Monthly Archives: August 2012

GLBT characters of color on the big and small screens

 

It’s hard enough finding straight people of color — including Black folk — on TV and film, never mind non-hetero depictions. Here’s a thumbnail sketch roundup of positive portrayals. In the interest of being thankful for small favors, let us acknowledge that pitiful as it is, some progress has been made. True Blood, the HBO hit pitting vampires versus werewolves with humans stuck in the middle, against a rural Louisiana backdrop, saw a gay Black man not only as a principal character, but also one with strong dimension. Nelsan Ellis (who, by the by, plays Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2013’s The Butler) plays pragmatic hard-a** with a heart of gold Lafayette Reynolds. Continue Reading →

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Angie Stone’s upcoming CD makes her a Rich Girl

 
Album has a wealth of great music, lyrics
 

 

Angie Stone mines a gem with her newest offering. Rich Girl, start to finish, kills in cold blood. The neo-soul bag is a perfect fit for Stone. R&B and gospel underpinnings give her a solid base from which to flat out nail a fluid, airtight groove. Added to which, you can have all the chops in the world but if the material isn’t there, neither are you. Continue Reading →

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Funding cuts decrease access to books for 21,217 MN children

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Children’s literacy programs, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are too often overlooked. However as school began this week, such programs as Reading is Fundamental (RIF) are operating without federal funding because Congress slashed it as part of a short-term budget deal earlier this year to buy time for lawmakers to pass a budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. Since 1966, the RIF program have given out over 400 million books to needy children for free — nearly 90 percent of its annual budget is used to purchase books and support local RIF sites, notes the program’s website. It also sponsor multicultural literacy programs, including over 700 multicultural book collections, early childhood literacy trainings and public education outreach by airing public service announcements on Black and Native American radio stations. RIF’s entire federal budget — $24.8 million — was cut. Continue Reading →

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Author uses life experiences for children’s books — Proceeds used to support Liberian orphanage

By James L. Stroud, Jr.

Contributing Writer

 

If you read, write or know anything about fiction, then you know first of all that by definition it means to fabricate. Therefore, when it comes to getting published, one common assumption is that having a vivid imagination to conjure up a fictitious story might be all that one would need to write a book. That’s not how it happened for author/business owner/philanthropist Lynnette A. Murray-Gibson, who would probably disagree with that assumption, mainly because her two award-winning fiction books for children (Clara Meets Mr. Twiddles and The Hottest Day) were written from her personal true-life experiences in Minnesota. According to Murray-Gibson, she had no intentions of becoming a writer of any books, but it was fate and God’s will that made it happen. In 1999, Gibson-Murray, who is originally from Monrovia, Liberia in West Africa, was living in New Jersey recovering from a heart condition and looking for a different place to live and relax. Continue Reading →

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Voter ID march

 

On Sunday, August 26, 2012, an estimated 400 concerned citizens/protesters converged at the Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis. The group marched from Sabathani Community Center to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park for a rally and protest against the Voter ID amendment placed on this year’s ballot. The Sabathanites Drum Corps were the flagship group for the march. The purpose of the rally was to educate, motivate and inspire people to vote no on photo ID and encourage others to do the same. The rally was organized by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Council. Continue Reading →

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Students can still register to vote on Election Day in MN

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

According to Rock the Vote, a national young people’s voter registration advocacy group, 11,500 young people turn 18 every day in this country. These individuals help make up the “Millennial Generation” — young voters under the age of 30. “This generation…make up nearly a quarter of the voters” in this year’s elections, says Rock the Vote President Heather Smith. “Today, one in four voters are under the age of 30, and they will continue to grow in numbers. They are the largest generation in the history of our country. Continue Reading →

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Former Brooklyn Park candidate emphasizes importance of primary elections

 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Reva Chamblis, former candidate for Brooklyn Park City Council’s East District, isn’t by any estimate sitting around crying over spilled milk. No sooner did her region’s primary elections wrap up (Chamblis missed advancing to the general election by a small margin) then she threw her shoulder back to the wheel, firing up a Get Out the Vote initiative. “Brooklyn Park has over 50 percent minority that are registered voters,” Chamblis points out. “Turnout there was very low, to the extent that it could have been.”

Hennepin County and local districts, Chamblis notes, had qualified minority candidates. “Most lost due to low turnout [among citizens] who have a stake in the election.” There has been, it’s common knowledge, a flap about whether Brooklyn Park’s interests are misrepresented by a lack of minorities in elected office. Continue Reading →

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MS may cause Linda Gill to fall, but she always gets up

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

When doctors told her “around my birthday” in 2000 that she had multiple sclerosis (MS), Linda Gill asked a ton of questions. “’What is MS? Explain to me what is it?’ My kids thought I was going to die the next day,” recalls Gill. “I felt that way too when I first got it.”

After learning of her illness, “I think my hardest thing was how my friends and family would perceive me now,” continues Gill. Before she retired from her job, her unusual walking caused an unnecessary stir among coworkers: “I walked like I [was] drunk, and I [was] accused of [being drunk],” she recalls. Continue Reading →

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On crime, racism, and distrust of police

 

“When you shoot somebody, that’s not the only person that you’re killing.”  

— Nona Gaye, Marvin Gaye’s daughter, testifying after his death

 

I attended a neighborhood meeting on racism. Afterward I mentioned the comments I heard in that meeting regarding law enforcement to one of our law enforcement officials. “It’s hopeless,” he said when I conveyed the negative comments from the seminar, “when that’s how they feel about us.”

So I stepped out from behind his hopelessness and asked to meet with another public relations representative from the local police department to see what could be and/or what is being done about this impasse between the electorate and their peace officers. Broad publicity has been given to the cases of O. J. Simpson, Rodney King, and Henry Louis Gates (and his meeting with President Obama) when each of these celebrities of color had run-ins with the law. Another famed activist, Angela Davis, is a proponent for the rights of inmates and speaks out on prisons as factories that house an inordinate number of young Black men compared to their ratio in the American population. Continue Reading →

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