Monthly Archives: March 2013

Mpls survey shows many Blacks still face the digital divide

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

A City of Minneapolis survey found that 82 percent of residents have computers with Internet access at home. However, only 65 percent of Near North residents have such access, and 25 percent of Blacks have no Internet access at home. “Eighty-two percent of [Minneapolis] households have access to the Internet,” explained Minneapolis Information Technology Chief Information Officer Otto Doll on the 2012 “Minneapolis Community Technology Survey” results. “But that 18 percent that doesn’t [have access] represents close to 30,000 households. If we could spread all of those households out evenly across all those [estimated 18,000 public access sites, such as libraries and city parks], we still could only give an hour a week of time per household on the Internet. Continue Reading →

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Black Minnesotans lobby at the State Capitol

 
Can the new ‘Black agenda’ move the community forward? 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

There was nothing new revealed last week during the Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM) Lobby Day at the State Capitol presenting their Black agenda to this year’s Minnesota Legislature. Billed as “Black Minnesotans Helping Move Minnesota Forward,” around 50 people listened on March 19 at the Capitol Rotunda to over 20 scheduled speakers before many of them visited legislators’ offices. “The last two years there was a collective group that sat on this African American lobby day, and this place was filled,” noted Rev. Jerry McAfee, who added that the COBM “didn’t reach out to anybody else. If this is about Black Minnesotans, why are you leaving Black folk out?”

Although McAfee didn’t blame the council’s new executive director, Edward McDonald, for the seemingly solo effort in planning last week’s event, the longtime pastor nonetheless added, “Some of the people around him on the council knew about it, and they should’ve said, ‘We will be stronger if we put everybody in together.’”

McDonald was hired and assumed the COBM executive duties last October. “Whether we like them [organizations that represent Blacks] or don’t like them, every African American group should have been a part of this, and there should have been meetings prior to this so that there could [be] one agenda. Continue Reading →

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‘Harlem Shake’ videos spark effort to ‘resist the fad’

 

 

News Analysis

By Jamal Denman

Contributing Writer

 

On March 13, Hamline University in St. Paul hosted a forum titled, “The Harlem Shake as Blackface: A Critical Look at Cultural Appropriation.” The forum was a panel discussion about a recent YouTube phenomenon and its relation to racism and people who identify themselves as White appropriating elements of cultures created by people of color. The panel of nine was made up of scholars, professors, students from Hamline, local artists, and others described as being nationally known speakers and activists connected to either hip hop culture, the city of Harlem, privilege, or appropriation who can share their experiences and expertise to shed light on why the “Harlem Shake” videos are a problem. For those who are unaware, the “Harlem Shake” being addressed is not referring to the dance made popular by Harlem youth in the 1980s; instead, it refers to a track created by a producer named Baauer, who named it “Harlem Shake.”

The track itself is not what is necessarily causing the commotion. It is the fact that it is used in videos uploaded to the Internet showing people moving around wildly to the track, and that it has created a sort of phenomenon, having influenced many different people to create similar videos. Continue Reading →

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This week’s Entertainment spotlights!

 

 
The Music
 

Masta Killa of the Wu-Tang Clan
Fri., Mar. 29, 9 pm • Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 6 W. 6th St., St. Paul, 612-285-3112 or www.amsterdambarandhall.com • Masta Killa has made appearances on every Wu-Tang Clan album, many solo Wu projects, as well as projects by Afu-Ra, Bounty Killer and Public Enemy.  

 

 

Redman

Fri., Mar. 29, 9 pm • Cabooze, 917 Cedar Ave., Mpls., 612-338-6425 or www.cabooze.com • Def Jam recording artist Redman helped shape a generation of hip hop artists. Continue Reading →

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South Mpls grandmother spared eviction by Occupy campaign

News Analysis

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

After a public pressure campaign led by Occupy Homes MN ’s Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone, Gayle Lindsey, a nursing assistant and grandmother in South Minneapolis who was facing imminent eviction, has won an 11th-hour loan modification on her mortgage from M&T Bank. Lindsey bought the home in 2001 and was given an adjustable-rate loan that rose by a few hundred dollars last year. “I was struggling, but I still paid, it,” she said. But, last year, hours on her second job were cut from 30 per week to only five, and she found that she was unable to afford her monthly payments.  

Early last year, she said, M&T Bank, based in Buffalo, New York, sent a letter threatening foreclosure. Continue Reading →

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Hold government, business accountable for keeping our youth from street madness

In Minneapolis and St. Paul, it’s time to build opportunity for the African American children. It’s clear that all the recreational things other communities have make a difference in a youth’s life. To begin with, we’ve got to have some real drop-in centers for these children where they can have dances and other social activities to help teach how to interact in a social environment. Maybe it’s time to bring back a teen nightclub like “Mr. Lucky.”

We must find ways to create consciousness, like it was when we adults grew up. Continue Reading →

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Create your dream job

 

First of a three-part series
 
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” — Arnold Toynbee

 

I really like this quote by Arnold Toynbee, because it resonates well with my journey to finding my authentic vocation. I have seen so many entrepreneurial people create a lucrative and thriving role for themselves seemingly out of thin air. When there is a need that only you can remedy, and you desperately want more fulfillment out of your current work, conditions are just right for you to create the position you’ve been longing for. Let’s start the process by writing your job description. In the context of this article, the word “job” refers to any compensated opportunity. Continue Reading →

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Living the Single Life

 
Look here every week for MSR’s profiles of local men and women who are, at least for now, unattached and…living the single life.  

This Week’s Single:
Jacqueline (Jackie) Allen
Age:  50

Profession: Business Manager/Baker/ Sales Consultant 

City:  Burnsville

Single life is… new to me, but adventurous. I’m dreaming new dreams and living out the desires of my heart. Single last thing I splurged on… diamond studs. I bought teeny tiny diamond earrings for myself. Continue Reading →

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Local chapter of National Black Nurses organizes festive gathering

 
Eliminating health disparities high on their agenda
 
By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

Stepping into Spring with the “Minnesota Black Nurses Association” was the joyous theme at the organization’s first annual gala on Saturday, March 9, held at the Crown Plaza hotel in Brooklyn Park, co-sponsored by The Minnesota Black Nurses Association (MNBNA) and a number of other local organizations. This special event was dedicated to fundraising for scholarships for the next generation of nurses and was attended by nearly 200 guests, who took part in festivities that lasted over three hours but didn’t feel like a long, drawn-out

occasion. According to event organizers, there are approximately 100 Black nurses in the Twin Cities area. The overall polish and organization of the affair gave the distinct impression that the engagement wasn’t the MNBNA’s first go-around. Familiar faces in the crowd included Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter and Roxanne Givens, founder of the Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center. Continue Reading →

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