Mary A. Mitchell biography

Mary A. Mitchell is an editorial board member and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a recipient of numerous journalism awards, including the prestigious …

Read More

Search recent columns

More Columns

‘No-snitch’ street rule is more fiction than reality: Mitchell

Is the “no-snitch” culture a cult fantasy? After all, when the highest-ranking member of a Mexican Cartel is cooperating with Chicago prosecutors, it pretty much proves that even hardened criminals will sing if it will save their hides from a life sentence.

Sharpton should encourage ‘brothers’ to help police: Mitchell

There are all kinds of activists. There are the limo activists who swoop into a community when cameras are rolling. There are the boardroom activists who cut deals behind closed doors. Then there’s the Rev. Al Sharpton.

‘Chicagoland’ producer hopes show spurs viewers to action: Mitchell

I put off watching the CNN documentary, “Chicagoland.” After all, it is painful enough bearing witness to the tragic homicides so many Chicago families have suffered. But with only three episodes left, criticism surrounding the series has gotten louder.

Blacks should act to improve grim economic conditions: Mitchell

MARY MITCHELL: There is no shortage of data when it comes to African-Americans. But two national studies released last week suggest African Americans may be too reactionary on some issues, and too complacent on others.

New hair rules are racially biased: Mitchell

The U.S. Army released its new appearance and grooming regulations — and it was a real burn for African-American female soldiers. The updated rules ban twists, multiple braids bigger than a quarter of an inch in diameter, and dreadlocks of any size. Cornrows also can’t be bigger than a quarter of an inch.

Young black men with dreadlocks are often perceived as thugs: Mitchell

When I grew dreadlocks two decades ago, I saw it as a way of expressing my cultural heritage, not to mention saving my scalp from the torture of chemical relaxers. Today, however, a young black male wearing locks is often stereotyped as a “thug.”

Nick Cannon’s whiteface is disgusting: Mitchell

MARY MITCHELL: If the best Nick Cannon can do to promote his new album is pretend to be a stereotypical white man, he should stick to his day job.

Judge rules plaintiffs can proceed with abuse case against United Airlines: Mitchell

A federal bankruptcy judge ruled last week that seven plaintiffs can proceed with a sexual abuse civil case against United Airlines in state court.

2 white students wore blackface masks at Nazareth Academy-Orr game: Mitchell

When a the photo surfaced of two white students at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park wearing blackface masks during the regional basketball game between Nazareth and Orr Academy, I thought it had to be a nasty prank. After all, it’s easy to manipulate a photograph. But I received the same photo from several credible sources that claimed to have witnessed the blackface incident.

From Cabrini to M.D.: ‘There is no limit’

For those who dare to dream, life has a way of making a path for that dream. Such is the case for Kamilah C. Banks-Word, who is on track to earn a medical degree in psychiatry from the Chicago Medical School this year. Banks-Word grew …

Don’t take the risk young people — sign up for Obama’s health care plan: Mitchell

MARY MITCHELL: About 114,000 people in Illinois have already signed up for the new health insurance polices. But the administration is making its final push to attract individuals between ages 18 to 34, the group seen as the key to offsetting the higher costs of insuring older people.

Airline should help alleged sexual abuse victims in Believer program: Mitchell

United Airlines has the opportunity to help right a terrible wrong. On Wednesday, a federal bankruptcy judge will decide whether the court can reopen the airline’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. That would allow five plaintiffs who allege they were molested in the 1990s to file …

Morehouse students use spring break to help Roseland youth

MARY MITCHELL: Corey Hardiman and his crew could be kicking up sand this week in Florida. Instead, Hardiman and 14 other students from the historically black Morehouse College are in Chicago shoveling snow — and delivering hope — to young people who have been impacted by the violence on the Far South Side.

Orr prep basketball star shouldn’t have been at early morning party: Mitchell

What kind of teen house party rolls on until 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning? That was the time that a disgruntled partier opened fire on a home in the 4900 block of West Race in the Austin neighborhood. Six people were shot, including the star basketball player at Orr, Tyquone Greer, 19. Greer was shot in the calf.

Elderly woman loses housing battle, evicted from lifelong home

It is a miracle that 86-year-old Marian Hunter survived the winter. The former special education teacher was allegedly living in a townhouse at 3401 S. Giles that had no heat and no running water when she was evicted on Thursday. “This is my mother’s home,” …

Adegbile unfairly rejected for federal post because of one case: Mitchell

It is a sad day for justice when a gifted attorney is denied an opportunity to run the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division because he defended a man on death row. When you strip away the politics surrounding Debo Adegbile’s nomination, that’s what it boils down to.

Hairstyles are still an issue for black females: Mitchell

When Lupita Nyong’o walked across the stage to claim an Oscar for her supporting role in “12 Years A Slave,” she ushered in a fresh opportunity for black girls. From the glow of her dark skin to the crown of her closely cropped natural hair, Nyong’o made natural beauty fashionable again. Although black women have come a long way from skin-bleaching creams, hair remains a source of tension.