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The Good Wife Works – Gypsies, Jews, Hmong and Blacks — diasporas of the unwanted

 

When I was a little girl, people would ask, “What nationality are you?” That is to say, to what tribe do I belong? What is my country of origin? Belonging is tribe, blood and culture, not necessarily territory and certainly not based on citizenship now that so many in the world occupy diasporas and are not living in the place where their forbears were born. “Most of culture lies hidden, outside volume control, making up warp and woof of human existence,” says Edward T. Hall. It is human nature to want to belong. Continue Reading →

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MN’s sales tax highest of five-state Upper Midwest

 
Revenue commissioner talks tax reform with Twin Cities’ business owners of color
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

On December 21, Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans held the second of two minority business tax forums at African Development Center in Minneapolis. It was part of an effort by the Minnesota Department of Revenue to “get as much feedback as possible about tax reform and how the tax code impacts small businesses to ensure [Frans] is giving the best advice to Governor Dayton as he puts together his tax package for the 2012 legislative session,” according to a department of revenue community invite. Present at the meeting was also Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey. Commissioner Frans said that Minnesota’s current tax system is out of date and too complex. He also admitted that a simpler tax system is needed. Continue Reading →

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Teacher/entrepreneur uses life lessons to motivate Twin Cities’ youth

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Overcoming obstacles and adjusting to changes in his life is Tommy Watson’s personal story. “By the time I was in third grade, I lived in three foster homes…and lived with my grandmother,” said Watson in a recent interview with the MSR. “We were shuffled around. “I remember many days watching my parents when we were with them come into the house sober, and go into the bathroom and shoot heroin. That terrified me.”

The motivational speaker and consultant used that fear of becoming like his parents as motivation to succeed. “At the high school, I met a coach that changed my life. Continue Reading →

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This week’s Entertainment spotlights!

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

Wed.-Thurs., Jan. 9-10, 7 & 9 pm
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010 or www.dakotacooks.com
Tickets are $50-$65 for the 7 pm show and $40-$45 for the 9 pm show. T.A.Y.E.

Wed., Jan. 9, 8 pm (in the Entry)
First Avenue & 7th Street Entry
701 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-332-1775 or www.first-avenue.com
With Contrast Muzic, Lyrik Lasha, Jermz the Teacher, Crome Barz, Sam Carlyle, Spin, King Fuvi and Rob-1
Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at door. Continue Reading →

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Tracey Ashley: Witty comedian brought the heat to local club

 

There aren’t many things worth going outside for on a December night in the Twin Cities. Comedic ace Tracey Ashley is one. Homegirl truly got skills. This summer, Tracey Ashley opened for Dave Chappelle at the State Theatre and was a hit, delighting her fans and winning new ones with crackling fresh material. This night, I can’t wait to see her light the Acme Comedy Club up. Continue Reading →

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Black father of Three Musketeers author was a real-life hero

 

For a quiet weekend getaway, there’s nothing like a novel. With a novel in your hands, you can travel the world without going anywhere, seeing things your eyes can’t show you. Reading a novel allows you to be someone — or something – else for a while. A good novel is just what you need when you need escape. But as you’ll see in The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo (Crown Publishers, 414 pages, includes index) by Tom Reiss,your favorite fiction may not be a fiction at all. Continue Reading →

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Program helps young adults transition from foster care to positive futures

 

By Makula Dunbar

Contributing Writer

 

 

Contrary to how most people view it, Tiffany — a teen who’s just become familiar with the foster care system — says it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Making the shift was a dream come true she says, as was becoming a participant of Connections to Independence (C2i). The South Minneapolis-based nonprofit assists youth in foster care ages 15-21 to transition to an independent lifestyle as they age out of the system. “People have their own opinions, but with me it’s like I’m in a whole different world. I’m living in a dream world I always wanted,” Tiffany, 19, confessed. Continue Reading →

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African inventor addresses worldwide crisis of sanitation

 
Lack of toilets, water overuse will bring the crisis to the U.S., engineer predicts
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Human waste disposal and how to properly manage it has been a recognized environmental issue since 2008 when the United Nations declared that year the “International Year of Sanitation.” However, some believe that the issue is not getting enough attention as it should. There are nearly three billion people worldwide today who don’t have access to a toilet, notes Ghana engineer Kweku Anno, who invented the Biofil Digester 15 years ago and introduced it in 2008. Anno’s Biofil Digester is “a unique waste treatment system” that claims to work 30 times faster than current septic systems and uses less water and disposes sewage without stench. He has installed over 2,000 Biofil Digesters in homes, offices and other buildings in Ghana, Belize, India, South Africa and Liberia, and says he believes one day it could eliminate the septic system. An estimated 90 percent of the people living in Ghana don’t have access to toilets, says Anno. Continue Reading →

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The Vikings Stadium: a historic reckoning point in its history regarding the equity plan

 Vikings Stadium legislation called for an equity plan outlining Black participation in construction contracts and workers. Its absence is the story of continued injustice, discrimination, and official sneering at the idea of Black participation. This major story of 2012-2013 will be a 2013-2014 albatross around the necks of the self-appointed and imaginary Twin Cities leaders and journalists who stand silent as the Equity Plan sinks in “best effort” cement boots to a lake bottom. In the People’s Stadium’s two big broken promises — equity plan and “no new taxes” — we see how the “rights culture” of the 1960s has continued too many aspects of the Democratic Party’s White rights Jim Crow culture in American cities, with the purposeful disobeying of the requirement to bring an Equity Plan for seating African Americans at the stadium construction economic table. State legislature mandated an equity plan. Continue Reading →

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