Black history

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From the MSR Legacy Archives


Seldom photographed together are two of the men pictured above, Walter White, secretary of the NAACP, and Lester Granger, executive secretary of the National Urban League, top officials of the two most powerful interracial organizations in America. White and Granger “call most of the signals and carry the ball” in most of the moves to further the cause of the American Negro. Continue Reading →

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Bloomington’s ‘Special Presentation’ on Black History involved no Blacks


On Sunday, February 22, in honor of Black History Month, the Bloomington Historical Society and the Human Rights Commission of Bloomington, Minnesota invited the public to a free “Special Presentation” on the use of quilts by slaves seeking their freedom via the Underground Railroad. Deb Meyer, from Henderson, MN was hired by the Bloomington Historical Society to present and unravel the mystery behind quilts and the coded patterns sewn on them to guide slaves along the Underground Railroad.

The room in Bloomington’s Old Town Hall, 10200 Penn. Ave. S., was filled to capacity with just over 100 people, 90 percent of them women. Besides the MSR writer covering the event, there was only one other African American present. Neither the audience, the Bloomington Historical Society, nor the presenter appeared to see anything amiss in discussing a controversial subject in Black history without any involvement of Black people or others knowledgeable about Black history and culture. Continue Reading →

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Creating Black history one Wikipedia page at a time

Howard University fills in some historical blanks.

Though he was the first African American with a doctoral degree in educational psychology as well as editor of the Journal of Negro Education for 30 years, Charles Henry Thompson’s page on Wikipedia didn’t show much.

It didn’t include his rich background of innovation and scholarship or even photography. Instead, it was a mere two sentences. 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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Minnesota honors civil rights legend


Juanita Jackson Mitchell helped reestablish Twin Cities NAACP branches


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Juanita Jackson Mitchell (1913-1992) only lived in St. Paul for four years, but her impact during that stint laid an eventual path to many firsts in Minnesota. The Juanita Jackson Mitchell Crusader for Freedom Exhibit, a compilation of Mitchell’s personal photographs and other artifacts, was on display at the State Capitol May 8-14. It is a traveling exhibit on loan from Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, Maryland, where it was established in 1995, three years after her death in 1992 of heart failure at age 79. “This exhibit [is] about her life,” Minnesota State General Counsel Micah Hines told the MSR prior to the May 8 opening program and tour. Continue Reading →

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Old Log’s Mahalia delivers in song



Old Log Theater’s Mahalia, starring Sandra Robinson Hodges with Dianne E’Laine and Sam Reeves Old Log Theater is flaws and all, a winning ticket. This is the second go around for the production, which premiered at Old Log in 1994. Ironically it’s a slice of African American theater, indeed, a page from Black history, running way out in the middle of White suburbia. And well worth the trip. Local gospel luminary Sandra Robinson Hodges is a natural to play Mahalia Jackson, the music immortal, civil rights activist and cultural icon. Continue Reading →

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