Booker Hodges

Recent Articles

Park Board as ‘hostile workplace’ revisited

 

 

 
MPRB officials, NAACP see positive change; workers still ambivalent
 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The MSR last year published a series of stories on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) about unfair discipline of Black employees and other discriminatory concerns (“Black employees call Mpls Park Board a ‘toxic’ workplace,” Jan. 5, 2012 and “Park Board leaders, NAACP claim progress,” Sept. 13, 2012). The Minneapolis NAACP last summer received numerous complaints from Black MPRB employees, and its investigation later found a history of discriminatory practices there. Recently we asked Park Board Superintendent Jayne Miller to provide an update on how things are now at the MPRB. Continue Reading →

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Blacks have a different agenda from Whites on gun control

Let me state what’s important to African Americans on the gun issue. White Americans who have invented the Black boogieman will never give up their guns that they feel will protect them from the American Black uprising, which has always been a myth, because all we have tried to do is stay alive in America. I will say yes, it’s true, our people have always stood up against injustice. We’ve always fought for freedom, justice and equality. But White Americans are trying to change the issue to mental health. Continue Reading →

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Who’s honing Twin Cities’ media focus? Blacks in management still a rarity in local television, radio news

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Blacks are barely represented on the air and in management at Twin Cities television and radio stations. The MSRrecently examined four local station websites — WCCO (Channel 4), KSTP (Channel 5), KMSP (Channel 9), and KARE (Channel 11) and found:

WCCO: one Black female anchor, one Black anchor/reporter, one Black reporter

KSTP: No Blacks

KMSP: One Black reporter

KARE: No Blacks

The MSR also examined KSTP and WCCO Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Public File Reports for the December 1, 2010 to November 30, 2011 reporting period — the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that these reports are publicly available. KSTP-TV filled 38 full-time openings, including two meteorologists and three reporters. The station also reported the Council on Black Minnesotans, the St. Paul Urban League, Minneapolis Urban League, the Minneapolis NAACP chapter and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) as among its recruitment sources. Continue Reading →

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Park Board, NAACP meet to address worker grievances

 
Meanwhile, complaints continue to surface

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) officials and the Minneapolis NAACP now are meeting to address concerns raisedby Black employees and customers. “I think they are receptive, and I look forward to working with them,” said NAACP President Booker Hodges after his recent meetings with MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller and Board Chairman John Erwin. The NAACP, who previously investigated “over 60 complaints…and over 100 customers’ complaints,” have recently received an additional 15 complaints from Park Board workers since the MSR January 5 story on employment conditions among MPRB Black employees, said Hodges. “We have been contacted by White employees, too,” he reported. “They say they have the same issues but Blacks have it worse.”

The MSR also received several phone calls and emails from present and former Park Board employees. Continue Reading →

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