african American community

Recent Articles

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Doing something concrete about the longstanding dilemma of domestic violence calls for a new approach to searching out solutions. Male awareness is an important place to focus for obvious reasons. After all, this crime is most often committed by men.
The MSR sat with associates Sam Simmons (SAFE Families), Charisma Smith of From PRostitution to Independence, Dignity & Equality (PRIDE), Charles Dixon and Donald Collier (BeMore Campaign) at Family Partnership’s South Minneapolis offices to discuss domestic abuse Continue Reading →

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Returning to an old order after 30 years

A retreat for Black leaders to plan actions to enable Whites to feel safe

What horn will midnight hear? The Calvary bugler sounding retreat from battle? Gabriel’s trumpet leading the Halleluiah chorus? The morning wake-up horn calling retreat members to begin discussions for addressing violence in the community? History reveals good and bad leaders and shepherds, and the shifts that occur from heroic sacrifices to keep eyes on the prize (as during slave and Jim Crow days), to becoming paid bureaucrats of “solution organizations” that “look the other way” to maintain the status quo. Continue Reading →

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The Art Cunningham Show: over two decades of Black history through Black media



By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer


There is no more effective means of communicating than the media, particularly the visual media and especially television, since every home has at least one set. How far, after all, do you think the present celebration of Black History Month would’ve got without the media? Its inception came back in 1926, founded by Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week. It is undeniable the impact media communication has had, growing from the first celebration by Black United Students at Kent State University in 1970 to America acknowledging Black History Month in 1976, President Gerald Ford making it official.  

All this is said to underscore that Art Cunningham, creator-host of The Art Cunningham Show for 23 years, put the issues-oriented program on the air as a means to get voices of the African American community expressed that otherwise went unheard. Continue Reading →

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Much at stake in police investigation of Franklin death



In view of stories and commentary published in this newspaper and in other media the past two months concerning the May 10 death of Terrance Franklin at the hands of Minneapolis police, the MSR urges the responsible authorities to immediately reassure the public in general and the African American community in particular that justice will be done in determining exactly what occurred in this deadly exchange and, should any police misconduct be discovered, it will be suitably punished. The circumstances are ugly: A young, unarmed Black man suspected of burglary is trapped in a basement by five armored and armed-to-the-teeth SWAT officers as well as an unleashed police dog and, from all appearances, ends up executed gangland-style, with two of the officers somehow wounded in an exchange that remains a puzzle. Police accounts are contradictory. Equivocations by the police chief, silence from the mayor and city council, withholding of evidence from the family by the county attorney — all of this fans the flames of discontent within communities long subjected to police abuse and growing more and more impatient with official cover-ups. Add to this toxic mix a cop known for his abusive tactics and racial epithets against Blacks (as well as many others) who former chief Tim Dolan called “a great performer” and who has been awarded several awards and medals in spite of his history of abuse, and a potentially explosive discontent threatens to overwhelm the rational prosecution of justice in the case of MPD v. Terrance T. Franklin. Continue Reading →

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Family suspects police cover-up in Terrance Franklin shooting

Uncle says ‘crazed individual’ profiled in media is not his nephew



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Something happened May 10 after he allegedly was earlier involved in a theft. Exactly what happened in the basement of that South Minneapolis house May 10, the day Terrance Franklin was shot and killed by Minneapolis police, remains a mystery to all but the police officers involved. Although the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) investigation is still ongoing, Franklin’s family still seeks answers to their questions nearly a month after his death. They question earlier police reports that say their son shot two MPD officers with a submachine gun. They also question the extent to which a racial element may have played a role in the man’s death. Continue Reading →

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Tom Joyner’s homophobic message to Black community is sad but no surprise



On May 1, Jason Collins, the 7’-0” center for the Washington Wizards and a former Boston Celtic, came out. His statement — “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m Black. And I’m gay” — made the cover story for the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated. On May 2, three Morehouse College basketball athletes were accused of raping an 18-year-old Spelman College student. Continue Reading →

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Givens Foundation selects 2013 featured author



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Black historical fiction writer Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is this year’s featured author for Givens Black Books 2013. Givens Black Books is a community reading campaign sponsored by the Givens Foundation for African American Literature. The organization has been involved in increasing cultural understanding and learning and celebrating Black authors for 40 years. Rhodes, currently a professor at Arizona State University, is the author of eight novels, four of which — Voodoo Dreams (1995), Magic City (1998), Douglass’ Women (2003) and Ninth Ward (2012) — are this year’s Given Black Books selected works. Her “historical narrative and research” was a primary reason for selecting Rhodes, says Arleta Little, the foundation’s executive director. Continue Reading →

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When good people essentially do nothing

Power, politics, and policy and the influence they have over African American people

According to Pastor Terrance Jacobs, former director with the Gamaliel Organization who was appointed to Africa, power is the concentration of “organized people and organized money” (taken from the Alinsky model). Pastor Jacobs went on to explain, at the Minneapolis Neighborhood Hub’s Health Disparities training that was held in late October, that a state of powerlessness is a sin! My interpretation of his remark is that there is a whole lot of sin going around in Minnesota! In that one instance he essentially declared that seeking power is not a bad thing. Yet many of us have formed opinions about power to the effect that it is bad, that we don’t need too much of it,  and that anyone seeking too much power should be watched closely. Continue Reading →

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Short films’ premiere celebrates voting power of communities of color


By Vickie Evans-Nash



On Thursday, October 11, between 6:30 and 8:30 pm, the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis will host a unique red-carpet event. Guests will be greeted at the door, and as they arrive their entrance will be streamed live on the theater screen. Entertainment will include local performers, and community members will introduce a series of recently released YouTube videos. This is not a Twin-Cities-turns-Hollywood event; it is rather a kickoff event highlighting the importance of participating in the political process through casting a vote.  
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