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.
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence