Monthly Archives: September 2013

More Vikings impressions

 

 

According to an inside source, I wouldn’t be too far off when I said to them that there were more Black workers than Black fans at Sunday’s Minnesota-Cleveland football game at the Metrodome. A three-year Black female stadium worker told the MSR that she estimates at least 70 percent of the game-day workforce is Black – her husband has worked at the Dome for eight years.  As a result it’s safe to say that maybe three to five percent of the 63,000-plus in attendance were Black. “I’m a diehard Vikings fan, and I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida,” says Sylvester Blue, who now lives in Dallas, Texas.  “I’ve been a fan since I was four years old, and I’m 48 now. I work hard all my life and for me to get a chance to come see them live and in person, that’s the ultimate for me.”

 

J.T. Jones, who was part of a traveling group from Atlanta, Ga. admitted that his group earlier talked about not seeing more Blacks at pro football games, whether in the Twin Cities or his hometown.  “We got a good price on tickets,” says Jones.  He added that a possible reason for the lack of Blacks at NFL games can be attributed to financial concerns.  “We can’t splurge as much as we want to.  We pick and choose what we splurge,” he explains.  “You look on TV and it never looks like there are Blacks at games.”

“I’m a big football fanatic.  I work hard to enjoy the things I love, and football is one of them. Continue Reading →

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Conference shuffle the big news for U-M men’s hockey

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Big Ten league promises much — will it deliver?  

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

College sports in recent years have seen conferences either expand or implode both in football and basketball. Now it’s trickled down to men’s hockey. In what organizers called “an unprecedented day of college hockey discussions in the Twin Cities,” last week the two newest men’s hockey conferences held their respective media days September 19. “We’re ready to go in a new season and a new conference,” proclaimed U-M Coach Don Lucia in St. Continue Reading →

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Former State Rep. candidate talks about Black leadership

Terra Cole says MN ‘good old boys’ political structure not supportive of women
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Is there a generational gap in local Black leadership? When recently asked, Terra Cole pointed out that she believes there is. With Minneapolis elections fast approaching, the MSR spoke with Cole for her perspective on the obstacles to becoming an elected official considering her 2011 run for the Minnesota State House District 59B seat. Cole said that there are two main reasons for the present generational gap. “There is a significant difference in the opportunities in the area of mentorship and knowledge transfer for people in my age group [persons who are in their 30s],” she pointed out. Continue Reading →

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An interview with jazz veteran Billy Cobham

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

According to www.whosampled.com, Billy Cobham’s music has been sampled over 40 times, including two signature songs “Red Baron” (sampled eight times) and “Heather” (sampled 15 times) first released during the 1970s. A founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1971, Cobham co-founded his own fusion group in 1969, and then was invited to play on four cuts on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. At age 69, he’s still as strong as ever: Cobham’s current Spectrum 40 tour swings through Minneapolis on October 1 for a one-night stop at the downtown Dakota Jazz Club. “It will be a real pleasure to perform there,” he said during a recent phone interview with the MSR.

On his website, www.billycobham.com, it says that the Panama native, who grew up in New York, got his “first paying gig” when he was only eight years old, then later joined a local drum and bugle corps and attended New York’s famed High School of Music and Art — where he studied music theory and drum technique. “I started on the road in [19]63,” recalls Cobham, who later played in the U.S. Army Band as a percussionist during his three years of military service in the mid-1960s. Continue Reading →

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Central prevails over Washburn on the gridiron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Paul Central’s football team made a serious statement last week during its 47-25 nonconference football victory over perennial Minneapolis City Conference power Washburn. Before a surprisingly small but enthusiastic crowd at James S. Griffin Stadium (Central’s home field), the defending conference champion Minutemen dominated the Millers, last year’s Minneapolis champs, in every phase of the game. Washburn came in with the state’s top recruit in running back JEFF JONES. Jones came into the game with 16 touchdowns in three victories but was held to 17 yards. Continue Reading →

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Philanthropy for many is simply ‘doing the right thing’ for Blacks

MSR speaks with Minnesota Council on Foundations’ president Trista Harris
 
By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

Who is Trista Harris? She’s an author, blogger, and self-described philanthropic futurist on a mission to lead and empower the next generation of foundation leaders, social entrepreneurs, and do-gooders who will shape the future. Her website www.tristaharris.org says so. How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar: 50 Ways to Accelerate Your Career (Lulu.com, 2011) is the worthwhile book that she co-authored along with Rosetta Thurman. And if you haven’t heard by now, Harris was named the new president of Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) and took over the reins July 29 from Bill King who retired. Continue Reading →

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Ramsey county attorney orders study: juvenile sentencing disparity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, this columnist takes on the silent danger to Blacks in our community. We have heard a lot of discourse over the years about Black male versus White male adults being incarcerated for similar crimes at a higher rate. How about juveniles? White juveniles are taken home for first-time thefts. However, Black juveniles have been introduced into the Juvenile Justice Center for first-time same offenses. Continue Reading →

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Death warrants in Faribault

State of MN ignores deaths at State prison hospital in Faribault
 

”Today there are more African-Americans under correctional control — in prison or jail, on probation or parole — than were enslaved in 1850… Our system of mass incarceration…has devastated many of our communities…literally turning back the clock on racial progress in the U.S.”

— Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in An Age of Colorblindness (New Press, 2010)

 

So who will lead the battle against this injustice of mass incarceration? Churches, nonprofits and government agencies, whose jobs rely on keeping the status quo? No. The gritty work is being done by courageous Black mothers, whose numbers will grow into a national movement (think of the Argentine mothers marching daily at the Plaza de Mayo to protest the 30,000 that were “disappeared,” 1975-1983). Were it not for the mothers of two African American inmates, Courtney Clark and Robert Hosely, at the Minnesota Corrections Medical Facility at Faribault, Minnesota, they would die without notice (see my columns of July 18 and July 25, 2012). Continue Reading →

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New Fed chair must be a proponent of Main Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Marc H. Morial

Guest Commentator

 

“The Federal Reserve Chairman is not only one of the most important economic policymakers in America, he or she is one of the most important policymakers in the world.” — President Barack Obama

Welcome to the season of big decisions in Washington. In the coming days, President Obama will have to decide whether to order a military strike against the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons against its own people. Time is also running out for Congress and the administration to agree on a budget to avoid an October 1 government shutdown, and lawmakers are on the line to raise the debt ceiling to keep the nation from defaulting on its financial obligations. In the midst of all of this, the president must decide whom to pick for one of the most important jobs in the world — chairman of the Federal Reserve. “The Fed,” as it is commonly called, is the central bank of the United States, responsible for setting monetary policy and credit conditions in support of full employment and stable prices. Continue Reading →

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