Castro does a Harlem shuffle

UN FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY

How a voucher scheme brought hope to Harlem

Tom Paine, in The Rights of Man (1792) is usually acknowledged as the first advocate of vouchers, but the idea was first floated in modern times by Milton Friedman in 1955. His idea was modelled on the US government's veteran's programme, which allowed soldiers who had fought in the Second World War to receive a fixed sum to spend at any educational institution of their choice. Why not, Friedman asked, apply the same idea to schools? He believed it would allow new schools to be founded to serve the children of black and low-income parents.

HARLEM'S BLAC

In the 1920s, James VanDerZee was Harlem's official portraitist. By 1980, he was the most revered black photographer in America. Mark Sealy tells his life story

Nadine Radford: the barrister they call `sir'

The profession's profile has changed, but old habits die hard, as one m odern lawyer told Paula Nicolson

Basement museum of childhood to be sold

One of the last great doll collections in private hands is to be sold on Friday because the owner, who exhibited them as Aunt Len's Doll and Toy Museum, is in failing health.

BOOK REVIEW / The unruly swamps: Natasha Walter on the brilliant career of a remarkable American poet, Adrienne Rich

In The Fact of a Doorframe (Norton), a reissued volume of selected poems, Adrienne Rich has changed some early works from their original version. In the Fifties, Rich was happy to see the pronoun 'he' as an expression of the universal point of view. But now he is a she. That may sit more comfortably with her inspiring feminism, but Rich will never be able to bring all her different voices into line.

Black and blue: Across the Atlantic, black comedy is big business. One New York comedian tells James Rampton that it's time Britain listened up

Ian Edwards, the black American stand-up comedian, was perplexed when he performed at the Edinburgh Festival last year: 'It was bizarre - there were no black people, and no summer. I didn't expect to have to wear my winter clothes all summer long.'

BOOK REVIEW / When the long sleep ends . . .: Hugo Barnacle on the novel that took Henry Roth more than half a century to write: Mercy of a Rude Stream: A Star Shines Over Mt Morris Park Henry Roth Weidenfeld & Nicholson pounds 14.99

HENRY ROTH published his first novel in 1934. This month he published his second. In between times he seems to have been variously a toolmaker, woodman, teacher, duck farmer and psychiatric nurse, while struggling with one of the most protracted known cases of writer's block in history.

Black leaders clash over anti-Semitism: Jesse Jackson has taken the lead in condemning the inflammatory rhetoric of the Nation of Islam group

THE Rev Jesse Jackson and several other black American leaders are calling for a halt to the anti-Semitic rants of members of the black Muslim group Nation of Islam, led by Louis Farrakhan.

The world's greatest movie on a subconscious screen: In bed with Oscar Hijuelos

OSCAR HIJUELOS won the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for 'The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love'. His latest novel, 'The 14 Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien', is published by Hamish Hamilton. Hijuelos is 42 and lives alone in New York City.

BOOK REVIEW / . . . and Mr Little became Mr Cool: Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America - Bruce Perry: Element, pounds 9.95

MALCOLM was sharp. Malcolm was hip. Malcolm was almost as cool as JFK. It was not only the children of the ghetto who were hooked on his style. Ivy League college kids were drawn to him. They sat-in, rode freedom buses, some were beaten, a handful died in the struggle to desegregate the South. But it was the charismatic Malcolm, advocating separatism, not Martin Luther King, advocating integration, who was in serious demand on the lucrative campus circuit. According to Bruce Perry, Malcolm's first proper biographer, only Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamsters' crooked boss, commanded bigger fees than the National Spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

FILM / Tongue in radical cheek: Cousin Bobby (PG) - Jonathan Demme (US); The Power of One (12) - John G Avildsen (US); Straight Out of Brooklyn (15) - Matty Rich (US); Knight Moves (18) - Carl Schenkel (US); White Sands (15) - Roger Donaldson (US)

A swanky Park Avenue apartment, sometime in 1970. At an exclusive soiree thrown by Leonard Bernstein, the Black Panthers are nibbling daintily on balls of Roquefort cheese rolled in crushed nuts and making small talk with the creme de la creme. And the then- journalist Tom Wolfe is there with his notebook, carefully recording a curious phenomenon he calls 'radical chic'.

INTERVIEW / Harlem nights: Sheila Johnston talks to Ernest Dickerson, the director of Juice and Spike Lee's longstanding cinematographer

Last year's remarkable harvest of films on black subjects was no flash in the pan: currently in the US charts are two comedies, Eddie Murphy's Boomerang and Mo' Money, and Bebe's Kids, an animated feature with black characters. And among the year's earlier hits was Juice, another of the recent films portraying the troubled youth of African-America: in it, four friends living in Harlem struggle with variable success to escape from the apparently inevitable option, a short life of crime.
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

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Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003