The graphic of MSR founder Cecil E. Newman on the left is currently displayed at the Minneapolis Club downtown. Newman was the first African American to join the club. Today, his granddaughter Tracey Williams-Dillard (right) is the publisher of the MSR and sits at the same desk as her grandfather.

On August 10, 2021, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR) began its 87th year of publishing and serving the community.

The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR) enjoys a living legacy as the oldest Black-owned newspaper in the state of Minnesota and one of the longest-standing, family-owned newspapers in the country.

Civil rights activist and businessman Cecil E. Newman launched the MSR in August 1934 as two separate papers: the Minneapolis Spokesman and the St. Paul Recorder before it merged into one single news publication in 2007. Today, the MSR is helmed by his granddaughter, Tracey Williams-Dillard, who serves as CEO/Publisher.

For the past 87 years, the MSR has established itself as a trusted voice for the diverse Black communities of Minnesotachampioning voices and stories that might otherwise go unheard.

Each week, the newspaper’s diverse staff creates original content for its print publication, along with daily content for its website that speak to stories of human interest from a Black perspective.

The MSR’s mission is to provide timely news and information focused on community empowerment and education while championing underrepresented voices. More than just a newspaper, this includes creating content that not just informs, but also inspires, educates and encourages conversations that go beyond today’s news headlines.

In addition to serving as a trusted source for Black news and information, the paper is also a cherished cultural resource. The MSR’s building was designated as a local historic landmark on November 20, 2015, by a full Minneapolis City Council vote.

The MSR is currently working to expand its reach via social and digital media channels, while also developing opportunities for community engagement and involvement via strategic partnerships and events.

(Below, a clip of the City Council vote designating the MSR building as a historic landmark, and Tracey Williams-Dillard sharing her thoughts about the honor).

MSR Membership

Amalgamated Publishers, Inc.
Metropolitan Economic Development Association
Minnesota Minority Media Coalition
Minnesota Newspaper Association
National Newspapers Publishers Association