A Gateway City for Me, Too, Then and Now

(Greensboro) The photo above was taken in 1981, almost two years after I left Boston with a woman named Nancy Garner. Thank you, Nancy Fox, for this and much, much more; our two adult children, Ana Maria and Nate, and Ana’s son Jordan. I chose the photo because “This Week in Black and White” ends with this column, and Gate City Revue will also disappear. After 40 years here, the city I will always call home for the rest of my life, I am excited about leaving for another place, or places, before nature takes its toll and not in the immediate sense. As I often said to people during the last decade or so, I believe I came of age in Greensboro. I had […]

Continue reading

Trump & Co.’s Convention: The Fascist Onslaught to Save America from Americans

We are closer to a crisis of class rule. Trump & Co., which now includes the Republican Party that Donald J. Trump owns and controls, used his convention to accuse the Democratic Party “Establishment” led by the Biden/Harris ticket – it does indeed exist – of a socialist political agenda that will destroy our democracy from within. This was the main rocket in Trump’s convention booster. There is simply no way to minimize the clear and present danger now before us. The whole convention was the most egregious display of extra-legal and, therefore, criminal behavior by any president in our history. The fascist demagogue he is, Trump used raw power to orchestrate a political convention that was unconstitutional for numerous reasons. We can readily see […]

Continue reading

When All Become One, True Mentors Are Gifts for Life

(Greensboro) This has been a difficult year for most of us, no? A crisis of unprecedented magnitude is upon us and taking its toll in countless ways. It sure feels that way to me. I am told repeatedly of being overly sensitive to this gargantuan mess. Get a grip, Michael. Alright, I say to myself, which neighbors might overhear and wonder about the fool living next door. Let me try again just for today, I remind myself repeatedly throughout the day. It’s weird because the more I do this I also recognize how truthful and honest criticism can become a tautology, in other words, totally false, if not challenged. After all, what is truth but in the making of it? What suddenly does seem clearer […]

Continue reading

Facing Biden/Harris, What Next from the Fascist Trump? And from Us?

(Greensboro) Former Vice President Joe Biden’s pick of Sen. Kamala Harris, the first Black woman and the first person of Asian descent to be nominated for high office by either major party, now signals that democratic forces can bring the immediate fascist onslaught led by Trump & Co. and the Republican Party to a halt. It also means that Trump’s fascist counterattack will be more brutal, more calculating, more venomous, and more capable of lightning tactics of the kind that historians might someday call the Trump Blitzkrieg, his version of the “lightning war” Hitler unleashed when the Nazis invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Trump’s siege will look very different here and now, at home as well as abroad. For these reasons we might take […]

Continue reading

I’m no bomb-thrower, Jake Tapper.

(Greensboro)  I’ve felt heavy doses of anticommunism most of my professional life as a journalist and historian, and politically and personally as a community activist here and elsewhere. I’ve even been nudged by musicians to keep politics out of conversations during breaks on gigs or at rehearsals. Keep the radical stuff to yourself, man, they will say, or you’ll fuck things up for yourself. Guys just want to play. They don’t want to hear about your philosophy of revolution, or the necessity for socialism to replace capitalism, or what Karl Marx, Che Guevara, or other Marxist revolutionaries did in their struggle against all forms of capitalist domination – and the ideology of white supremacy that held it together – in what used to be called […]

Continue reading

For Six Days, I Was Covid Mike

A little more than two weeks ago I tested positive for COVID-19. I was retested a few days ago and got the results last night. I am negative. Was the first test a false positive? Or maybe I just got better? Who knows? Except for fatigue, which is more or less chronic for me, I never had obvious symptoms of coronavirus. For once, I was asymptomatic of something. Of course, I was restricted to my home and gardens, mostly the back yard where the whole world was protected from me. I did get behind the wheel of the Green Monster earlier this week to be retested, and on another occasion to a nearby park in the early evening that has a serene stretch to walk […]

Continue reading

Welcome to Gate City Revue

“Gate City Revue is writers, musicians, artists, and other citizens gathering their vision. Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, a gateway city from the South to the West, our mission is transforming community challenged by radical change.” Such is the mission of Gate City Revue. Its launching marks the starting point for an online magazine aimed at transformative and radical change. The editorial stance of Gate City Revue is grounded in its faithfulness to the city’s historic reputation as a gateway to other places and, more importantly, its own historic role in the struggle for civil rights and social justice in the South. The transformation we seek in the face of radical and incessant changes of all kinds often seems remote and utopian in these times […]

Continue reading

The Second or Last, Great Depression?

In one of many notebooks I have from years of reading and research for topics I have written about, I found this on the first page of one of them. The entry is dated May 25, 2007, and is remarkably readable and coherent given that notes I take are usually stuff only I can make out. So this is what I wrote more than a dozen years ago and how it appears: All indicators of a deepening and pervasive crisis of the American Empire threaten capitalist rule. The general crisis became acute in 2001, creating unprecedented [word missing, so let’s say “pressure”] on institutions and organs of monopoly capitalist rule A progressive deterioration of bourgeois society at all levels, personal, communal, institutional, governmental The contradictions […]

Continue reading

A New Day, Another Beginning

The closing of THE PROJECT is complete physically and virtually but not in spirit, and so comes its successor, Gate City Revue. It seemed like a good choice for several reasons. First and foremost, Greensboro became known as the Gate City in the early 1890s when local business leaders and newspapers hailed it as a gateway to the South and West and, as it was reported, 60 trains rolled in and out of the city every day. Industry was also surpassing an earlier moniker, “The City of Flowers” because of Greensboro’s lovely flora and abundant nurseries and went on to become a major center of textile production (Cone Mills) and insurance (Jefferson-Pilot) in the South during the first half of the twentieth century. Today, it […]

Continue reading