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A modern celebration of African-American history
The New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies march in the Zulu parade during Mardi Gras 2012.
February 8th, 2013
04:14 PM ET

A modern celebration of African-American history

By Shaina Negron, CNN

(CNN) - The week before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Millisia White came back to her native city on a trip for work. She stayed behind to help her family recover and has been home ever since.

There was something she felt she had to do. "When something you are so familiar with is threatened to be lost forever, you cling to what's familiar," said White, who moved back from Atlanta.

For White and her brother, that meant bringing back a century-old New Orleans practice of masking, or masquerading, which was nearly vanishing.

That year, she founded the New Orleans Society of Dance and incorporated into the dance company a cultural legacy series of dance performance that would revive tradition of the Baby Dolls - with a modern twist.

"We wanted to do something representing this tradition and what it meant and symbolize it in some form."

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Black in America • History • How we live • Where we live
Opinion: Where are the female and minority farmers?
February 8th, 2013
12:06 PM ET

Opinion: Where are the female and minority farmers?

Editor's note: Diana Prichard lives and works at the intersection of the alternative food movement and the reality of modern agriculture and believes that a finer-tuned food future is possible without all the in-fighting. She operates a small, niche pork operation; running a few hundred hogs per year in the heart of Michigan's farm country. You can follow her story at RighteousBacon.comTwitter and Facebook.

By Diana Prichard, Special to CNN

(CNN) - I’ll never forget my first agriculture conference. I carefully selected the sessions I wanted to attend and made sure I arrived at the one and only panel dedicated to women in ag early. I picked a seat, pulled my favorite pen and a trusty notebook out of my bag and got ready for what I assumed would be an education-filled hour.

And I suppose, in hindsight, what followed was an education – just not in the way I’d expected.

I will never get back the sixty minutes of my life I spent in that room and all I have to show for it is the knowledge of how a couple dozen women met their husbands. Or, as they were lovingly referred to that day, “their farmers.” I suppose I could have shared a video of my own birth to shake things up a bit. That is, after all, when I met myself, but at the time all I could muster was stunned silence.

The sexism wasn’t new, of course. It was sitting in a room full of other women that I had wrongly assumed would understand it that caught me by surprise.

Read the full post on CNN's Eatocracy blog
Opinion: Path to citizenship should be a long hike
Children of naturalized immigrants participate in a U.S. citizenship ceremony January 29 in New York.
February 8th, 2013
09:39 AM ET

Opinion: Path to citizenship should be a long hike

Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette is a CNN contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Follow him on Twitter: @rubennavarrette.

By Ruben Navarette, CNN Contributor

(CNN) – Being native-born means never having to think about citizenship. Those concerns are for immigrants, either those who are in the U.S. illegally and want a chance to get legal status or those who already have legal status and would like to upgrade to full citizenship and all the perks that come with it, including voting.

The deeper your roots go, the less likely you are to think about citizenship. Both my parents, three of my four grandparents and half my great-grandparents were all born in the United States. So I've hardly given it a thought.

Until now. I have written about immigration for nearly a quarter-century. I want an end to the deportation frenzy caused by the Obama administration and a chance for the roughly 11 million illegal immigrants to have a shot at legal status. Solutions to these pressing problems pivot on citizenship and what it should cost. More than border security, temporary workers, employer sanctions or reforms to the process for admitting legal immigrants, citizenship has emerged as the linchpin of immigration reform.

If you pulled together 100 undocumented immigrants and asked them how they feel about citizenship, you'd probably get 100 different answers. Some value the chance to become citizens, while others couldn't care less and would settle for a driver's license and the right to travel freely across borders.

Those diverse opinions make it difficult for reformers to know what they should demand in negotiations, what they should hold out for and what they should be willing to ditch if necessary for a deal.

FULL STORY