Barack Obama

Recent Articles

Local civil rights leader Matthew Little passes

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

Matt Little is gone, leaving a legendary legacy. He was widely renowned and will be well remembered as a Civil Rights Era icon who held a soul-deep commitment to empowering the African American community. Graduating North Carolina A&T State University in 1948, he relocated to the Twin Cities and, in 1954 became a board member of the Minneapolis NAACP, beginning a lifelong dedication to the organization. During his career, he was president of that chapter as well as president of the Minnesota state NAACP. Far from being a figurehead, Little was hands-on and counted among his most prized memories filing a federal lawsuit to integrate the Minneapolis Fire Department. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Over 40 years ago King pointed out the “illusion of the damned”

 
America’s survival rests on undoing the exploitation of Black people
 
 

“When I speak of integration, I don’t mean a romantic mixing of colors. I mean a real sharing of power and responsibility. We will eventually achieve this, but it is going to be much more difficult for us than for any other minority. After all, no other minority has been so constantly, brutally and deliberately exploited. But because of this very exploitation, Negroes bring a special spiritual and moral contribution to American life — a contribution without which America could not survive.”

— Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Testament of Hope,” (1969)

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

When Barack Obama was first elected U.S. president in 2008, some declared this the beginning of America’s post-racial age. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The long walk to freedom ends

By Farai Diza

The AfricaPaper

Contributing Writer

 

QUNU, SOUTH AFRICA — Former South African president Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in his rural home of Qunu on Sunday at a high-profile funeral that attracted dignitaries from all corners of the globe who included his Royal Highness Prince Charles, Jesse Jackson, Hollywood celebrity Idriss Elba, Business magnate Richard Branson, Malawian president Joyce Banda, and famed U.S. talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey. Four thousand local and international journalists were accredited to cover the class-one funeral that is the highest honor in South Africa, and it was broadcast in over 100 countries. Mandela passed away a week ago at his Houghton home in Johannesburg after a long fight with a recurring lung infection, and his funeral was unarguably the biggest state funeral in world history. Mandela’s influence in Africa goes far beyond the borders of South Africa, and he is regarded across the continent as the father of democracy. Mandela stopped racism, apartheid and other controversies between the Whites and Blacks. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Women take charge at Twin Cities Black Film Festival

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Women ruled at this year’s Twin Cities Black Film Festival (TCBFF) as several female produced and directed films and shorts were screened in September. “Anyone who takes the time and the courage to do this, I’m all for that,” notes TCBFF Founder-Director Natalie Morrow. “I’m not a filmmaker, but I know that it’s a lot of work that goes into filmmaking — just trying to find your funding, your actors, your editing and all that.”

“I write a lot [but] I went to school to learn how to edit so I can do my own projects,” said writer-director Schonte Hamilton. “We’re looking at short after short… that’s just wonderful to see,” observed Deedra Miller, who wrote and also starred in her own film. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

New Fed chair must be a proponent of Main Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Marc H. Morial

Guest Commentator

 

“The Federal Reserve Chairman is not only one of the most important economic policymakers in America, he or she is one of the most important policymakers in the world.” — President Barack Obama

Welcome to the season of big decisions in Washington. In the coming days, President Obama will have to decide whether to order a military strike against the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons against its own people. Time is also running out for Congress and the administration to agree on a budget to avoid an October 1 government shutdown, and lawmakers are on the line to raise the debt ceiling to keep the nation from defaulting on its financial obligations. In the midst of all of this, the president must decide whom to pick for one of the most important jobs in the world — chairman of the Federal Reserve. “The Fed,” as it is commonly called, is the central bank of the United States, responsible for setting monetary policy and credit conditions in support of full employment and stable prices. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The ghost of Neville Chamberlain

President Barack Obama stands in that shadow
 
Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of 1930s Great Britain, went to Munich, Germany to seek peace with Hitler. The “ghost” of Chamberlain refers to his miscalculating achieving “peace in our time” (a phrase used by President Obama in his second inaugural). Chamberlain’s miscalculation enabled World War II. As this column is written, the president has not yet addressed the nation or the congress. Was he persuasive? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

James Meredith’s A Mission from God goes beyond remembering the past

He’ll discuss current concerns during an August 29 visit to Minneapolis
A book review 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Living, breathing Civil Rights Era history is coming to South Minneapolis’ Hosmer Library in the renowned person of James Meredith, who will read from and talk about his book, A Mission from God: a Memoir and Challenge for America (Simon & Schuster). Following his acclaimed Three Years in Mississippi after nearly 50 years, A Mission from God, written with award-winning author William Doyle, reflects on what went on in Meredith’s mind and how he felt in his heart when he did the unthinkable, single-handedly taking on the most viciously racist state in the union (of which its governor and citizens were staunchly proud) to claim the right to enroll for classes at the University of Mississippi. In 1963, the South, instead of practicing the politically correct racism that prevailed in the North, which claimed to embrace equality while covertly stonewalling it, was very much outright in its refusal to acknowledge, much less accept, people of color as Americans. Blind, unreasoning hatred of Black humanity was such that it actually took 500 U.S. Marshals, the 70th Army Engineer Combat Battalion, the 2nd Infantry Division U.S. Army troops, the 503rd Military Police Battalion, and Mississippi’s National Guard to hold off a rabid, jeering horde of blood-thirsty bigots. Television and film dramas, even documentaries, romanticize then-President John Kennedy and his Attorney General Robert Kennedy for dispatching all that aid like the cavalry coming over the hill when Gov. Ross Barnett withdrew the local police and was going to let Meredith get killed. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Barack Obama needs to free Marissa Alexander

 

 

The problem is not the Stand Your Ground law. It’s with its application. A cowardly predator like George Zimmerman can hide behind the statute, but, Marissa Alexander got 20 years. This is, as anyone can tell you, because Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, a young Black man and Marissa Alexander is a Black woman. That is why the law worked for Zimmerman and did not work for Alexander, sent her to jail for protecting herself, her home and her children from her abusive ex. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Zimmerman trial watch

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a series of commentaries written by MSR staff writer Charles Hallman exclusively for the MSR Online regarding the George Zimmerman trial. They are being posted several times per week. Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com

 

 
Zimmerman update #16 (July 23, 2013)
 

It’s been over a week since the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict was handed down. Marches, vigils, and other such events have taken place in its aftermath. “There’s going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case,” admitted President Obama in his unexpected address to the press last week. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

As a Black president, Barack Obama is a bust

 

 

If Barack Obama isn’t going to have Black issues high among his priorities, what was the point of America making such a big deal out of him being the first Black president? Indeed, why did Black voters turn out in record numbers to put him in the White House? Just for the sake of being able to swell up their chests and point with pride to the fact that for the first time in history there’s an African American politician in the country’s most prestigious office? Just as a hollow, cosmetic gesture? The nation’s affirmative action poster boy? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,