Nearly 50 years ago this March, Jim Robinson made Minnesota boys’ basketball history. “I worked the [state] tournament three years in a row,” beginning in 1971 as a game official, Robinson proudly stated. The longtime referee, now a supervisor of officials for the Minnesota State High School League, reflected on his legendary career in a […]
Welcome to Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder’s Black History Month special edition
“Early in life, I somehow got the feeling that I could succeed even if I were a member of a minority group… I knew that I would have to work hard and never give up. I would have to take many affronts, but if I kept my personal integrity, nothing could defeat me.” — Cecil E. Newman
In 1926, Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week in an effort to recognize African Americans in a history often void of their accomplishments. Surprisingly, this lack of recognition of African Americans and their contributions to society exists even now, almost a century after Woodson’s establishment of Negro History Week, now Black History Month.
Woodson recognized that if Blacks are unaware of their victories, they are more susceptible to give in to defeat under the weight of oppression. Our stories of triumph serve as a roadmap to future successes.
As the oldest Black-owned business in the state of Minnesota, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR), established in August of 1934 by Cecil E. Newman and led today by his granddaughter, Tracey Williams-Dillard, remains dedicated to championing the stories and achievements of the African Americans in the community and beyond.
For over a decade we have offered a special edition insert with feature profiles and reflections in celebration of Black History Month. We hope you enjoy the stories of triumph offered in our Black History Month special section and in each and every week of the MSR.
Fifty years ago, a tragic accident ended the groundbreaking career of Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., a Chicago native and stellar Air Force pilot who became America’s first Black astronaut. On December 8, 2017 — the 50th anniversary of his death — NASA honored his often-ignored legacy and contributions to the agency. Earlier this year, […]
As Black America recounts how far it’s come, there is pride in culture and in accomplishments. One can see how the contributions and sacrifices of America’s Black seniors are woven throughout every part of the country’s history. Black History Month formalizes that recognition. The MSR recently sat down with senior Arie Gipson in her home […]
George Poage can claim a piece of Black history for himself, though, at the time of his success, few noticed. A track star at the University of Wisconsin, Poage was the first African American medalist in Olympic history, winning the bronze in both the 200 hurdles and 400 hurdles at the 1904 Games in St. […]
Listed below are Black History Month events in the Twin Cities and beyond. If you know of an event that we missed, let us know in the comment section. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7 10 am, Stories of Wit and Wisdom, Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy., Brooklyn Center You’re invited to listen to lively stories from […]
Minnesota’s Black Community Project (MBCP) is a nonprofit organization launched in 2016 that serves to applaud and highlight the contributions and achievements of Minnesota’s Black community. In 2017, MBCP was awarded two grants to support its efforts from the following organizations: the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant through the Minnesota Historical Society and the […]
The Sabathanites kept kids off the streets in a turbulent era The Twin Cities boasts some of the country’s top entertainers: Prince, The Time, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and “Sounds of Blackness.” Every name is well known locally and worldwide. But there was another local group that, if you were raised in Minneapolis, was […]
Conclusion of a four-part series In this final installment of our series about African Americans who fought for dignity and equal rights on the U.S. railways as railroad sleeping car porters and maids, we explore how the porters, traveling by rail across the country, were instrumental in spreading news about African American communities and starting […]
First of a three-part story Related story: Women helped build porters’ Brotherhood This is the first installment of a story about African Americans who fought for dignity and equal rights on the U.S. railways as railroad sleeping car porters and maids. Jim Crow prevented many of the porters from working in their trained professions as doctors, lawyers […]
In the accompanying photo, Dave Winfield, the Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer who was born and raised in St. Paul, signs copies of two of his books donated to the Givens Collection at his alma mater under the watchful eyes of (l-r) Phebe Givens, widow of the late Archie Givens, Sr.; the late Arline Winfield, David’s […]