Looking Forward and Still Left

“This Week in Black and White” is now in its thirteenth week so I am mindful of the way my mix of genetic inheritance and societal upbringing easily draws me into the familiar realm of the irrational. That said, I offer these few thoughts in what I call a pivotal column of sorts. You decide. A year ago, I was excited about the birth of THE PROJECT on Grove Street in the Glenwood neighborhood of Read more…

Capitalism, Coronavirus, and the Privatization of the Mind

I still have many excellent books from my study of European history as a young man and the doctorate I eventually completed at Boston College much later in life. Some of them came up in a conversation the other night with Scott Van Doren, one of my BC mentors during the 1970s and today a trusted and dear friend. As historians, we talked about similarities and differences between the crisis of the Later Middle Ages Read more…

The “Vestibule” of THE PROJECT, logo by Hugh Latham of Greensboro

A Time of Smashed Dreams Big and Small

Millions of Americans know what it is like to experience so much loss and death from COVID-19, another great depression in the making, and the pervasive killing of African Americans by police and vigilantes dedicated to the upholding of white supremacy. Together they have taken us closer to fascism and war at home and abroad. And with it so many smashed dreams, countless, it seems. I have one, too, although it pales in comparison. I Read more…

From Chaos Must Come The Movement

I am glad to be back from cataract surgery and am extremely grateful to Al Brilliant and Nate Roberto for their superlative contributions to “This Week in Black and White.” Al is my great friend who lives and works a few doors down from THE PROJECT and a daily source of information, analysis, and wisdom that flows from his rich and still flourishing life. Nate, my only son and hero, is a brilliant young artist Read more…

"The Boss Pushes Us Ahead" by Nate Roberto

Monsters Fill the Void

My wife walks in the door, fresh off lunch shift. She looks tired. The first day back to work in months, she now serves wearing a face mask and latex gloves. “I must have gone through 50 pair of gloves!” The tips are average, she says. We assumed people would be generous considering the times and the risk on the part of restaurant workers. Maybe the people who dared to dine today aren’t the smartest Read more…

“Sorry Empire”

I want to thank Dr. Michael Joseph Roberto for the honor of being the first guest on his new blog column that is devoted to the betterment of our community, our city and our nation. And since the U. S. seems to be the dominant nation affecting all others decisively, perhaps Michael’s efforts can change the world? Yet I have noticed a reluctance, right at the beginning, for so many people, to accept Michael’s words Read more…

Al Brilliant

Want a Dose of Reality? Ask a Barber.

I come from a line of barbers on my mother’s side of the family. Her older brother, Michael Fasano, spent his whole adult life in Madison, New Jersey, where he was known as “Mike the Barber.” His son Frank has told me many stories about his dad who was a fixture in the city and respected as a solid guy. Since Uncle Mike rarely made it out to Long Island, NY, where I grew up, Read more…

Mother Knows Best: A Tribute to Ethel Fasano Roberto

A week ago I thought it would be easy to write a tribute to my mother, Ethel Fasano Roberto, who turned 91 in January and is struggling with advanced COPD which she, a non-smoker, contracted from my father Joe, whose addiction to tobacco and alcohol eventually brought his life to a close on New Year’s Day 2000. They were of that “Greatest Generation” as Tom Brokaw famously called them. Like other men of his times, Read more…

An Interview with Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan

This past week, I asked Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan if she was willing to take some time to answer a few questions for “This Week in Black and White.” They were submitted and answered just as they appear here verbatim. The same is true for Mayor Vaughan’s responses. Nothing has been changed. More importantly, there is no editorial comment of my own anywhere in this interview. My purpose is solely to give the mayor an Read more…

Off the Top …

My friend Justin Harmon, a highly intelligent and much younger man whose ability to work by his own clock with fierce determination is both admirable and tiring to an older fellow like me, makes sure I get three or four magazines he reads diligently before passing them on to me, usually neatly deposited on my back porch. Sadly, they have been piling up on my shelf as of late. What’s your excuse, old man, he Read more…