Good credit — is it overrated?
There was a time when cash was king. It seems like those days are long gone and now credit determines everything. Our county, from top to bottom, is built on credit. We need credit to buy a home, a car, to rent an apartment, to lease anything, to get a cell phone, to gain employment, to start a business, to determine interest rates on any financial obligation and your insurance payments. Continue Reading →
Brooklyn-based ensemble Red Baraat makes its debut at Orchestra Hall on Friday, April 25 at 8 pm. Critics have described their performance as “a shot of pure adrenalin.” Established in 2008, Red Baraat is an eight-piece band from Brooklyn, New York. The brainchild of Sunny Jain, the group has been celebrated worldwide for its live performances of original sound — a blending of North Indian bhangra rhythms, New Orleans brass band, jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip hop. Sunny Jain is known as a rising star in the jazz world. Continue Reading →
José James and Kris Bowers return to the Cedar Cultural Center on Monday, April 21. Consider this an invitation to enjoy more new music from two young and gifted musicians with new albums.
But this is not just a fantastic reintroduction of two talented artists. It’s a fantastic way to explore music from two men who are potentially on their way to becoming huge influential musicians in the future.
In January 2013, James played an album-release show with Bowers on keys, but this time around, the Minneapolis-born, Brooklyn-based vocalist will play a pre-album release show to support his upcoming June 10 release, While You Were Sleeping on Blue Note Records, with Bowers opening the gig. His new album is Heroes + Misfits on Concord Records. Continue Reading →
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 →
Ellison’s bio a cutting-edge tale of resisting bias religious and racial
By Dwight Hobbes
Unequivocally a singular success, Congressional Rep. Keith Ellison is one of the more fascinating figures in contemporary politics — indeed, an unprecedented, historic presence. Anyone who doesn’t believe he’s capable of becoming the second Black president of these United States needs merely consider this: How likely was it that with the country still rankling from 9/11, he accomplished a virtually unthinkable feat — becoming the first Muslim elected to Congress? My Country ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future (Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing, $25) is a newly published memoir cum biography and, whether you admire or abhor his consistently controversial stands on hot-button issues — for instance, the proposed mosque at ground zero, downtown Manhattan site of Al-Kaida’s 2001 terrorist attack on America — the book is a significant, definitively informing work that belongs in the library of every American — Black, White, Brown, Muslim, Protestant, Catholic, whatever — who wishes to know what he or she is talking about when they discuss the consequence of Keith Ellison. It should surprise no one that a significant amount of the material here concerns itself with Ellison’s devotion to his religion. Along with being the first Muslim to hold his office, he historically is strongly vocal about Muslim Americans getting a fair shake in society. Continue Reading →
How in the hell do you get someone to want you back? Keith was always a firm believer that you can’t make someone want you. Which is why devastatingly gorgeous women never drove him quite as crazy as they did other guys in this line of work. You ran into them all time. If you developed a crush on one and didn’t know how to get over it when she didn’t have one on you, you were going to make yourself insane every time you saw her. Especially when she was with another guy — or, for that matter, a woman. A cover girl he knew from the theatre district made his pulse run hot. But he wasn’t the least bit interested. He learned to live with it. This time was different. Lesli had wanted him once. And, now that he thought about it, he wouldn’t’ve got so mad if she didn’t still want him. That didn’t mean, however, she was going to take him back. She was stubborn enough to hold out until that want died. Continue Reading →
Activist reveals how he became ‘a force of consequence in America’
A Book Review
By Dwight Hobbes
One does well to take the endorsements on the dust jacket of Reverend Al Sharpton: The Rejected Stone with a grain of salt. Most glaringly, a tribute from no less suspect a source than former President George W. Bush proclaims, “Al cares just as much as I care about making sure every child learns to read, write, add and subtract.” Bush demonstrated beyond a doubt that he never wasted a moment’s thought on the wellbeing of children of color. President Barack Obama states, “Reverend Sharpton is the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden.” Yet President Obama has proven himself deaf to the dire needs of the voiceless, if not with the fiasco of his Obamacare debacle, inarguably by his steadfast refusal to take any sort of impassioned stand on issues impacting the powerless, most conspicuously the Stand Your Ground Law, which has given gun-happy racists license to open fire on Black Americans. Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes extols, “Sharpton is the go-to Black leader today.” Why is this White woman dictating who qualifies as the number-one guiding African American light — of either gender? It’s best to simply set those comments aside and see for yourself, deciding on your own whether the book is worthwhile reading. (Odds are you’ve already made up your mind by now as to how great an individual Sharpton is or isn’t.) The fact, of course, that it’s about one of America’s most prominent figures alone is enough to warrant a look-see if out of nothing more than curiosity. Continue Reading →
This weekend June 27-29 the 15th Annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival returns to St. Paul’s Mears Park. And the best thing is it’s free! Festival goers can expect to experience a wide spectrum of music presented on four outdoor stages and in many local Downtown St. Paul venues. Continue Reading →