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MSR celebrates Minnesota’s Black businesses

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Founded in 1934 by Cecil E. Newman, the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder (MSR) this summer entered its 79th year of publishing the state’s oldest Black weekly newspaper. Tracey Williams-Dillard, granddaughter of Newman, is currently the CEO of Minnesota’s oldest Black-owned business. “He started the newspaper [in the Twin Cities] because when he was in Kansas City, he saw how African Americans were being mistreated, and he knew he needed to do

writings to help his people,” recalls Williams-Dillard of her late grandfather. “Unfortunately the times in Kansas City were so rough for Black people that the opportunity for him to start a newspaper [there] was not going to be too great, so he moved to Minnesota. At the time he started his newspaper here in 1934, there still was almost as much discrimination here as it was in Kansas City.” Over the years, the MSR has profiled and advertised many Black businesses, telling the stories of those that have failed, those that have ended after years of success and those that are thriving today. Continue Reading →

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