Recent Articles

N. Judge King May 13, 1936 — May 26, 2014

N. Judge King, Ph.D., indeed a man for all seasons, succumbed to lung cancer on May 26 following a life and career of 78 years as an educator, entrepreneur, activist, scientist, altruist and more, including building and piloting airplanes. Most of all he prevailed as a humanist with solid sense of commitment to community. On an intimately personal note, Dr. Reatha Clark King, faithfully devoted, beloved wife of 52 years, also reflects, “We had a long, long wonderful marriage and he was a special husband. Judge took pride in…family and in advising younger men how to keep their family together. Continue Reading →

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Civil rights tour opened students’ eyes to Black history

 Spring break trip field trip encouraged thoughts of college, attending HBCUs

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer


Over 40 Minneapolis Public Schools’ (MPS) Black high school students, instead of spending spring break on a sunny beach, traveled down south by bus on a “Civil Rights Research Tour.” The five-day tour (March 31-April 5) took the students to Montgomery, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia and stopped at several historic sites, including the 16th Street Baptist Church, where four young Black girls died in 1964. For some students, the trip also included stops at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Four of the participants spoke to the MSR last week about their experience. “It helped me learn more about my history,” said Edison junior Nailah Heard. “I never heard of the 16th Street Church at all,” added Edison’s classmate Jasmine Valentine. Continue Reading →

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June 17, 1937
Greenville, Alabama
January 23, 2014
At the age of 76
Parents, Ranza and Lula Pryor
Brother, Willie Dean
Sister, Maeola McKinnes
Children, Victor (Peggy) Pryor
Gary (Pamela) Peterson
Bruce (Lisa) Peterson, Angela Peterson
and their father, Charles Peterson
Grandchildren, Kotia, Gary Jr., Awanna,
Montral, Seth, King, Precious and Zachary
Tashanique, Raymond,
Eriyanna, Audermar, Colee,
Bryce, Gary III and Israel Continue Reading →

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“Ask What You Can Do For Your Country”








By Marian Wright Edelman

Contributing Writer


“It should be clear by now that a nation can be no stronger abroad than she is at home. Only an America which practices what it preaches about equal rights and social justice will be respected by those whose choice affects our future. Only an America which has fully educated its citizens is fully capable of tackling the complex problems and perceiving the hidden dangers of the world in which we live.” — From the speech President John F. Kennedy planned to deliver on November 22, 1963.  

I was a brand new law school graduate in my first months of work with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City on that fateful November day 50 years ago. I had begun the day visiting a young Black male death row client in a rural Georgia prison accused of killing a White farmer and had returned to Atlanta where I was sitting in a courthouse library researching how many Blacks and Whites had been executed in Georgia’s history. Continue Reading →

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The Black codes: framework for today’s laws








By Jessica Wright

Guest Commentator

In 1777, slavery was abolished and with that the slavery codes became stagnant. Slave owners who fought against the abolition of slavery were athirst for a turnabout against the new law. The general assembly of several states inducted the black codes in an attempt to perpetuate their perfidy. Eventually the slave codes were transposed into black codes under the guise of equality. In this succinct article I will embosom the semantics of the black code in the 21st century we continue to adhere to, the flagrant rules and regulations that recur in an attempt to further attenuate Blacks. Continue Reading →

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Local chapter of National Black Nurses organizes festive gathering

Eliminating health disparities high on their agenda
By Robin James

Contributing Writer


Stepping into Spring with the “Minnesota Black Nurses Association” was the joyous theme at the organization’s first annual gala on Saturday, March 9, held at the Crown Plaza hotel in Brooklyn Park, co-sponsored by The Minnesota Black Nurses Association (MNBNA) and a number of other local organizations. This special event was dedicated to fundraising for scholarships for the next generation of nurses and was attended by nearly 200 guests, who took part in festivities that lasted over three hours but didn’t feel like a long, drawn-out

occasion. According to event organizers, there are approximately 100 Black nurses in the Twin Cities area. The overall polish and organization of the affair gave the distinct impression that the engagement wasn’t the MNBNA’s first go-around. Familiar faces in the crowd included Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter and Roxanne Givens, founder of the Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center. Continue Reading →

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There’s nothing else quite like Black college football

I’ve attended my share of Gopher football games over the years, but those games are mostly anti-climatic and the home school band painfully plays the same tired old songs. I have yet to see in person a Black college football game, but a good friend of mine tells me once you go Black (college football), you don’t go back. “Unlike major college football, Black college football is the African American pastime,” states Mark Gray, who broadcasts HBCU games for the Heritage Sports Radio Network.  It “is part cultural, part show. It touches a place in your soul that you didn’t know was there until it gets there.”

Black college bands and their halftime shows are as much an integral part of Black college football as the teams. “I know a lot of people want to see those bands as part of the overall [Black college] experience,” says Gray. “At major college games, people leave [their seats] at halftime to get their refreshments. Continue Reading →

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Local Black scholars screen, critique film on 1963 Children’s Crusade


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Re-enactments of true events in documentaries are common practice. University of Minnesota professors Rose Brewer and John Wright both were critical of the use of re-enactments in Mighty Times: The Children’s March, which won the best short documentary Oscar in 2005, during a discussion after its August 24 screening at the Glover-Sudduth Center in Minneapolis. The film was about the 1963 Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama, when thousands of Black children of all ages were arrested and jailed in seven days of protests. (See “Film on 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade gets free screening” in MSR Aug. 16-22 issue.)

First produced for HBO, the film used scenes that included actors and shot at locations outside of Birmingham. Continue Reading →

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From Selma, Alabama to Minneapolis

MPS superintendent reflects on voting rights, proposed voter ID amendment

By Alleen Brown

Contributing Writer


At a recent anti-voter ID amendment rally, Minneapolis Public Schools Supt. Bernadeia Johnson spoke to the crowd about her family’s fight for voter rights in Selma, Alabama, in the 1960s. Although she can’t speak for the district, Johnson is decidedly anti-amendment, and her growing-up years in the heart of the voting rights movement in tiny Selma, Alabama, get the credit for her stance. The Twin Cities Daily Planet (DP) sat down with Johnson (BJ) to talk about growing up in Selma and about what she thinks about Minnesota’s proposed voter ID amendment.  To read more about this story, pick up a copy of the MSR newspaper:


Or become an MSR subscriber: Continue Reading →

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