Monthly Archives: November 2012

Homegrown filmmaker has Hollywood ambitions

Robert Hayles overcomes obstacles for his MN-made first feature

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer


Sitting somewhere in the dark was Robert Hayles, watching a comedy motion picture at St. Anthony Main Theatre. The 118-minute feature, Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game, is about longtime best friends and total opposites Richard (James Griffen, Jr.) and Marcus (DeAndre Sanders): Richard fancies himself a player with the ladies, and Marcus plays video games like a cloistered monk in prayer. “It’s a crazy comedy about video games and relationships,” says the movie promos. “This is the first time I’ve seen it on the big screen. Continue Reading →

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This week’s Entertainment Spotlights!

Irma Thomas

Thurs., Nov. 29, 7 & 9 pm
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010 or
Tickets are $50-$60 for the 7 pm show and $40-$50 for the 9 pm show. Mon.-Tues., Dec. 10-11, 7 pm: Go Tell It on the Mountain:
The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show
Tickets are $45. Black Girl Speaks

 Sat., Dec. Continue Reading →

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‘Rules of war’ expose FBI terror case as fraud


The FBI “terror case” that took place here in Minneapolis involving local young men who were recruited to fight in a “holy war” in Somalia in 2008 is finally over. It was said that it was one of the biggest cases ever by the federal government. This makes sense. It can be very time consuming making up evidence. The process used to show evidence of “terror” in this case was the same process used to show evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. When you are the most powerful entity on the planet, you get to send your agents to Somalia to dig up bodies looking for phantom evidence, while their drones buzz above them committing the real crimes. When the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press go along with this case of “terrorism” without questioning it, they are nothing more than state-run newspapers. The FBI has nothing. How could such a minor thing as these young men going to fight in a “civil war” in Somalia be such a big deal, be such a crime, especially when they are within the rights of international law? Continue Reading →

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In the matter of Susan Rice: Let the president govern. Please!

As war rockets explode in Israel and Gaza, there is a great need for American leadership and diplomacy to be there working for peace. The world needs American firmness, clear vision and leadership. To create this, the president — any president — has to be able to govern without unwarranted obstruction, impediments, roadblocks, and the just plain craziness of “gotcha” power politics that threaten our economy and our security, as well as world peace. All of these issues are in play in the controversy surrounding Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, creating speculation that she will be nominated to replace Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. But it has nothing to do with Rice. Continue Reading →

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If fun went out the door of a relationship, you should follow


If a relationship ain’t fun, it ain’t for you. No matter how gorgeous a trophy they might be to show off to friends. He can be handsome, with muscles that have muscles. She can be pretty as 10 peacocks with an hourglass figure you could set your watch to. Remember, though, you were attracted to that person because you enjoyed his or her company. Continue Reading →

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Lincoln, the movie: What’s missing?

By Gary L. Flowers

Guest Commentator


“‘Negro History’ is the missing segment of world history.” — Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson was right when he essentially said that Black history is the missing pages of world history. Never was such so true than in the movie Lincoln. While I, as a “weekend historian,” was impressed by Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of the 16th president of the United States, my knowledge of history begged questions: “Why were Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman not portrayed or mentioned?” or “Why was the ancient Egyptian mathematical formula attributed to the Greek mathematician Euclid?”

The movie Lincoln is politically presidential, yet porous on people who influenced the end of the American Civil War. The holes in the Steven Spielberg’s epic film are rooted in Hollywood’s tendency to omit key historical personalities and events from biopics. History reminds us that Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth all played significant roles in the American Civil War, and thus in the decisions of President Lincoln. Continue Reading →

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Black colleges may be better option for Black students

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

A new United Negro College Fund (UNCF) study finds that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) often outperform non-HBCUs in educating Black students. The study, “Serving Students and the Public Good: HBCUs and the Washington Monthly College Rankings,” was released in October by the UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute. Based on the 2012 Washington Monthly college rankings, it found that 83 percent of HBCUs were above the median among 249 liberal arts colleges and 50 percent above the median for graduating students from low-income families. It also points out:

• HBCUs “consistently rank in the top 50 percent” of schools in both overall rankings and social mobility ranking. • HBCUs seem to be more successful in graduating students from “disadvantaged backgrounds…and tend to perform at an above-average level and significantly better than when they are evaluated strictly on the basis of actual graduation rates.”

• HBCUs “have a long-standing commitment to provide educational access to all students.”

College rankings, such as in the U.S. News and World Report, are commonly used by school officials to highlight the institution’s many features to attract students. Continue Reading →

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Betty Ellison-Harpole: Teaching beyond the recipe, living outside the box

By Alleen Brown

Contributing Writer


Betty Ellison-Harpole moved to the Midwest in the 1950s from segregated Memphis, Tennessee. For 37 years she taught kindergarten through third grade, as one of few African American teachers in Minneapolis schools. She piloted the city’s first all-day kindergarten class at Bethune school in the early 1980s. Although she’s retired now, Ellison-Harpole is still active in education circles, and age has not diminished her personality. If you give her the opportunity, she will talk to you for hours about early education, Minneapolis politics, and growing up poor and African American in the South. Continue Reading →

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What does it take to be a State Senator?

DFL Hayden describes full-time responsibilities of part-time role

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


When the 2013 Minnesota Legislative Session convenes January 8, State Senator Jeff Hayden officially will assume his office as Senate Deputy Majority Leader. The Minneapolis lawmaker is believed to be the first Black in history to be named to a high leadership post. Hayden told the MSR in an interview that Senate Majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk informed him of his new role November 14, nearly a week after the DFL became the majority party in both the Minnesota House and Senate in the Nov. 6 election. Hayden, Senator-elect Bobby Champion and St. Continue Reading →

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