Monday, December 11, 2017


Bill Maxwell, Opinion columnist

Bill Maxwell, Opinion columnist

Bill Maxwell first joined the Times in 1994 as an editorial writer. He also wrote a twice-weekly column. In 2004, he left to teach journalism and establish a program at Stillman College in Alabama, but he returned to the board in August 2006. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Maxwell was reared in a migrant farming family. After a short time in college and the U.S. Marine Corps, he returned to school. During his college years, he worked as an urban organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and wrote for several civil rights publications. He first began teaching college English in 1973 at Kennedy-King College in Chicago and continued to teach for 18 years. Before joining the Times, Maxwell spent six years writing a weekly column for the Gainesville Sun and the New York Times syndicate. Before that, Maxwell was an investigative reporter for the Fort Pierce Tribune in Fort Pierce, where he focused on labor and migrant farm worker affairs.

Maxwell: Welcome to Florida, the benighted state

One of Floridaís three nicknames is the Sunshine State. We should add at least one more: the Benighted State.You see, our anti-intellectual lawmakers in Tallahassee recently passed a law that institutionalizes academic censorship in our public...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17
FILE  In this undated photo provided by the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, caribou graze on a section of the  Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.  The U.S. Senate on Wednesday, March 16, 2005, voted to open the  Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling. (AP Photo/Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, File)

Bill Maxwell: Dismissing the environment

In 1973, Congress had the foresight to pass the Endangered Species Act. To amplify the need to protect the nationís plants and animals, a House committee wrote a report on the importance of the new law.The report stated: "Manís presence on the...
Updated one month ago

Maxwell: A vacation escape from Hurricane Irma

Four days before I was to board a plane at Tampa International Airport for a 12-day vacation to Bar Harbor, Maine, Upstate New York and Montreal, Hurricane Irma lashed St. Petersburg.Because my home sits between Tampa Bay and Big Bayou, I...
Updated: 2 months ago
Gone with the Wind has nothing in common with Confederate statues, and a Memphis theater is wrong to stop screening it.

Maxwell: The difference between Gone With the Wind, Confederate statues

In 2003, I was in Memphis doing research for an article about the militia movement when I learned that the Orpheum Theatre was showing Gone with the Wind. I had seen the 1939 Oscar-winning film a few times on television but never on the big...
Updated: 3 months ago
Red Tent founder Barbara Rhode, center, leads a group at Pinellas County Jail in a meditation exercise. The program has served more than 1,000 women since its founding in 2012.

Maxwell: A program that works for women in jail

In 2011, Barbara Rhode went to a neighborhood estate sale of a woman who had committed suicide following a divorce. Before leaving, she decided to walk through the dead woman's bedroom to send her "good thoughts and perhaps get a better understanding...
Updated: 4 months ago

Bill Maxwell: Academic freedom under threat on college campuses

Because professors live for intellectual exploration and publish works that challenge orthodoxy, they have been the indispensable interpreters of the nation's zeitgeist since our first universities were founded in the 1600s.For that status,...
Updated: 5 months ago