Tag Archives: massachusetts

Prominent US statue of Philip Randolph – #2 in a journey through African American history



This is the second of my posts based on a recent tour of the eastern half of the USA. I visited a number of sites relevant to African American history. To mark Black History Month, I am relating some of the things I saw, in the order I saw them.

Back Bay metro station in Boston, Massachusetts, is a very prominent and large underground railway station, serving a particular busy and affluent part of the city.

As I moved through it, I couldn’t help noticing that the passenger transit area is dominated by a very large statue of a man (photo above). There were several panels explaining the statue, with much praise for its subject, A. Philip Randolph.

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#1 in a journey through African American history – the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment


Detail from the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, Boston

I’ve recently returned from a seven city, 10786 mile-long tour across the eastern United States.

This trek sprang from several random “bucket list” items of mine. I was fortunate enough to be able to stitch together an itinerary which did a lot of ticking of my terminal wish list. The visits were all deeply “anorakky” in nature – mainly to museums.

But as I prepared to travel, I noticed that there was a clear theme running through most of my destinations – that of African American history.

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Opinion: Who to Blame for the Democrats’ Loss In Massachusetts? Blame Me.

Last night Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate for Massachusetts Senate, lost by 5 points a race that just weeks ago everyone was declaring hers by right. And even before the polls closed it seemed like everyone was playing the blame game.

Coakley’s team and the White House pointed the fingers at each other. Some are blaming the economy, the excellence of Republican candidate Scott Brown (our first centrefold Senator, history should note), or Coakleys repeated Red Sox related gaffs. There’s even a “Drunk Electorate” theory. All of these factors surely played some part.

I’d add in that to …

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Today’s Massachusetts Special Election

Today there will be a special election in the US state of Massachusetts to elect a new Senator to represent the state after Ted Kennedy‘s death last year.

And boy, are the stakes high for this one.

Nominally an extremely safe seat for the Democrats, the Democratic candidate Martha Coakley should be a shoe-in.

And yet Republican former centrefold star Scott Brown, once voted by Cosmo as America’s Sexiest Man (the link is fairly safe for work, but does contain a tastefully cropped naked man) has been closing the gap in the polls, and in some cases even taken a lead.

Of key importance in this battle is the senatorial supermajority, which we have covered on The Voice in the past. In the US senate, a party with 60 of the 100 senators – or the votes of 60 senators – can move a vote of cloture which can end a filibuster. This removes from the minority party a powerful tool to veto legislation by talking it out. This has become all the more fraught recently since Obamacare, the extremely controversial healthcare legislation currently under consideration. If the Republicans win the Massachusetts, the Democrats lose their right of veto and they could lose Obamacare.

Here’s a video for each candidate to give you a flavour of the battle.

First, President Obama is staking his political reputation to support Martha Coakley and underlining the future of Obamacare:

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