recipient of the Achievers Award at the 4th African International Media Summit (AIMS) in Addis Ababa in mid March. AIMS is a critical conversation about the re-branding of Africa and the portrayal of Africans in the media.
Smith is also one of 99 women included in the book Go, Tell Michelle: African-American Women Write the New First Lady. Her latest POH contribution, “Working for the Dogs,” is in the current print issue.
Looking for a copy of Port of Harlem, try
Attitude Exact Gallery on Barrack’s Row
in Washington, D.C.
Underground Railroad Free Press Releases Special Issue
The March issue of the Underground Railroad Free Press features seven international Underground Railroad executives, writers and others reflecting on the remarkable transition from the era of slavery and the Underground Railroad to the election of Barack Obama. In his contribution, POH Publisher Wayne Young writes about the reaction Gambians had toward Obama’s election and the United States. (Many of the Underground Railroad passengers were descendants of Gambians).