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All eyes fixed on Ferguson’s April 7 election

"Protesters with signs in Ferguson" by Jamelle Bouie/ Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If the Black residents of Ferguson, Mo., want to radically reform the political climate that encouraged police to disproportionately ticket, fine and arrest them to collect revenue for the city coffers, they’ll have to do more than embrace non-violent acts of civil disobedience and peaceful protests – they will have to vote.

In the north St. Louis suburb that is nearly 70 percent Black, five of six city council members are White and the mayor is a White Republican. The police force is almost 95 percent White.

On April 7, voters in Ferguson will go to the polls in a round of highly-anticipated elections for three out of the six of the city council seats. Continue Reading →

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‘Black Male Frames,’ chronicles Hollywood’s narrow vision

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“Black Male Frames charts the development and shifting popularity of two stereotypes of black male masculinity in popular American film: The shaman and the scoundrel… [The book] identifies the origins of these roles in an America where Black men were forced either to defer or to defy their White masters. Continue Reading →

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‘Fate’s Destiny': A fresh take on God vs. Satan

Kyle S. Taylor

First-time novelist Kyle S. Taylor strikes an interesting note right out of the gate with Fate’s Destiny, a new twist on the prospect of God and Satan coming to Earth in mortal form to war over the souls of humankind. We’ve seen the theme before with classic tales like Damn Yankees and The Devil and Daniel Webster as well as more recent turns such as Bruce Almighty and Bedazzled. Taylor, though, takes things to soulville. Continue Reading →

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Telling a simple story well

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MSR “contributing writer” Dwight Hobbes has contributed to just about every category of story the newspaper runs: news, features, reviews, profiles and opinion. Over a year ago he added a new category to his output, an ongoing fiction series in weekly installments. That story has now taken form as a novel, Black & Single Blues, to be published by Indie Gypsy this month along with another collection of his essays. Continue Reading →

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Black officers become the police they wanted to see growing up

Alice White (l) with Blair Anderson

Among the nearly 60 recommendations of President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force is the need to foster stronger relationships between police and the community. The president established the group in mid-December. Locally, some police officers have long recognized the value of such positive police-community interactions.

Well before recent police shootings involving Black males in Minneapolis and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the task force’s March 2 report “[called] upon law enforcement to embrace the mindset that they are part of the community [and] put in place programs designed to promote positive interactions between police and communities.”

Continue Reading →

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