A native of Boston, Melvin B. Miller has been actively involved in political and public affairs for more than 40 years. In 1965, he founded the Bay State Banner, a weekly newspaper advocating the interests of Greater Boston’s African American community. Miller has served as the Banner’s publisher and editor since its inception.
Prior to the establishment of the Banner, Miller was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. In 1973, the State Banking Commissioner appointed him as the Conservator of the Unity Bank and Trust Company, Boston’s first minority bank. Under his stewardship the bank’s operations became profitable for the first time. In 1977, the Mayor of Boston appointed him as one of the three original commissioners of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. He later became chairman of the commission in 1980, and managed its operating budget of $193.2 million.
Miller was also a founding partner in the law firm of Fitch, Miller and Tourse, a primarily corporate law firm and he engaged in the practice of law there from 1981 until 1991. He was also Vice President and General Counsel of WHDH-TV, Boston’s CBS affiliate from 1982 until 1993.
A long-term trustee of Boston University, Miller became a Trustee Emeritus in 2005. He served in the three-member National Advisory Council to American Companies doing business in South Africa under the Sullivan Principles until the council was disbanded after the fall of apartheid. Miller is also a trustee of the Huntington Theatre Company and a director of OneUnited Bank, the largest African American owned and operated bank in the U.S.
A graduate of Boston Latin School, Harvard University and Columbia Law School, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters was conferred on him by Suffolk University and Emerson College.
Political opponents are often harshly critical of one another. It is not uncommon for one to assert that the policy proposals of the other are crazy. But with Donald Trump in the White House the criticism has become more personal. Some believe that Trump is psychologically deranged, but strangely enough competently trained psychiatrists are unwilling to speak openly on the matter.
Teens with the Hyde Square Task Force have demonstrated to us all the advantage of vigilance and persistence.
The intrigue at the White House might seem to be beyond the concern of the average voter, but indeed it is not. There is definitely a move to expand the powers of the president beyond the normal limits of our democracy. Voters should not be indifferent about the ability of a president to oppress racial minorities more readily.
Unequal school funding, federally-sanctioned housing discrimination, false imprisonment, police abuse and other government-sanctioned policies make a more compelling case for reparations than slavery, a practice that became illegal in 1865.
Clearly, Trump’s connection with Russia is not philosophical. He has already demonstrated a willingness to desecrate a major economic principle of the presidency, that the office will operate for the benefit of the republic and not to increase the president’s wealth. But given Reagan’s legacy, why have conservatives also abandoned that principle?
The world has lost one of its greatest humanists with the recent death of Dr. S. Allen Counter. There is no one else to explore the globe so bravely, in search of the history of the African people.
Every year at this time it was once common for American youth to celebrate July 4th with shouts of “we’re number one.” This was an exuberant recognition of the economic achievement of the United States, as well as the nation’s commitment to the principle of democracy. The election of Donald Trump to the White House has muted this practice.
People have always believed that words have power, but until the case of Commonwealth vs. Michelle Carter, it was not known that words uttered in a crisis could cause someone to be convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Trump ran a tasteless campaign for president with a candidacy designed to mobilize the white underclass, the people who have felt forgotten. Those who expect more from a president have had to endure Trump’s fusillade of lies. One aspect of Trump’s policy should disturb every American. He is using the presidency to enhance his business wealth, perhaps at the expense of the interests of the country.
Memorial services are rarely festive events, but the recent celebration of the life of Barbara Clark Elam seemed to be especially solemn. Even though she had been incapacitated for some time by the throes of Alzheimer’s, her death seemed to mark the end of times when the role of community elders was significant. As Rev. Julien Cook preached allegorically in his sermon, “with the loss of an elder we lose the book.”