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Bloomington’s ‘Special Presentation’ on Black History involved no Blacks

Quilts

On Sunday, February 22, in honor of Black History Month, the Bloomington Historical Society and the Human Rights Commission of Bloomington, Minnesota invited the public to a free “Special Presentation” on the use of quilts by slaves seeking their freedom via the Underground Railroad. Deb Meyer, from Henderson, MN was hired by the Bloomington Historical Society to present and unravel the mystery behind quilts and the coded patterns sewn on them to guide slaves along the Underground Railroad.

The room in Bloomington’s Old Town Hall, 10200 Penn. Ave. S., was filled to capacity with just over 100 people, 90 percent of them women. Besides the MSR writer covering the event, there was only one other African American present. Neither the audience, the Bloomington Historical Society, nor the presenter appeared to see anything amiss in discussing a controversial subject in Black history without any involvement of Black people or others knowledgeable about Black history and culture. Continue Reading →

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Sister Spokesman talks networking with purpose and style

(l-r) LaJuana Whitmore, Tracey Williams-Dillard, Angela Harmon, and Bianca Lewis

Networking doesn’t have to feel awkward or forced if you take the time to find techniques that fit your style and objectives. That was one of the many takeaways from Sister Spokesman’s “Networking with Purpose” event, held March 7, at Sabathani Community Center in south Minneapolis. The event brought together a colorful mix of community members, vendors, and an expert panel of entrepreneurs who shared their experiences and best practices.
The afternoon kicked off with games, including an “elevator pitch” exercise that saw attendees work the room to practice highlighting their passions, skill sets, and career objectives for maximum impact. The panel discussion soon followed, with each of the panelists answering questions presented by attendees, and Tracey Williams-Dillard, host and MSR Publisher/CEO.
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Police officer shot in North Minneapolis

ThroughMyEyesnew

The shooting and wounding of African American police officer Jordan Davis, at 5:30 am Saturday, February 21, 2015, had all the possibilities of creating significant tension and conflict. Andrew Neal, also African American, is in custody and charged in the shooting. Here’s the twist: Neal was a paid informant for the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) in the ’90s. Continue Reading →

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Is MPR for Black folk?

Toni Randolph

After nearly six months as Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) program director, veteran newsman Jonathan Blakley is overseeing “a variety of new podcasts [and] new voices.”

MPR isn’t just for the so-called purists, stated Blakley in a recent MSR interview at MPR’s St. Paul headquarters. His overall goal since assuming his duties last November is to bring fresh voices over its airwaves as well as to help dispel the oft-entertained notion among many Blacks and other people of color that public radio is too highbrow for them. Continue Reading →

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Reflecting on ‘The Look’ and other human interactions

Do Over

My grandson Malcolm (“Rocket”) gave me the coldest stare. I really hadn’t done anything. I was holding him and talking with his mom, Shavon, and his sister Maya.

Shavon asked, “Maya, did you pick that mess up in your room from last night?” Knowing she hadn’t completed the task, Maya quickly started to respond. With her head cocked to the side, a twinkle in her eye, and a devious smile, she suddenly stopped and said, “Okay, let me stop right now before that lie comes out of my mouth.” Continue Reading →

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SPPS super says battling the board not her style

Valeria Silva

St. Paul Public Schools [SPPS] has “evolved” since 2009, the year Valeria Silva was hired as its superintendent. “Have we made mistakes? Yes. Have we improved on the mistakes we made? Absolutely,” says Silva, who adds that SPPS must keep pace with a city that has “gone through the largest transformation in 25 years.” Continue Reading →

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