Editor's note: Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee. She is a nationally syndicated columnist, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of "Cooking with Grease." She was manager for the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in 2000.
By Donna Brazile, CNN Contributor
(CNN) - Politicians and historians love to use the word "crossroads."
It's become as American, and cliched, as "Mom's apple pie." The historian Shelby Foote, wrote, "The Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things. ... It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads."
I have been thinking about the word, because this year's Black History Month theme is "At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington." Two pivotal events that shaped modern American history.
A "crossroads" is literally the intersection of two or more roads - two or more paths to get to the same place. Metaphorically, it refers to the place - the moment - of a critical decision. Shall we go forward together? Shall we separate? Shall we fight?
We mark history's crossroads not by road signs but by the documents that identify them. The Declaration of Independence is certainly one. Who has not memorized the opening of the second paragraph? "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."
By John Sinnott, CNN
(CNN) - Hardcore Italian soccer "ultra" Federico is a Lazio supporter who happily admits directing monkey chants at black players.
It is "a means to distract opposition players" says Federico, a member of the Irriducibili ("The Unbeatables") group which follows the Rome-based team.
"I am against anyone who calls me a Nazi," Federico told academic Alberto Testa, who spent time "embedded" with Lazio and Roma ultras for the book "Football, Fascism and Fandom: The UltraS of Italian Football," co-authored by Gary Armstrong.
"What I do not like is people who come to my country and commit crimes; Albanians and Romanians are destroying Rome with their camps," Federico adds.
"But I'm not a racist. One day, I was waiting in my car at the traffic lights and, as usual, there was a young female gypsy who was trying to clean the car windscreen and was asking for money.
"Suddenly municipal police officers started to mistreat the girl. I jumped out of my car and almost kicked his arse. I hate injustice."
There is nothing black and white about Italian football.
By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) – If you look at online histories and timelines of the fabled Southern Christian Leadership Conference, there's not much information listed after the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Up until then, you'll find detailed accounts of civil rights actions. Afterward, you'll see the line of succession to the organization's presidency but not a lot in the way of how it carried on fulfilling its mission of social justice.
That's why, perhaps, an exhibit that opens Friday at Atlanta's Emory University proves eye-opening.
It features material from the 918 boxes of photographs, correspondence, memos, reports, fliers and videos that Emory University's Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library acquired, at an undisclosed price, from the SCLC archives. FULL POST
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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