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From Martin Luther King Jr., A Burden And Gift

In her commentary for MLK Jr. Day, Michel Martin recalls speaking with two women — one black, one white — of roughly the same age who witnessed the same lynching. Martin will never forget a particular comment from the black woman, and asks the broader question of what Americans should keep and leave behind on this day.

Zambian Official Jumps Off Bridge For His Country

There is something truly winning about a politician who doesn't just talk the talk but jumps the jump. Zambia's tourism minister Given Lubinda jumped off a bridge this week and popped up smiling.

When Did 'Kumbaya' Become Such A Bad Thing?

The soulful folk song, born in the low country of South Carolina, has migrated from representing strength and power in togetherness to reflecting weakness and wimpiness. Somehow, it's morphed into a cynical code word.

Obama Government-Streamlining Offer Creates GOP Dilemma

Maybe even if it weren't a general-election year, President Obama would still be proposing that Congress give him the power to merge federal agencies to make the government smaller and more efficient. But it is an election year and the president's proposal gives him a way to counter GOP charges that he's a big-government Democrat.

Stephen Colbert's Big News: He May Run For President Of South Carolina

He's also given Comedy Central's Jon Stewart control of his SuperPAC. What high jinks will they get up to?

Threats And Lies, And 'Who I'm Supposed To Be'

Nathan Hoskins knew from an early age that he was gay. But when he was growing up in rural Kentucky, his mother took extreme steps to convince him otherwise. Looking back on it now, he says, "I am who I'm supposed to be."

Ode To The Dead: In Remembrance Of Characters Past

Can a book of elegies rise above maudlin morbidity? Author Stewart O'Nan says yes — and he recommends a great one by Christie Hodgen. It's a book that will break your heart, and warm your soul.