Black History Month

Recent Articles

Empty seats

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Kevin Reese

Contributing Writer

 

In the previous two columns: On February 7 and 8, 2014 there was a Black History month celebration here at Lino Lakes Correctional Facility where I am currently housed. It was an amazing two-day event filled with heavyweight speakers, soulful music, topped with deep and rich history lessons… Everything was in its place except for one thing. The elephant in the room: all of the empty seats.  

I see the empty seat as not simply just a chair, but as a behavior and an attitude of unaccountability and complacency. Continue Reading →

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The Art Cunningham Show: over two decades of Black history through Black media

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

 

There is no more effective means of communicating than the media, particularly the visual media and especially television, since every home has at least one set. How far, after all, do you think the present celebration of Black History Month would’ve got without the media? Its inception came back in 1926, founded by Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week. It is undeniable the impact media communication has had, growing from the first celebration by Black United Students at Kent State University in 1970 to America acknowledging Black History Month in 1976, President Gerald Ford making it official.  

All this is said to underscore that Art Cunningham, creator-host of The Art Cunningham Show for 23 years, put the issues-oriented program on the air as a means to get voices of the African American community expressed that otherwise went unheard. Continue Reading →

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My Brother’s Keeper: Trauma must be part of conversation on helping Black males

Black History Month has come and gone once again. I hope that folks learned something useful and constructive during this period. Oftentimes, I believe as Black people we forget that everything we do today is making Black history. Sadly, we think about what would be in the history books 50 years from now based on current events — the major events would be the election of President Obama, the murder of Trayvon Martin, and maybe even the first openly gay professional athletes being Black as well. However, I do not think these things encompass what we know Black history is about today. Continue Reading →

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Is Black History Month still relevant?

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer

 

Is Black History Month still relevant? A mix of Black folk from the “young, and young at heart” assembled at Sirius XM’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and discussed this topic early February. USA Today columnist Dewayne Wickham, Association for the Study of African American Life Executive Director Sylvia Cyrus and social commentator Jeff Johnson were featured panelists on “Banneker, Barack and Beyond: The Meaning of Black History,” moderated by Sirius XM weekday morning host Joe Madison February 6. Sirius XM Urban Programming Vice President Dion Summers helped organized the event. “The question that we put out there — does Black History Month matter anymore — was aimed more at the group we call the ‘millennials’ (ages 18-34),” explained Summers in a phone interview with the MSR. “There always has been a certain understanding of Black History Month. Continue Reading →

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Women in sport films festival features legendary college hoops coaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Besides Black History Month, February also honors the accomplishments of women and girls in sport. The University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport for the past three years has held women’s film screenings at the Gopher football stadium to mark the occasion. Two films from last year’s ESPN’s “Nine for IX” series were featured at the 2014 Tucker Center Film Festival Feb. 6. Coach chronicles Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer, women’s basketball’s winningest active coach with 900+ wins. Continue Reading →

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Black History Month: now more than ever

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Marc H. Morial

Guest Commentator

 

“There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering.” — Lonnie Bunch, founding director, National Museum of African American History and Culture

 

Ever since the 2009 election of Barack Obama as America’s first Black president and the 100th anniversary of the National Urban League in 2010, the perennial debate about the need for Black History Month has intensified. Some have questioned the need for a special month to recognize the many unknown and unsung achievements of African Americans. With Obama as president, the logic goes, we have now achieved Dr. King’s dream of a non-racial America where everyone is judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I wish it were so. Continue Reading →

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Current NBA stars honor their Black Fives predecessors

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we approach the wind-down days of Black History Month 2014, it’s refreshing to see other Black contributors besides the usual few names often presented — such as overlooked Black athletes who labored in virtual obscurity during the Jim Crow era. Thanks to the nonprofit Black Fives Foundation in New York for “tell[ing] the story of the pre-1950 history of African Americans in basketball.” The “Black Fives” name comes from the all-Black basketball teams that played in Brooklyn, Harlem, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Pittsburgh, Newark and Los Angeles. These teams “ushered in the Harlem Renaissance period, smashed the color barrier in pro basketball and helped pave the way for the Civil Rights Movement,” wrote founder Claude Johnson on the foundation’s website (www.blackfives.org). Johnson and director Loren Mendell teamed up with Fox Sports Net, which broadcasts NBA games for 13 teams including the Minnesota Timberwolves, to create a series of 30-second TV vignettes honoring Black Fives era pioneers during Black History Month. They are aired during halftime of the telecasts. Continue Reading →

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Celebrate and take action during Black History Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Lucinda Jesson and Edward McDonald

Guest Commentators

 

 

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and recognize the rich accomplishments of African Americans. Many of the 311,000 Black/African American Minnesotans, including 76,000 African immigrants, have contributed significantly to Minnesota through strong cultural diversity, business development, consumer spending, government revenue, employment opportunities and trade relations with African countries. As we applaud the growing strength of African American communities during the month of February, we also encourage more families to adopt and provide foster care for children, especially the disproportionate number of African American children in the foster care system. One of the greatest memories an African American child, or any child can have, is the love and care of family. Of the 467 children in the foster care system in need of adoptive families as of January 1 of this year, 140 (30 percent) are African American — a disproportionately large percentage compared to the number of African American children in Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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Adoption celebrated during Black History Month

During February, Black History Month, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Council on Black Minnesotans, and several nonprofit and community organizations are working together to encourage families to adopt children waiting in the foster care system, particularly African American children who are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system. “All children need safe, stable, loving homes to thrive,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “During Black History Month, we are celebrating the African American families who have adopted and encouraging other families to consider adoption. We, along with our community partners, are here to provide support before, during and after adoption.”

Added Edward McDonald, executive director of the Council on Black Minnesotans, “As we celebrate the rich history of African Americans during the month of February, let us also use the month to begin doubling our efforts for the remainder of the year encouraging more African American families to adopt and provide foster care for children who are wards of the state, especially the disproportionate number of African American children. The greatest historical remembrance an African American child, or any child, can have is one that is highlighted by the love and care of a family.”

Throughout February adoption-specific events include:

The Minnesota Heart Gallery is featuring foster children in need of adoptive families in its large lobby display at the East Side Neighborhood Services Building, 1700 Second St. Continue Reading →

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My New Year wishes are for good public policies

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Julianne Malveaux

NNPA Columnist

 

Happy New Year! January first and second are the days when most think of the “new” year, yet with the first Monday in January falling on January 6, that’s probably when most people will return to their desks with focused energy and ready to go. Post-its and scrawled notebook paper will trumpet “new” resolutions. Eat less, relax more, volunteer, tithe, save, all that good stuff. Some will even compose a bucket list of things they’d like to do before the end of their lives. Continue Reading →

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