Charles Hallman

Recent Articles

Cost, lack of exposure factors in low Black volleyball participation

This column continues the “Only One” series in which this reporter shares his experiences as the only African American on the scene.  

The “Only One” roamed during the last week and a half throughout a maze-like layout inside the Minneapolis Convention Center, where each of the 70 courts was always occupied by young female volleyball players ranging in ages from 10 through 18. “Officially 1,235 teams [and] about 14,000 players” participated at the 2014 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships June 22 —July 3, reported Site Manager Kristy Cox. But when asked how many were Black, Cox was hard pressed to speculate, yet alone account for her staff: “I don’t know — maybe 20 [staff of color]” out of 100, she responded. A June 2013 Volleyball Magazine article estimated that around 30 percent of the sport’s players are of color. Continue Reading →

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Cuban-born baseball retirees regret Black Americans’ lack of interest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julio Becquer and Tony Oliva, both Cuban-born, both migrated to the United States to play baseball. But if asked, both men quickly express their disappointment that the game they love has not been more embraced by today’s youth, especially by domestic-born Blacks. According to the 2014 Racial and Gender Report Card by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, the number of Blacks on major league rosters has been steady dwindling since the 1990s. On Opening Day 2014, 8.2 percent of players who identified themselves as Black were on the teams’ 25-man rosters. The Minnesota Twins had one — Aaron Hicks. Continue Reading →

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Atlanta Boom foil the myth that Black girls don’t play volleyball

Their message to local Black females: ‘Get out there and try’
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Historically for many Blacks, volleyball is often seen as a too-costly country-club sport. Therefore, it’s unusual, especially in this area, to see a squad in action entirely comprised of Blacks. We observed just such a squad at the recent 2014 USA Volleyball Girls Junior Nationals at the Minneapolis Convention Center June 22 — July 3. Del and Arleen Hughes founded the Atlanta (Ga.) Boom Volleyball Institute in 1996. Arleen quickly pointed out that Del “is the visionary of the program. Continue Reading →

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Radio veteran continues career at The Current

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer
Derrick Stevens was born in New York and was ‘weaned’ on radio. It was listening to the late legendary DJ Frankie Crocker (1937-2000), who pioneered the “urban contemporary” music format back in the 1970s that convinced him radio was the place to be. “I knew I wanted to be in radio when I was eight years old,” admitted Stevens, the production manager at KCMP-FM. “I grew up listening to Frankie Crocker on the radio — he was my everything, the king of the radio. I was enthused with how he went into a song. Continue Reading →

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Normandale appoints third Black woman to lead a Minnesota college

New president says she tries to ‘leave a legacy, no matter how small’ 
 By Charles Hallman 
Staff Writer 
Nearly a quarter of U.S. college presidents are women, but according to the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) data, the number of female college leaders of color peaked at 14 percent in 2006 and is now at 12 percent. “A new generation is coming in. Something they can do well [is] bring a different process to the table, whether it be our gender or our race,” said Joyce Ester, who since 2011 has led Kennedy-King College in Chicago. On August 2, she becomes the new president at Normandale Community College in Bloomington. The Chicago-born Ester, who becomes only the third Black woman to lead a Minnesota college, recently talked to the MSR about her new appointment. Continue Reading →

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WNBA rookie report

A rookie’s first year as a professional athlete mostly is an up-and-down experience. The usual adjustments normally include no longer being a regular and now fighting for meaningful minutes. Asia Taylor, who started every game for Louisville in her senior season, has, after a stellar training camp, settled in her role as a typical rookie waiting her turn. Other than a DNP-CD (did not play-coach decision) in a June 22 home game, the 6’-1” first-year forward has averaged nearly four minutes of clock in the Lynx’s last six contests. “I’m part of a team with a lot of veterans,” she told the MSR after Sunday’s Minnesota- Seattle game. Continue Reading →

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North Mpls targeted for new early learning center

Partnerships formed to better prepare more kids for kindergarten 

By Charles Hallman 
Staff Writer 
Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and University of Minnesota officials point out that additional slots for early childhood learning, especially on Minneapolis’ North Side, are needed more than ever because the number of children and families are increasing. U of M Educational Psychology Professor Scott McConnell told the MSR last week that last year, after the state legislature allocated funds for early children education and “promised to focus on high-poverty communities,” he and another faculty member looked into North Minneapolis. “Literally on the back of an envelope, we pulled together Census information and information from the State licensing board on early childhood and calculated roughly how many kids live in [zip codes] 55411 and 55412 and how many spaces there are,” he recalled. “We found that they are about 1,000 [preschool] spots short. There’s a gap between what we think is the number of children that might be eligible for high-quality early childhood education and those who might [attend these programs].”
Minneapolis School Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson added that her district and the university long have worked together on improving public education. Continue Reading →

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My day at Fenway

This column continues the Only One series in which this reporter shares
his experiences as the only African American on the scene. 
 

BOSTON — Prior to taking my third-row seat as the only Black reporter at the opener of last week’s Minnesota-Boston three-game series in the press box at Fenway Park, built in 1912, the Only One walked around the park and ran into just a couple of Blacks among the countless non-Black fans I passed during my several-blocks walk to Fenway. Longtime Boston resident Reginald Reese sells hot dogs outside the stadium. “[I] lived here all my life,” he admitted as he told me that the typical home-team crowd is ethnically mixed. Ironically, on this night the Red Sox and a local Latino newspaper co-sponsored “Latino Youth Recognition Day” at the ballpark. “It’s a wonderful ball park to come watch the Red Sox play,” boasted Reese, who easily could be Boston’s “sports mayor” as he continued his verbal city tour. Continue Reading →

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When a crisis strikes, the poor are most vulnerable

Emergency preparedness means planning to be on your own for at least 72 hours
 
By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

Conclusion of a  two-part story
 
Emergencies of any kind, natural or manmade, are unpredictable and can occur at any time. A previous story in the MSR (“People of color most vulnerable to toxic chemical disasters,” May 15) highlighted a report, “Who’s In Danger? Race, Poverty, and Chemical Disasters.” The report documented that Blacks and Latinos are more likely to live in “‘vulnerability zones” — areas up to 20 miles in all directions of the facility — where they are less likely to escape from a toxic or flammable chemical emergency. Green For All Executive Director Nikki Silvestri, who was in town in May for a local climate change forum, said that poor people might be the most affected if an emergency takes place. There is a Twin Cities “socially vulnerability index” that

is taken into account, admits Judson Freed, the Ramsey County emergency management director. Continue Reading →

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WNBA players’ dilemma: Make money abroad or stay home and rest?

A  “time off bonus” of up to $50,000 a player can earn for “limiting their overseas play to three months or less” is part of the collective bargaining agreement signed earlier this year by the WNBA players and the league. But is 50 grand enough of an enticement to keep them from going overseas or shortening their time there? “I think that all of the athletes can and should take advantage of the situation to stay home and get that bonus,” advises Columbia College Chicago Assistant Sports Management Professor Monique Maye, whose sports management company also represents female pro players. She believes that the players could instead use the WNBA off-season for attending graduate school or working in their collegiate field of study. “There are so many things out there that they can do using their degrees,” continues Maye. Continue Reading →

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