Black Focus

Recent Articles

Living, surviving and thriving with a disability

Assistance, support from others vital to surviving with a disability
 
Why did I “survive” as a Black “crippled” child? I believe I survived so others can see it is possible. How did I “survive?” I believe I was born with the intestinal fortitude, true grit, and determination to survive. What did I survive? I survived a traumatic brain injury as well as severe internal injuries with resulting partial paralysis on my left side from head to toe. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

State’s Black teens show health gains, including reduced pregnancies

However, wellness gap remains between White youth and youth of color
Collectively, Minnesota’s teens are doing better today on key health measures than they were in the 1990s, according to a recent analysis by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Since the 1990s, students 12 to 19 years old from all racial and ethnic groups have experienced substantial declines in rates of smoking cigarettes, binge drinking, sexual activity, hitting or beating up another person, carrying a weapon on school property, drinking pop or soda, and riding in a car without a seat belt, according to The Health and Well-Being of Minnesota’s Adolescents of Color and American Indians: A Data Book (PDF: 3.62MB/86 pages) from the MDH. One exception is the level of emotional distress, which has remained basically the same since the mid-1990s. This marks the first time the MDH has systematically compared the health of teens from different ethnic and racial backgrounds — White, Latino, African American, Asian, and American Indian — and found a persistent wellness gap between Minnesota’s White adolescents and its adolescents of color and American Indians. “This teen fact book shows that efforts in some targeted areas have been working to protect adolescents of color and American Indians, but it also shows that much more needs to be done,” said Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota commissioner of health. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Our stories and symbols can restore our authentic Black selves

Third of a three-part column

This is the last in a three-part series focused on the effects that enslavement, cultural uprooting, and geographical and spiritual dispersing have had on our culture — Black culture — and the ways that we relate to ourselves and each other at present. During the late 1800s, after savagely ripping many of the human resources from our land of our origin, colonists stripped Africa of its natural resources, which were then divided among the British, French, Portuguese, Italians and Dutch. These European colonists installed a system of imperial rule where they were able to claim these resources as their own. The process of imperialism meant that people were colonized — instead of being African, they were taught to carry the identity of their colonizers and thus to assist them in unleashing the forces of generational self-destruction. One writer described this plight of self-destruction as lasting into “perpetuity,” meaning it would never end. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

This Week’s Entertainment Spotlights!

Home for the Holidays concert
 with Kimberly Brown

Sun., Dec. 16, 2:30 & 6:30 pm
Fine Line Music Cafe
318 First Ave. N., Mpls., 612-338-8100 or www.finelinemusic.com
Tickets are $25 for seating and $15 for standing room only;
for tickets, go to www.kimberlybrown.info. Tower of Power 

Mon.-Wed., Dec. 17-19, 7 & 9 pm
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010 or www.dakotacooks.com
 Tickets are $55-70 for the 7 pm show
and $45-60 for the 9 pm show. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Habakkuk Records spotlights emerging gospel artists

Label owner creates business plan through divine inspiration
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

In today’s up-and-down economy, when music consumers opt for digital downloads rather than purchasing CDs, April Washington’s Habakkuk Records, which she started in 2008, has weathered the economic turbulence. A seasoned veteran music executive, Washington says she applied what she learned from her years with major labels to her own label. “When I went to

Motown, I worked under Jheryl Busby,” she told the MSR in a phone interview. “He was a phenomenal executive. One of the things he taught us was really get on the ground…where the fan base [is]. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Overall, hiring of Black college coaches has improved

 
But there have been setbacks; some still resist transparent coaching searches

 

The Black Coaches and Administrators (BCA) recently released its 2011-12 “Hiring Report Card for NCAA, FBS and FCS Football Head Coaching Positions.”

According to the BCA, there has been a 600-percent increase in the number of Black coaches at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) from three to an all-time high of 18 at the start of this season. Other good news: The most Black hires ever as head football coaches (28, 61 percent) have occurred in the nine years since the first BCA report card was published. Since the card’s release, Purdue hired its first-ever Black head football coach, and two Black-coached teams faced each other for this year’s Mid American Conference championship, while another (Louisville’s Charlie Strong) finished as a co-champion in his conference. “We have a lot of [Black] coaches being successful,” boasted BCA Executive Director Floyd Keith during a phone interview with the MSR.

The bad news, however, is that only six Blacks were hired during the 2011-12 hiring cycle out of 39 openings. And two Black coaches have been dismissed, including Jon Embree in Colorado after just two seasons. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

It’s time to stand up and shout, ‘No more!’

 

This is a very trying time for the African Americans in Minneapolis. First let me start off by saying there are two very important things missing that allow this tragedy to happen. First is the love of God at the center of many of our people, and second is the outright hatred of ourselves. I believe we as a people need to get up every day and say, “I like me” and say it until the day we believe it. Then get up every day and say, “I love me.” It is impossible for a Black man to love anyone if he doesn’t love himself first. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

This week’s Entertainment Spotlights!

Public Enemy

 Thurs., Dec. 6, 8 pm:
First Avenue & 7th Street Entry
701 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-332-1775 or www.first-avenue.com
With X-Clan, Monie Love, Schoolly D, Leaders of the New School, Wise Intelligent, Son of Bazerk & No Self Control, Awesome Dre, Davy Dmx and DJ Johnny Juice
Tickets are $25. This event is for ages-18+. Hypel’s Listening Party, Featuring Nakia Marie, Ashley DuBose and Mike Dreams

Fri., Dec. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Deficits, deceit, and Social Security

 

By Norman and Velma Hill

Guest Commentators

 

 

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are the foundations for the wellbeing of scores of millions of middle- and low-income Americans. Without Social Security, 14 million more low-income Americans would be living in poverty. Because of Medicare, 33 million older people live longer, have access to quality care, and are not driven into poverty by rapidly rising healthcare costs. Medicaid is a healthcare boon to Americans not yet eligible for Medicare, which covers some 60 million Americans. Because of historical and lingering discrimination, racial minorities in particular need these programs. Overall, they have less income and fewer assets than Whites, so a higher percentage of their retirement income comes from Social Security benefits. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

‘Rules of war’ expose FBI terror case as fraud

 

The FBI “terror case” that took place here in Minneapolis involving local young men who were recruited to fight in a “holy war” in Somalia in 2008 is finally over. It was said that it was one of the biggest cases ever by the federal government. This makes sense. It can be very time consuming making up evidence. The process used to show evidence of “terror” in this case was the same process used to show evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. When you are the most powerful entity on the planet, you get to send your agents to Somalia to dig up bodies looking for phantom evidence, while their drones buzz above them committing the real crimes. When the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press go along with this case of “terrorism” without questioning it, they are nothing more than state-run newspapers. The FBI has nothing. How could such a minor thing as these young men going to fight in a “civil war” in Somalia be such a big deal, be such a crime, especially when they are within the rights of international law? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,