Monthly Archives: February 2013

Budding lawyer became educator and top sports official instead

 

Someone recently told me that people sometime confuse Jimmy Robinson for Jimmy Lee. We asked Jimmy Robinson to talk about his career and help make the distinction clear. The late Jim “Jimmy” Lee, who’s featured on this week’s MSR front page, was among the first local group of Black officials that included Dwight Reed, John Nelson and James Griffin, recalls Robinson, who supervises officials for the Minnesota State High School League. “Jim Lee was a very flamboyant type of official,” says Robinson. “When he made a call, everyone wherever you were knew what the call was, whether it be the people at the scorers’ table, the coaches or the players. Continue Reading →

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West is best in NBA All-Star shootout, 143-138

 

HOUSTON — When you get four starters in an All-Star game from the same city, that’s a big advantage. And boy, did the West make the East stars pay for the third straight year. The West stars shined the brightest in a 143-138 shootout in Houston. Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard were all voted as starters for the West. They all play for the Los Angeles Lakers-Clippers, and all four made large contributions to the West’s win. Continue Reading →

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A special day at Robbinsdale Cooper as 14 players sign letters of intent

 

A couple of weeks ago, I got invited to witness the signing of Robbinsdale Cooper football player and defensive back MALIK RUCKER. The senior was to sign his letter of intent to play and further his education at the University of Iowa. The event was scheduled for 2:30 at the school. Though the invitation was flattering to say the least, my job as a social studies teacher at Johnson High School in St. Paul and a mini snow storm kept me from attending. Continue Reading →

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Another strong-arm tactic to divert taxpayer dollars to franchise owners’ bottom line

 

 

Short of a new building, local taxpayers should pay for improvements to the downtown arena where the Minnesota Timberwolves play, according to NBA Commissioner David Stern. These “Stern comments” came a couple of weeks ago prior to his meeting with City officials “just to talk about where things stand in respect to centering back to the great building it was,” said the league commish of the publicly owned arena. “When you think about the [proposed] new scoreboard, the signage, the seats, the clubs, the restaurants, everything really takes the ambiance of the building…and brings it really into the 21st century,” he suggested. In other words, here comes another strong-arm tactic, subtle or otherwise, that league commissioners typically employ whenever franchises can’t get what they want. Forbes Magazine’s NBA Team Values list of the 30 franchises reveals that every team increased its value since last year, including a 34-percent increase for the Wolves, who rank 26th in current value ($364 million). Continue Reading →

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Who was Jimmy Lee?

His name on a recreation center is no assurance of recognition in St. Paul history
 

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

Who is Jimmy Lee and why is a St. Paul community center named for him? “I never met him or knew who he was,” admits Dusty Horton, a Jimmy Lee Center recreation leader. “There’s a mural of him on the back side of the old building, in the parking lot, facing the football [field].”

“Unless you knew him, and knew him as it relates to where he was refereeing, people don’t have the foggiest idea who he was,” says Jim Robinson, a St. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota griot honored by Turning Point

Mahmoud El-Kati talks about race and democracy
 
By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Mahmoud El-Kati. Mention the name and you’ve said it all: icon historian, scholar and griot. And he can talk your ear off. That’s okay. When he’s finished, just put it back on. Continue Reading →

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Personal care attendants looking to unionize

In-home healthcare workers caring for family members feel they deserve better pay  
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Personal care assistants (PCAs) are persons who care for elderly and disabled folk at home. Clara R. NaKumbe, age 72, gave up her private daycare business to take care of her adult son Siran, who was stricken several years ago with multiple sclerosis. “When he first got it, he could still do some things for himself,” recalls NaKumbe. But soon thereafter, Siran had to move into her North Minneapolis home where he could receive 24-hour supervision and care. “He has to be fed. Continue Reading →

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Youth-focused Black History Month celebration planned

Black parents also encouraged to participate
 

By Youthprise Staff

Contributing Writers

 

“Renewing Hope in the Promise of Minnesota’s Youth” is an opportunity to commemorate Black History Month with a series of events on February 26-27 that embrace the insight, resourcefulness and energy of today’s youth, while also tapping into the strengths of African American culture and history. The organizers plan to bring people together across cultural and generational lines to collectively address how African American cultural strengths and lessons from history can be used to address disparities in opportunities and outcomes for under-engaged youth. Planned, orchestrated, and led by youth in partnership with adults, the Black History Month Celebration will include multimedia presentations, artistic expressions, public speaking, and facilitation by local youth in an effort to showcase the diverse skills, talents, and qualities that are being taught and strengthened through local out-of-school time programs.

Dr. Joseph L. White, Ph.D., pioneer in the field of Black psychology, perennial voice for youth empowerment, and strong advocate for leadership development among Black and Latino youth will be a featured guest

throughout the two-day celebration. His keynote presentation, remarks, and facilitated dialogues over the course of the two days are titled “Discovering, Rediscovering and Utilizing the Strengths of the Past to Take Control of Our Destiny as African American Youth in the 21st Century.”

Recent research shows that engaging young people in pursuits that affirm racial pride and promote positive connections to their culture can have a positive impact on academic performance. On that account, teaching youth positive messages about their culture and history can play a fundamental role in laying the foundation for their future success. Continue Reading →

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Blacks have a different agenda from Whites on gun control

Let me state what’s important to African Americans on the gun issue. White Americans who have invented the Black boogieman will never give up their guns that they feel will protect them from the American Black uprising, which has always been a myth, because all we have tried to do is stay alive in America. I will say yes, it’s true, our people have always stood up against injustice. We’ve always fought for freedom, justice and equality. But White Americans are trying to change the issue to mental health. Continue Reading →

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Financial aid workshops, free ACT exams to boost college applications

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is sending a strong message to students, families, staff members and the community that we believe it is imperative that all students be prepared for college, career and life. Providing more students with the right preparation will advance our whole nation. We know that when college is affordable, the chances of college completion increase. Each year hundreds of MPS students fail to get federal college aid because of difficulties completing the required Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These students are 70 percent less likely to apply to college. Continue Reading →

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