Renaissance woman speaks on Tyler Perry, Obama and ‘the sweet language’
By Charles Hallman
In remembrance of author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)
This article was originally published in October 18, 2012 edition of the MSR.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Maya Angelou is a renowned “renaissance woman” who as a teenager became San Francisco’s first Black female cable-car conductor, and worked with both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
James Baldwin helped guide her toward working on what would become her first of over 30 best-selling books. A three-time Grammy winner, she also has written for the stage, screen and television, and her poetry is legendary.
Last week, Dr. Angelou (MA) called the MSR from her home and talked about her life present and future. Following are excerpts from that conversation. Continue Reading →
By Lovell Oates
Conclusion of a series
Last week: If the bridge is not built to reconnect these [incarcerated] brothers…in the end, the work being done in the community will become more difficult because a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.
I remember when Joe and Tyrone were outcast in the community and brothers and sisters would check their behavior. In fact, their families wouldn’t allow it. I talk about Joe and Tyrone in terms of being incarcerated, yet we all know the community is full of these types of brothers that have never been to jail, which makes it worse for the simple fact that the brother in jail at least has a chance to evaluate his situation. Joe and Tyrone, in the free world, don’t even know that they are clowns and fools because it’s normal to everyone around them. Continue Reading →
Marlene Stollings’ second hire on her Gopher women’s basketball coaching staff is Nikita (Niki) Dawkins. She is a 23-year coaching veteran who has been a VCU assistant coach the last two seasons and held similar positions at Old Dominion, Michigan and Ohio State, her alma mater. In a released statement, Stollings called Dawkins, whose duties include recruiting coordinator, “one of the top assistants in the country.” She joins Tiffanie Couts, who Stollings named director of basketball operations. Couts was a grad assistant last season at VCU. The women are the only two Blacks on the staff. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
According to Nielsen, Blacks watch almost 40 percent more television than any other group. As a result, Black-themed sitcoms and reality shows seemingly are now hot properties on cable. But not on just BET, TV One and Centric, three Black-oriented channels, but several mainstream outlets as well: TV Land has The Soul Man. Nick at Nite has Instant Mom. Tyler Perry’s House of Payne has been on TBS since 2007, and Meet the Browns debuted on the same channel two years later in 2009. Continue Reading →
By Dwight Hobbes
Crude stereotyping, or effort to heal the erosion of Black families? You can’t swing a dead cat in the Twin Cites without hitting a Black woman who’s married to — or doing her damnedest to marry — a White man: must be something in the water. Dr. Nazaree Hines-Starr, PharmD goes one better, urging Black women, in her memoir Why Every Black Woman Should Marry a Jewish Man, not to settle for just a plain old regular White man but to truly grab the brass ring. On first hearing about the book, my immediate thought was that someone had come up with a very clever satire or some smart tongue-in-cheek mischief to mess with readers’ minds. To the contrary, Hines-Starr is in absolute earnest. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
Second in a multi-part series
Despite her impressive filmography, LisaGay Hamilton humbly points out that her name isn’t a household one. “I’m an ordinary African American woman,” she told the MSR in a recent phone interview. “Personally I am not exotic looking. I’m not curvaceous… I just have to be really great — really, really good.”
Hamilton nonetheless pointed out that she tries not to take acting jobs “just to make money. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
The first of a four-part series that takes a look at Black women in the movie industry
Go For Sisters, a John Sayles movie, made its local debut in Minneapolis December 13 at Landmark Theatres’ Lagoon Cinema. The film is currently scheduled to run for one week only. The 122-minute film (which is unrated, but not recommended for persons under 15 due to violence, drug scenes and strong language) is about two women, once friends growing up who then grew apart. They reunite after 20 years to find a missing son, with the help of an ex-police detective. Sayles said in his director’s statement, “I usually don’t write screenplays with specific actors in mind. Continue Reading →
The 2013 WNBA Finals now heads south to Atlanta for Game 3 on Thursday between the Minnesota Lynx and the Atlanta Dream, the last two teams standing. “Anytime you get to this point when you’re at the end of the season in the Finals, these two teams know that there are a maximum of five more games before they’re hoisting a trophy,” said President Laurel Richie Sunday before Game 1 took place in downtown Minneapolis. “It truly doesn’t matter which two teams are in it. It just matters that we’re at the Finals and ready to bring it on. I think it’s going to be a wonderful way to end what has been a terrific season for the WNBA,” Richie said. Continue Reading →
By Junauda Petrus
“You can always break rules and challenge limits. You can always be the boss of your art, because it comes from the soul. I really love when the art becomes the boss of me and moves and molds me into its process,” says Minneapolis native and soul musician Sarah White. We are at a Northeast Cafe on a graciously sunny September afternoon. She is squeezing our interview in between her environmental science homework and meeting her oldest daughter, Iza, at the bus stop. Continue Reading →
Columnist Lucky Rosenbloom wrongly attributes to the Guttmacher Institute the claim — itself false — that abortion providers “target” African American women [column of April 11]. In reality, disproportionately high abortion (and unplanned birth) rates among women of color are the direct result of their higher rates of unintended pregnancy, which in turn reflect economic and social inequalities that are widespread and pervasive. The result is stark disparities not only on various reproductive health outcomes, but also on a broad range of health indicators, including high rates of diabetes, heart disease, AIDS and cancer. Antiabortion activists ignore these systemic inequities and instead cynically accuse abortion providers of targeting minority women. In fact, fewer than one in 10 abortion clinics are located in predominantly African American neighborhoods. Continue Reading →