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Recent Articles

The 252 lost to violence in just five years

It’s 2013, and we are still working on this issue of crime and violence across the country. However, I did get some feedback on my last article, so let me try to give some clarity again…

The savage murders of 20 children is still outrageous and insane; the murder of eight adults in the same city is still insane. However, I personally will continue to recognize the thousands upon thousands of our deaths ever since the 1960s. I recently was invited to New Salem Missionary Baptist Church for a memorial service entitled, “Stop the Killing, Start the Healing” dedicated to the people who lost loved ones and headed up by Rev. Jerry McAfee, the president of the Minnesota State Baptist Convention. So I decided to say very little today and allow this article to speak for itself. Continue Reading →

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Radioactive gas: a persistent health risk in Minnesota

Governor Dayton has declared January “Radon Action Month” to encourage testing

Minnesota homes need to be tested for radon; winter is the best time to do it. Every 25 minutes, one person in the U.S. dies from radon-related lung cancer. It is the largest environmental cancer risk and t‹he leading cause of lung cancer among non smokers. Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable. More than 40 percent of Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon gas, and state health officials say every home should be tested. Continue Reading →

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A healthy life requires much more than an annual resolution

“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only passion for life.” — Federico Fellini 

New Year’s resolutions are a waste. People tend to make a promise on January 1 with great sincerity but follow it with little effort. Thus, 88 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. Continue Reading →

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Unchained to portray Black slavery? Was there a politically correct way for Django Unchained to portray Black slavery?

 

The start of 2013 is making it difficult to avoid one of America’s greatest sins — slavery. We’ve just marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and a plethora of films, documentaries and TV specials are scheduled to address slavery. One blockbuster hit that’s playing in cinemas now, and is likely to walk away with several Golden Globes and Oscars, is Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Django Unchained depicts a slave-turned-bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx) who fearlessly treks across the U.S. to find his wife (Kerry Washington) in order to rescue her from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). The film is classic Tarantino: a homage to the spaghetti western with romance and revenge narrative. Continue Reading →

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A nation in pain, a nation whose heart is broken again

When news began to flash across the airways Friday, December 14, that a tragedy was taking place in Newtown, CT, the magnitude and the heartbreak of this violent and insane action began to sink in. Twenty of the 26 lost lives were six- and seven-year-old children dying from multiple gun shots from an assault/combat rifle. This incident caused me to pause and relook at what to write for this end-of-year/looking-forward-to-the-future column, especially in terms of the tragedies in Minneapolis’ African American communities in terms of education, jobs, housing and getting caught holding the bag to pay for a stadium neither the state nor city can afford. In terms of school shootings, we remember Virginia Tech; Minnesota’s Red Lake Indian Reservation; Springfield, OR; Columbine, CO; Jonesboro, AR; Blacksburg, VA.; and 1927 Michigan: 45 killed, mostly children. Recent school killings have also been in Norway; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Sana’a, Yemen. Continue Reading →

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Twin Cities Black Film Festival founder on 10 years of stars and screenings

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Ten years ago, Natalie Morrow wanted to establish an annual Black film screening event on the comparable level as similar events held in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Since then, the Twin Cities Black Film Festival (TCBFF) has been held each September in such places as Augsburg College (twice), at downtown hotels and once at now-vacant Block E. Stars such as Nate Parker, cinema icons such as Pam Grier and countless screenwriters, directors and documentary producers have been special guests over the years as well. Among this year’s 14-film festival September 27-30 at St. Anthony Main Theatre included a tribute to the late Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard), two unheralded 1970s classics (The Spook Who Sat by the Door and Black Brigade), a documentary on the final season of sports at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and a comedy filmed in the Twin Cities. “I’m happy that I am still on the right track in selecting the right films,” says Morrow in an interview with the MSR.

High Card Trumps, a six-minute film, was among several shorts shown at this year’s TCBFF. Continue Reading →

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Sports highlights, plus banished words of 2012

Two members of our MSR sports experts’ panel recently released their 2012 best sports stories. Nate Parham of Swish Appeal places at the top of his list the Indiana Fever winning the 2012 WNBA championship. “I think Tamika Catchings [the finals MVP] has done so much for women’s basketball…throughout her career. I think the entire women’s basketball world was rooting for her to win a championship. People are comparing it to LeBron James [winning his first NBA title this year].”

Baylor’s undefeated season “obviously was a huge story,” Parham says. Continue Reading →

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Park Center-Osseo rivalry showcases b-ball talent

 

Last year in late December a friend of mine, former Minneapolis North and University of Minnesota women’s basketball player ELLEN HEBERT, suggested that I attend a boys’ basketball contest between Park Center and Osseo on Friday, January 6, 2011. I will admit I blew the invitation off at first. I live in St. Paul, and the thought of driving through traffic was enough for me to want to attend a game closer to my home. Not sure if it was voices I kept hearing or a gravitational pull that turned my car west on I-94 instead of east. Continue Reading →

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