On November 7 Patrick Henry High School invited 100 Black men to take part in their second “100 Black Men Strong” event, featuring keynote speaker Toki Wright.
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Young people are now back home energized and ready to “build” their personal brand after attending a teen leadership conference in St. Paul. The Minneapolis Jack and Jill of America chapter last week hosted the four-day 61st annual Mid-Western Regional Teen Leadership Conference.
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Baseball has existed for over a century, but among inner-city children it’s almost non-existent. Why isn’t this sport as popular as football and basketball, especially given baseball’s potential to offer the successful player both a very lavish lifestyle as well as a long playing career? Frank White, the Minnesota Twins Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) coordinator, believes the love of sports, no matter what type of sport, often is nurtured at home. He surmised that for many inner-city children, their parents probably grew up around basketball and football, so that it is probably what they will talk about or watch on television during family time. “Most children will be interested in what they are exposed to in their homes,” he pointed out. Continue Reading →
During the first week of July, some in America showed their true colors by once again viciously attacking, with malice aforethought, a 19-year-old Black woman, Rachel Jeantel. She was the last person to speak to 17-year-old Trayvon Martin just seconds before he was to die at the hands of George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. Ms. Jeantel was born in the nation of Haiti but has been a resident of the United States since age three. But English is not her native tongue. It is her third language. How many languages do her tormentors speak? Rachel Jeantel is important for two reasons. First, she teaches us about the lessons of respect. Second, she brought credibility and truth to her testimony. Continue Reading →
“We are protesting because we believe that institutions of higher learning like FAU have the responsibility to stand up to the systemic racism, corruption and human rights violations that define the prison-for-profit system, and advocate instead for equality and human rights,” wrote a group at Florida Atlantic University. When students at Florida Atlantic University recently penned the letter containing the quote listed above in an effort to stand up to their administration and demand that the university reconsider naming their stadium after the private for-profit prison corporation GEO Group, it gave me an idea. Why not protest the NCAA and its rip off of so-called student athletes? I couldn’t help but see the similarity in the private prison industry and the NCAA. Failed sports stars often run afoul of the law and many of them wind up on prison plantations after having spent their time on another plantation — college sports. Continue Reading →
When news began to flash across the airways Friday, December 14, that a tragedy was taking place in Newtown, CT, the magnitude and the heartbreak of this violent and insane action began to sink in. Twenty of the 26 lost lives were six- and seven-year-old children dying from multiple gun shots from an assault/combat rifle. This incident caused me to pause and relook at what to write for this end-of-year/looking-forward-to-the-future column, especially in terms of the tragedies in Minneapolis’ African American communities in terms of education, jobs, housing and getting caught holding the bag to pay for a stadium neither the state nor city can afford. In terms of school shootings, we remember Virginia Tech; Minnesota’s Red Lake Indian Reservation; Springfield, OR; Columbine, CO; Jonesboro, AR; Blacksburg, VA.; and 1927 Michigan: 45 killed, mostly children. Recent school killings have also been in Norway; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Sana’a, Yemen. Continue Reading →
The school can stop real racism now or just keep trying to change perceptions
By De’Vonna Pittman
In response to your article “St. Cloud State image makeover is lipstick on a pig” [MSR Nov. 3], I feel that I am very qualified to speak on this very topic. My daughter attended St. Cloud State for two years. Continue Reading →