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Fatima Akter
Fatima Akter

Christian Smith - Black Sky

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In recent years, the leaders of the American evangelical movement have brought their characteristic passion to the problem of race, notably in the Promise Keepers movement and in reconciliation theology. But the authors of this provocative new study reveal that, despite their good intentions, evangelicals may actually be preserving America's racial chasm. In Divided by Faith, Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith probe the grassroots of white evangelical America, through a nationwide telephone survey of 2,000 people, along with 200 face-to-face interviews. The results of their research are surprising. They learned that most white evangelicals see no systematic discrimination against blacks; indeed, they deny the existence of any ongoing racial problem in the United States. Many of their subjects blamed the continuing talk of racial conflict on the media, unscrupulous black leaders, and the inability of African Americans to forget the past. What lies behind this perception Evangelicals, Emerson and Smith write, are not so much actively racist as committed to a theological view of the world. Therefore, it is difficult for them to see systematic injustice. The evangelical emphasis on individualism, free will, and personal relationships makes invisible the pervasive injustice that perpetuates inequality between the races. Most racial problems, they told the authors, can be solved by the repentance and conversion of the sinful individuals at fault. Combining a substantial body of evidence with sophisticated analysis and interpretation, Emerson and Smith throw sharp light on the oldest American dilemma. Despite the best intentions of evangelical leaders and some positive trends, the authors conclude that real racial reconciliation remains far over the horizon. Copyright Oxford Unviersity Press. All rights reserved.Click here for purchasing information.

The two athletes took off their shoes and wore black socks on the podium to highlight black poverty. Smith also had a black scarf to represent black pride, while Carlos had a necklace of beads to remember people who had been lynched.

"This system still needs the understanding, the idea of getting along. Meaning you can see the difference in the colour. Of course everything has a colour. But in this particular human case, we have to work in spite of being black or being white or being brown.

Smith died in November 1865 of congestive heart failure, living his final years in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He and many black families fled Manhattan after the 1863 Draft Riots, where largely working-class Irish draft resisters assaulted and killed black New Yorkers and attacked charitable institutions associated with African-Americans and the war. Most distressing for Smith were these events of July 13 of that year, as reported by the New York Times:

Kaid Ray-Tipton, 25, of Arlington, Virginia, watched Valarie intensely. After the performance, he raised his hand. His father is black, his mother is white and his wife, Marla, is Burmese American. The couple came to Jamestown to honor their enslaved ancestors and to investigate the history of 1619, 400 years after the first recorded Africans in the Virginia colony landed in nearby Hampton. This was the first time he'd ever heard of Angela. Her story seemed like something he should have already known. And that both angered and embarrassed him.

Nor was racism. Merchants and nobles had complained to the crown about societal ills they blamed on black people. Despite having African servants herself, Queen Elizabeth issued several proclamations in the late 1500s urging that "blackamoors" be driven from the land.

All Angela had was her work. And that was invaluable, as evidenced by her mention by name in the 1625 Virginia Colony muster as one of the four servants living in the Pierce household, the only one black.

In 1915 at age 23, Bessie moved to Chicago to live with her older brother. She became a beautician and worked as a manicurist at a barbershop on the south side of the city. There, she met Robert Abbott, the publisher of the Chicago Defender. Bessie would listen to the flying stories of pilots returning home to the United States after the end of World War I and decided that she would like to fly. She took a second job in order to save money quickly so that she could pursue her dream to be a pilot, but at that time American flight schools did not admit either blacks or women. Robert Abbott encouraged Bessie to study flying abroad and later she received financial backing from a banker, Jesse Binga, and the Chicago Defender.

Upon saving her money and nearing her goal of opening a flight school for blacks in the United States, Bessie Coleman was tragically killed on April 30, 1926 during a rehearsal for an aerial show when the airplane she was in unexpectedly went into a dive and then a spin, subsequently throwing Coleman from the airplane at 2,000 feet. Upon examination of the aircraft, it was later discovered that a wrench used to maintain the engine had jammed the controls of the airplane. Bessie was 34 years old.

The April press telecon coordinated by NASA Goddard featuring news ofthe first complete gravitational wave computer simulation of a blackhole merger was a big hit. Although esoteric, the result (with helpof killer graphics and a well-coordinated press event) scored thefront-page above-the-fold lead story in the New York Times ScienceTimes, and made the other major papers (Washington Post, USA Today),all the science magazines, as well as national radio and local TV.

Stefan Immler's HEAD press conference on supernova "mugshots"(October) led to respectable coverage on the web, a full-page articlein Science, and a lengthy article in Der Speigel so far. The HEADpress conferences on Swift's black hole census and jets receivedconsiderable web coverage from Space.Com, Discovery Channel andelsewhere, as well as articles in USA Today, Washington Times,Christian Science Monitor, Science and Science News. TheReeves-Fabian Suzaku HEAD press conference also made Science and USAToday. Coverage from the HEAD meeting also included a release on M87(Bill Forman et al.) that was reported in USA Today, Science Daily,Xinhua (China) and

The Chandra Press Office issued 8 press releases and 21 image releasessince May, including NASA media telecons in June and August. One mediatelecon described observations of the galactic black hole system GROJ1655-40 that provide insight into the key role magnetic fields playin the energy release mechanism. The second discussed observations ofthe galaxy cluster 1E 0657-56 that provide direct evidence for darkmatter.

The XMM-Newton E/PO group sponsors Space Place to write articles aboutXMM science. They recently published two articles written by Dr. TonyPhillips: "Brush your teeth and avoid black holes" about howastronomers observe X-rays and "Not a Moment Wasted" aboutXMM-Newton's slew survey. The first was sent to newspapers, and thesecond as part of a newsletter sent to astronomy clubs.

LISA is a unique facility for astronomy and physics that will open ahuge discovery space unreachable from ground and untapped by otherspace missions. It will detect and measure the properties ofgravitational waves over a broad band at low frequencies, from 0.1-100milliHz. This will offer the opportunity to study a wide range ofsources that are "dark" electromagnetically: massive black holesmerging in galaxies at all distances; massive black holes consumingsmaller compact objects; non-interacting binary compact stars andstellar remnants; and other less predictable sources such asrelics of the extremely early big bang. Many LISA sources willalso have electromagnetic counterparts, at a variety of timescalesand measurement frequencies. For example, known optical binarieswill be used to verify LISA's operation during initial on-orbitcommissioning; and many other of LISA's white-dwarf binaries willbe observable by tidal heating and eclipses. Black hole mergerswith accompanying disruption of their innermost accretion disksmay display non-thermal radiation from radio to gamma rays; andcompact objects falling into larger black holes may radiateelectromagnetically as debris is stripped from them.

These signals convey rich information addressing a wide range ofscience: the history of galaxies and black holes in the universe;General Relativity and the behavior of spacetime; precisionmeasurements of the Universe on a cosmic scale; the physics of densematter and stellar remnants; and possibly new physics associated withevents in the early Universe or relics predicted by string theory.

1) Record the inspirals and mergers of binary black holes. This willprovide a precise mathematical understanding of the most powerfultransformations of energy in the Universe, and a rich testbed forGeneral Relativity.

2) Map isolated black holes with high precision, and verify that theyare the stationary "no-hair" spacetimes described by the Kerr metric -i.e., specified completely by their mass and three components ofspin. This information will come from black hole mergers and from the"Extreme Mass Ratio Inspirals" (EMRIs) involving compact objects suchas degenerate dwarfs, neutron stars, or stellar-mass black holes.

3) Observe directly the formation, growth, and interactions of massiveblack holes over the entire history of galaxy formation. The Universeaccessible to LISA contains so many galaxies in their formation stagethat mergers happen quite frequently. Indeed, if the massive blackholes inferred to be at the centers of most galaxies formed primarilyby this process, LISA will detect a merger event once or twice perweek, from a wide range of redshifts extending back to earlyprotogalaxies at z15.

4) Measure precise, gravitationally-calibrated absolute distances tovery high redshift. This will offer a unique contribution tomeasurement of the Hubble constant and Dark Energy. It is achievablebecause the inspiral leading to merger of black holes generatesgravitational waves that can be computed exactly in GeneralRelativity, so that the masses, spins, orientations, and exactdistance can all be reconstructed from the LISA data, over a widerange of redshift. If an electromagnetic counterpart can beidentified to provide an independent redshift, then in the absence ofpropagation effects the absolute physical distance can be estimated tobetter than 1% precision. 59ce067264


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