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(The Root) -- Celebrity commencement addresses usually follow a pretty predictable formula: a few jokes and a few words of wisdom, delivered by someone successful, rich or famous (often all of the above) in hopes of inspiring a new class of graduates to become equally successful (or rich, or famous) someday. Rarely do such speeches make news. But first lady Michelle Obama's recent commencement address did.
Some in the literary world are pushing for the late Chinua Achebe to be awarded a posthumous Nobel Prize for literature, and fellow Nigerian author Wole Soyinka has had enough, The Guardian reports. He says the calls have "gone beyond 'sickening' " and become "obscene and irreverent."
To be clear, it's not that Soyinka -- himself a 1986 Nobel laureate who can nominate future candidates -- doesn't think Achebe is worth honoring. Rather, as he puts it, "You know damned well that the Nobel Committee doesn't engage in such tradition."
In other words, a posthumous conferment isn't going to happen, and an obsession with wishing that it would does a disservice to the late author. Soyinka didn't mince any words explaining why:
Justin Fairfax, a former federal prosecutor who's seeking the Democratic nomination for Virginia attorney general, has earned the endorsement of the Washington Post in his race against Mark R. Herring.
The 34-year-old Fairfax, a Washington, D.C., native and graduate of Duke University and Columbia Law School, is one to watch. Here's why the Post is backing him:
The two Democrats running for their party's nomination for attorney general, in a June 11 primary, are intent on steering away from the politically charged causes that Mr. Cuccinelli has championed. Both men -- Justin Fairfax , a former federal prosecutor, and Mark R. Herring, a state senator representing Loudoun and Fairfax counties -- are capable lawyers who would make top-notch attorneys general.
Check out our coverage of Oprah Winfrey here.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University. He is also the editor-in-chief of The Root. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
In South Africa, apartheid has been over for two decades. So it's really no surprise that being white in the country feels different now from the way it did under the forced system of harsh, institutionalized racial segregation that curtailed the rights of black residents in favor or the ruling Afrikaaner population.
As the BBC's John Simpson acknowledges in a piece today, the legacy of apartheid means that white South Africans still have a disproportionate influence on the economy, politics and media and have far more wealth than their black counterparts. But Simpson, seemingly somewhat nostalgic for "the old days" when "the apartheid system looked after whites and did very little for anyone else," wonders whether they -- especially the working-class among them -- have a future in the country.
Look below the surface and you will find poverty and a sense of growing vulnerability.