The 10 Best Black Books of 2008
Hope on a Tightrope earns the No. 1 spot at the dawn of the new political era of Barack Obama. Why? Because in spite of the uncritical euphoria surrounding Obama’s historic accomplishment, Dr. West has the guts to call attention to the pressing plight of the least of his brethren even before the President-elect has had a chance to take office. Plus, the iconoclastic author, in urging the incoming administration to address the concerns of the poor and underprivileged, cleverly invokes “the fierce urgency of now,” the same phrase coined by Dr. Martin Luther King and appropriated by Obama as his campaign theme. (Continue Reading…)

Mother of Missing South Carolina Nurse Seeks Help Solving Case
When Susie Fernandez drives, she tries to glimpse every face in passing cars. In stores, she glances at people in aisles and checkout lines. She’s been doing it ever since her daughter, a nurse and devoted mother of a little boy, vanished in September. “You try to have faith,” said Fernandez, who fears her 31-year-old daughter is dead. “Not knowing what happened is just unbearable. It just consumes your life. You just have this pain in your heart that won’t go away.” The sharpest pangs come from two thoughts: Fernandez said she believes she knows who is responsible for her daughter’s disappearance, and she doesn’t feel anybody outside her family is paying attention. (Continue Reading…)

Immigrants Reshape Post-Disaster New Orleans
On Friday nights, day laborers form two lines at a bustling liquor store in the French Quarter: one is to dutifully wire money to their homelands, the other is to buy $2.17 beers that medicate their lives in New Orleans. “Life is hard here, harder than any place I’ve been in the U.S.,” said Jose Campos, 37, who came here from El Salvador, by way of Florida. He rode is bike to Unique Grocery, a cavernous establishment off Bourbon Street that offers the wire service through bulletproof glass and tall-boy beers from icy bins. “It’s a dangerous place, a bad place,” he said. “But when you can find work, it’s all worth it.” (Continue Reading…)

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