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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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First annual Baraza conference ‘a huge success’

Event launches movement to improve Black women’s health and wellness
 

Part 2 — see part one in the current print edition of the MSR

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

The October 6 Baraza Conference presentation by Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, Ph.D., was titled “Claiming Your Right to Wellness: Sisters in Recovery from Life” and addressed powerful issues such as trauma, grief and loss as they relate to both personal and professional relationships, and offered the audience exercises to improve wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Dr. Akinsanya is a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of the African American Child Wellness Institute. One of the things she discussed during her talk was cognitive reframing, such as when one thinks of a glass as half full or half empty. So, when you do reframing, what you do is look at a situation from another side. Dr. Akinsanya asked the audience to think of one negative thing you say about yourself that keeps you locked down. Continue Reading →

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Constitutional challenge repelled, healthcare reform continues

Proponents grapple with ‘mountains of misinformation’ 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) earlier this year released new data indicating that nearly four million Blacks will gain health insurance coverage by 2016 because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled constitutional. The Supreme Court challenge did not interrupt the government’s ongoing action to put the provisions of the ACA into practice. “We at the department have never [stopped] implementing the law,” explained Health and Human Services (HHS) Intergovernmental and External Affairs Director Anton Gunn in a phone interview with MSR. Since 2010, the HHS has implemented such provisions as uninsured Americans with pre-existing health conditions gaining access to coverage, prohibitions against children being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, the elimination of lifetime limits and coverage of preventive health services. “But now [after the decision] we know that the American people have greater security and greater protection knowing that the Affordable Care Act is making health care more accessible and better quality for them,” said Gunn. Minneapolis barber Bernard Walters depends on MinnesotaCare, a publicly subsidized program for state residents who do not have access to other affordable healthcare coverage, because “that is the cheapest.” He has had a couple of major surgeries and gets annual check-ups. Continue Reading →

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