New Stories on

By Leticia Miranda Jul 02, 2009

Safe Haven in Peril? Rody Alvarado filed for asylum in the US after years of domestic violence at the hands of her husband while Guatemalan police stood by idly. Ten years later, Alvarado’s case is still in limbo.

Karen Musalo, Alvarado’s attorney, believes the case has taken so long because many within the government fear that if asylum is expanded to include domestic violence cases, there will be thousands of applicants. “They also view domestic violence asylum as a cultural matter that the U.S. should not be handling,” Musalo said.

Home Lending That Works A new bill in Congress would expand the Community Reinvestment Act to further protect Blacks and Latinos from discriminatory lending practices.

While the original act has had a profound impact, supporters say more work needs to be done around closing the racial disparity in lending practices. “It’s not enough to just break it down by household income; banks have historically not loaned to communities of color. Not because of their income, but because of their race,” said Jim Carr chief operating officer of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, which helped Johnson introduce the bill.

Lil’ Wayne Meets John Donne What happens when rap meets literary analysis?

It’s not often that Lil’ Wayne and John Donne are mentioned in the same discussion of poetic meter, or that Biggie’s sexual innuendo is pitted against Shakespeare’s 17th-century puns. Then again, it’s not often that rap music is given a thorough literary analysis. Adam Bradley, professor of English at Claremont McKenna College, does just that in Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop (Basic Civitas).