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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Romney faces NAACP, booed for hitting ’Obamacare’

HOUSTON — Unflinching before the NAACP, Mitt Romney declared today he’d do more for African-Americans than Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president. He drew jeers when he lambasted the Democrat’s policies.

Then and Now photos: Historic hub

The dusty town of Spokane Falls, Washington Territory, was booming with railroads, timber and mining in the late 19th century as black settlers came looking for opportunities and a place to call their own. One settler, the Rev. Peter Barrow, who was born a slave in 1840, helped found Calvary Baptist Church in 1890. It was Spokane’s first black church. The congregation met in a series of buildings before settling into a wooden church at 213 E. Third Ave. In 1919, the tiny congregation called the Rev. Emmett B. Reed, who advocated building a new brick church on the corner of Cowley Street and Third.

Unity March planners urge vigilance, pushback after bomb attempt

Sue Kellogg got an uneasy chuckle when she learned that domestic terrorist Kevin W. Harpham claimed in court Tuesday that he wasn’t intending to hurt anyone with his homemade bomb, but rather just sound a loud protest by aiming it at the glass walls of the Eye Care Team building on Main Avenue. “We had staff and customers in the (lobby of the) building that morning,” said Kellogg, who owns the building with her husband. “Sending a lot of exploding glass into the building would not have been less lethal … than setting if off in the parade.”

Rally promotes peace, encourages dialogue on race

They lined up wearing cowboy hats and baseball caps. They came on bikes and in strollers, some using walkers and a few leaning on canes, and a bit of spring snow didn’t deter them. About 300 people of all ages and many colors marched peacefully from the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena to the Lilac Bowl in Riverfront Park under the watchful eyes of countless law enforcement officers Sunday afternoon.

Rally to feature NAACP leader

The head of the nation’s largest civil rights organization will lead a march in Spokane on Sunday to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed April 4, 1968. Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will speak at the Demand Justice and Promote Peace event, which will include a march from the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena to Riverfront Park.

NAACP leader coming to Spokane for march

The head of the nation’s largest civil rights organization will lead a march in Spokane on Sunday to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

March organizer urges dialogue

An organizer of Spokane’s annual march commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. criticized community leaders Tuesday for not opening an honest dialogue about race issues after last month’s march was targeted with a bomb. “What do we say to our kids?” said Ivan Bush, a longtime civil rights leader in Spokane. “What do we say to them about that day when a community stood up with a hump in the back and didn’t make a real statement? What do we say to them? How do we go back and face them and talk about the greatness of a community? We can’t in a legitimate way. We did not when the time was there. I’m hurt. I’m pained, and I’m full of rage.”

Human rights dialogue revs up

After racist literature was distributed throughout the region in 2009, a North Idaho anti-racism group mobilized leaders in Kootenai and Spokane counties to send a message at a news conference near the state line: Hate would not be tolerated in the Inland Northwest.  In the days following last week’s bombing attempt apparently targeting Martin Luther King Jr. Day marchers in Spokane, there was no such concerted effort. Some individuals spoke publicly to denounce the act, but no organizations emerged to the forefront to present a unified response. 

Obama adds personal apology in Sherrod firing

WASHINGTON – He didn’t reach her on the first try, but President Barack Obama phoned former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod on Thursday to apologize for her abrupt firing based on a 2  1/2-minute video clip that gave a misleading portrait of her views on race. Obama and Sherrod spoke for about seven minutes, in which he mentioned his own exploration of race in his first book, “Dreams From My Father,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. Obama also urged her to continue speaking up for poor people. At no point did he explicitly ask her to return to the Agriculture Department, Gibbs said.

White House backtracks on Sherrod firing

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration issued an extraordinary public apology Wednesday and offered to reinstate a federal official who was fired after she appeared to make racial comments on a misleading snippet of video. When it became clear that her comments had been taken out of context, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to Shirley Sherrod by phone to apologize and to ask if she would return to the department.

Video clip, USDA dismissal reignite debate over racism

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The week-long debate over racism in politics on Tuesday snarled rapidly and strangely. An African-American woman from Georgia lost her federal job Monday over what at first appeared to be racist comments in a video clip. But Tuesday she said the comments were misconstrued – she was really talking about racial reconciliation years ago when she worked for a nonprofit agency.