The Noble oil fields in Baku Azerbaijan.

Oil Discovery Rocks the Caspian Sea

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN–The discovery of oil forever has changed the lands surrounding the Caspian Sea. APF photographer Stanley Greene spent time with workers, showing the rigs that are quickly extracting oil from this new field. The communities surrounding the new oil fields are finding

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The Genius of One Caring Teacher

Watching the children of Garrison Elementary School enter their cafeteria at lunchtime, it’s no task to identify the students of Mark Lewis. They’re the ones carrying books. Biographies. Short stories. Essays. Poetry. The cafeteria noise and chatter isn’t enough to keep them from

Live–at a Mississippi Juke Joint Po’ Monkey’s place, located amid cotton fields two miles down a dirt road outside Merigold, MS, is perhaps one of the last old-style country jukes in the Delta. It’s been operated by tractor driver Willie “Po’ Monkey” Seeberry for more than 30 years in a turn-of-the-century sharecropper’s shack where Seeberry lives. The juke packs in customers every Thursday night to dance, drink beer, and eat fish, ribs and pork chop sandwiches prepared by his ex-sister-in-law, Irene Johnson. Just as in the boom days of the Delta, the shack is owned by Seeberry’s white employer who allows him to run the club out of his home for extra money and to provide a social outlet for locals. Po’ Monkeys Lounge draws in whites and blacks throughout the Delta who enjoy partying in the country, listening to good blues and eating good food.

Good Times Fall On Hard Times In Mississippi

“I believe I’ll get drunk, tear this barrel house down.” —Drunken Barrel House Blues, Memphis Minnie. The juke joints are dying. “We used to have big crowds, every Friday night especially, and check nights,” said James Alford, manager of Smitty’s Red Top Lounge

In the Name of the Father

In For My Sons and Daughters, the South African poet Dennis Brutus conveyed a prophetic message to his children: “Memory of me will be a process of conscious and unconscious exorcism.” As noted by chroniclers and scholars of the human experience from Euripides

Southern Schools Strain Under Immigrant Arrivals

Luis sits at a computer working with a program designed to teach him English. He is warm and accepting, still trusting despite what he has seen. But when the 11-year-old recalls his journey from Guanajuato, Mexico to Morganton, North Carolina, his round face

Tom Higgins, president of the S.L. Waber de Mexico plant in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, talks with Industrial Engineer Francisco Javier Lopez on the plant floor.

Maquiladora Workers Get Homes of Their Own

Photographs by Jeffery Scott From his office window, Tom Higgins looks across the city of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and sees rows of new tin roofs shining on a hilltop. “I’m so pleased,” he says, “that in all the crap and corruption of this

Ida Tarbell

Ida Tarbell: Learning to Dig

After rejecting an opportunity to expose the predations of the Standard Oil Company in the 1880s, Ida Tarbell decided to tackle a more limited, though still ambitious, topic. She simply did not feel prepared as a journalist to tackle the biggest trust on

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The HMOs That Make Money Off The Poor

A few years ago, fistfights would break out in the parking lots of state offices in Miami as HMO salesmen rushed to sign up welfare mothers arriving to pick up food stamps. Some marketers parceled out gifts of diapers or cheap medicines to

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Mentors Can Mean Magic

Chicago-born and raised, which means a boyhood and then adulthood of rooting for the Cubs, Judge Gregory Mize includes in his celebration of baseball the annual luncheon of the Emil Verban Memorial Society. Last April, some 200 rememberers of Verban gathered at the

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Bram Fischer’s Journey

As Nelson Mandela and his comrades were convicted of sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment in June 1964, the underground freedom movement in South Africa was unraveling. Many black activists were imprisoned, while many of their white comrades fled the country. One of

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Benazir and the Bomb

Way back in 1984, when Benazir Bhutto had just been released from years of detention by a military dictator, she traveled to Washington for benedictions and support. The brave young Pakistani politician told admiring American audiences what they wanted to hear: That she

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Real Nuns Don’t Wear Habits

My latest nuns arrived in the mail today, a pair of slightly thick around the hips Sisters with ankles to match, photographed from behind as they cross a street. Their light colored habits have been hacked off at mid-calf, their matching veils clipped

Victor Logan, "Stinga" displays an award recognizing his efforts to uphold the 1995 gang truce and to better himself through the Conscious Youth Development Program. It reads: CYDP 2nd Aniversary of the Bird’s Isle Declaration recognizes Victor Logan for resolving to change in spite of the odds. February 16, 1997. Photo by Donna DeCesare

Struggling to Change in Spite of the Odds

Belize City, Belize–”Stinga,” is a Conscious Youth success story. The former head of the Black Scorpion Posse, BSP, is one of the original gang leaders, who signed a historic truce halting gun battles on Belize City streets. Stinga surveys his muddy surroundings before

In Baku, Azerbaijan, the oil industry is the ball and chain of the city’s environment.

Letter from Baku, Azerbaijan

On the farthest eastern reaches of Europe lies the Caspian Sea, a milky green land-locked sea that hides many treasures. In Baku, Azerbaijan, the oil industry is the ball and chain of the city’s environment. Traveling in the Caucasus is quite dangerous, especially

Homeless children in Nogales, Sonora, learn to read and write in a classroom at Mi Nueva Casa. Their teacher is Gloria Judith Rodriguez. Photo by Jeffry D. Scott

Nogales Plans to Rescue Children from Border Underworld

Veronica was ten years old when she first went into the tunnels. She insists she wasn’t thrown out of her house or abandoned like many of the other kids who lived with her in the miles of concrete storm channels that run beneath

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Selling Seniors on HMO’s

WHEATON, Md.—On a muggy August morning at Hot Shoppes cafeteria, salesman Matt Buckley tells a group of retirees over coffee that Medicare is changing and they must adapt. The seniors seem worried by the prospect. Yet they know Medicare, the U.S. government’s $211-billion-a-year,

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Doom Thy Neighbor: After Hiroshima and Nagasaki… Lahore and Bombay?

Note: The pictures for this story are copyrighted and not available for web publication.   Islamabad—-In the coded signal sent to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to announce India’s recent nuclear detonations, Indian scientists invoked the name of Shakti, a Hindu goddess. “Shakti

Darryll Vann is in a shrinking minority group--African-American men who teach youngsters. Only 11 percent of elementary school teachers are male and a much smaller percentage of them are African-American. Photo by David Snider

True Heroes

Of the 27 faculty members teaching 549 minority students at Garrison Elementary School in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington D.C., two are black males. Darryll Vann has 26 boys and girls in his kindergarten class, Hassan Abdullah 21 in his first-grade class. Darryll

Organizer Juan Carlos Molina, of the Workplace Project, shared with domestic workers some history of workers’ cooperatives worldwide, as the women began meeting recently to consider setting up their own co-op. Photo by Jerrilyn Hedrington


Shahida Ahmed fled Bangladesh for the United States four years ago, horrified that whoever planted a bomb to blow apart her husband’s body would come next for her. With no hope of going home again, she is awaiting a decision on her request