Alex Kellogg

Let's go back to 1967.

That was the year interracial marriage made headlines. Just take the Hollywood classic Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. The film was a new kind of love story for Hollywood. The movie was about a black man who wanted to marry a white woman — a huge taboo at the time.

Every September, the Cherokee Nation celebrates its national holiday. The holiday marks the signing of its first constitution after the Trail of Tears in 1839. The main event, a big parade, features traditional Cherokee music, colorful floats and people singing and dancing in traditional garb.

The holiday draws tens of thousands of people to Tahlequah, Okla., the heart of the Cherokee Nation. But this year it was marked by controversy and protests.

When Clyde Jackson's wife took a $6 hourly pay cut several years ago, it was the beginning of his rapid descent from two-time homeowner to renter in an apartment complex in the working-class Washington, D.C., suburb of Greenbelt, Md.

Jackson, 51, is an African-American father of three who works for a local government sanitation agency. In December, he lost a three-bedroom brick home to foreclosure. He purchased the house for $245,000 in 2004.

Three states and two major cities say they have pulled out of a federal program aimed at deporting criminals who are in the U.S. illegally. And now Boston's mayor has threatened to join them.

Secure Communities was created to help federal authorities deport illegal immigrants who are hardened criminals. But some state and local officials say it goes too far.

To understand the controversy, you have to understand how this program works.

Roughly 6 million blacks migrated north during the 20th century, fleeing racial hatred in the South and seeking good jobs in places like Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee. Now, many blacks are returning to the South — and especially to Georgia.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are nearly 3 million non-Hispanic black Americans living in Georgia, meaning Georgia now has the largest population of non-Hispanic blacks for this first time since the 1950s.

The Barriere family personifies this gradual return of many black Americans to the South.

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The hundreds of tornados that swept across the Southeast last week inflicted death and destruction throughout the region. The impact will be felt for months or even years, as hard hit communities struggle to rebuild and local economies work to recover.

Usually, Jerilyn Griffin would be studying for finals at this time of year. Instead she was using a large dolly to pack her things and head home on Monday afternoon.

That was true of many University of Alabama students — if they hadn't already left, they were on their way home, often with their parents' help.

One of last week's devastating tornadoes slammed into Tuscaloosa. While it largely spared the University of Alabama — the campus itself avoided a direct hit — the storm brought the school year to an abrupt end, and emotional scars remain.