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March 20th, 2013
12:00 PM ET

Anti-gay church now has a rainbow view

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) – Everyone knows it's location, location, location when it comes to real estate. Perhaps no one knows this better than activist Aaron Jackson.

He didn't even care what the house looked like. He looked up properties on Google Earth and saw a for sale sign across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church, the controversial group in Topeka, Kansas, that's most notorious for its angry anti-gay protests at military funerals.

The house Jackson initially wanted was sold by the time he got around to buying, but luckily for him, there was another one, on the corner of 12th and SW Orleans streets that was perfect. He paid about $83,000 a bargain, he'd say, for what he was trying to accomplish. This week, he and others from his nonprofit Planting Peace painted the house in rainbow colors that represent gay pride. FULL POST

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Filed under: CNN Heroes • How we live • Sexual orientation • Who we are
Blazing a trail for young black swimmers
Sabir Muhammad was the first black swimmer to set an American record.
November 15th, 2012
07:45 AM ET

Blazing a trail for young black swimmers

By Moni Basu, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - On the cinder-block wall in the manager's office of the Adamsville Natatorium are photos of two heroes: Martin Luther King Jr. and Sabir Muhammad.

Here, at this pool in a predominantly black neighborhood of southwest Atlanta, it's easy to see why Muhammad, 36, looms large.

He was the first black swimmer to set an American record. He broke U.S. short-course records in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle and finished his swimming career with seven Pac-10 championships titles, 25 All-American honors and three NCAA, U.S. Open and American records.

But perhaps more importantly, Muhammad helped shatter a myth that black people couldn't swim. FULL POST

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Filed under: Black in America • CNN Heroes • Sports • Where we live