Birmingham

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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MSR’s ‘Only One’ at the NCAA softball regionals

After a long winter, our “Only One” reporter finally got out and spent last weekend as the only Black media member in the Jane Sage Cowles Stadium press box at the NCAA Minneapolis Regional softball tournament at the University of Minnesota. Again I seemingly wore my invisible suit as the passing-out-stats people passed me by on a couple of occasions. Before last weekend’s four-team double elimination tournament, I promised Gophers’ Tyler Walker and Madie Eckstrom that I would attend. The two previously were featured a couple of weeks ago in our Gopher 100 series.  

“We are going to see a whole lot of each other,” exclaimed Walker. 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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When it comes to health, place matters

By Dr. Brian Smedley

America’s Wire Writers Group 

 

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is an achievement Americans can be proud of. Making sure that all our brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren have proper health insurance makes us a stronger, more prosperous nation. Amid this important change, however, we cannot ignore the work that remains to be done, especially in communities of color. Insurance cards are not enough. To become a society with better health — not just better health coverage — we must also look at the role “place” plays in the lives of minority communities. Continue Reading →

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The Good Wife Works – On having to prove one’s self-worth

 

Ossie Davis (1917-2005) remembered a Southern sheriff pouring syrup on his head as a child. Davis regarded this incident as pivotal, instilling what he called the “ni***r” effect in his mind: a form, function and reaction of cowardice as a self-protective device. “In the presence of [threat],” he wrote, “you do what you have to do in order to survive.”

In Davis’ judgment, this egregious lack of self-esteem instilled in Black men is the remnant of slavery and racism, damaging to the Black man’s image of himself. “The [African American community] shares the burden of racism,” John Edgar Wideman wrote, and “understands how it hurts, scars, and deforms.”

A young Black American man recently spoke of similarly systemic racism when he lived in an African country dominated by European imperialism. Only European history was in the books. 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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