James McBride and Ray Robertson at the Texas Book Festival

If you’re going to be in Austin this weekend, come by for a conversation with James McBride and Ray Robertson at the Texas Book Festival. I’ll be moderating a panel about their new historical novels set in the 19th century about abolitionist John Brown and David King, a Freeman living in Canada during the Civil […]

“A Football Life: LaDainian Tomlinson” Now on YouTube

The episode of A Football Life: LaDainian Tomlinson that I linked to is no longer available on YouTube. I’ve linked to the NFL channel to the official trailer. As I’ve blogged before, NFL Films asked me to walk LaDainian across Tomlinson Hill and tell him what I’ve learned about our families’ histories. We met at […]

Texas’ Top Republican Candidates Oppose Gay Rights

AUSTIN, Texas — As legal questions surrounding gay rights become major issues in Texas, Republicans running for the top statewide offices unanimously oppose expanding protections based on sexual orientation. Barring any major election upsets next year by Democrats, the Republicans vying for statewide office are unlikely to soften those stances if elected. An Associated Press […]

Court: Texas Can Use Existing Election Maps in 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal court said Friday it will not delay Texas’ primary elections and ordered the state to use political maps drawn by the Legislature — but only temporarily, while the judges sort out a complex and possibly precedent-setting lawsuit. The three-judge panel in San Antonio gave both sides in the lawsuit […]

Texas Guard Refuses to Process Same-Sex Benefits

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas National Guard refused to process requests from same-sex couples for benefits on Tuesday despite a Pentagon directive to do so, while Mississippi won’t issue applications from state-owned offices. Both states cited their respective bans on gay marriage. Tuesday was the first working day that gays in the military could […]

50th Anniversary of “I Have a Dream” speech

I can remember the moment in 1974 when I first heard Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I was in 4th grade at Lake Highlands Elementary, and Mrs. McKee was teaching us about the civil rights movement. What made her task more challenging was that Dallas was undergoing court-ordered busing intended to solve […]

Department of Justice Sues Texas over Vover ID Law

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Justice Department sued Texas on Thursday over the state’s voter ID law and will seek to intervene in a lawsuit over its redistricting laws that minority groups complain are discriminatory, but Texas Republicans insist are designed to protect the state’s elections from fraud. Attorney General Eric Holder said the action […]

Juneteenth, KLRU broadcast at 9 p.m

Tonight my hometown PBS station, KLRU, will broadcast “Tomlinson Hill” for Juneteenth, the Texas holiday marking the day in 1865 when a Union general ordered the emancipation of Texas slaves. One reason for airing the film on this day is a section of the film where we visit the Marlin Juneteenth parade in 2009. Our […]