First Word:
June 6th, 2020 Newsletter

By Patricia Harty, Editor-in-Chief

We have been shaken by the reprehensible killing of George Floyd and so many others in America’s Black communities, as we grieve with the families of the victims of racial violence, we are heartened by all those who have shown solidarity through peaceful protests in communities throughout the country. We remember too, on this day that marks the anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination on June 6, 1968, his outreach to the black community on the assassination of Martin Luther King on the night of April 4, 1968.

Bobby asked the grieving crowd to not be blinded by bitterness and revenge. “What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black,” he said.

His words are just as relevant today as they were in 1968.

While one wishes there were more leaders of RFK’s ilk around today, Brian Dooley argues that in the more than 50 years since his passing, Bobby Kennedy has been turned into an impossibly perfect hero, and that he deserves a better judgment, and a deeper look at his political legacy.

In another feature highlighting the extraordinary work of historian Christine Kinealy in documenting black Americans lives that matter, we bring you Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield. Born into slavery, Elizabeth became known in her life-time as the Black Swan who broke down barriers whereever she sang, and who, like Paul Robeson and Frederick Douglas, had a special place in her heart for Ireland. 

And for sporting fans, we are also delighted to bring you a piece by Thomas Hauser on the Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney fight on June 11, 1982, that includes interviews with the two boxers and discusses racism, and a friendship that blossomed between the two. We are also pleased to bring you a recent Gametime with Boomer Esiason video with Hauser and Cooney.

Our appreciation of nature has come to the forefront with two pieces, one on Connemara, and one on the man whose paintings helped pave the way for America’s national parks.

As many of us are discovering our baking skills, there is nothing like a Strawberry Fool, courtesy of our Sláinte columnist Edythe Preet, to test your skills

And from Ireland, Emer Mullins (former Irish America editor) brings us up to date on how Ireland is coping with the pandemic, and demonstrating in support of the Black Lives matter protests in the U.S.

Mórtas Cine,

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