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Redlining targets Black Minnesotans and neighborhoods

Wells Fargo leads pack according to U of M report on sub-prime lenders

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

A new University of Minnesota Law School study shows that Blacks and other communities of color and low-income residents in the Twin Cities still lack access to credit. It is an update of a 2009 study that found that Blacks and Latinos — even with “very high income[s] — were much more likely to get sub-prime loans than very low-income White applicants.”

“It’s hard to believe that systemically a Black family that is making $157,000 a year is less likely to qualify for a prime loan than a White family that earns 40 [thousand a year],” noted Myron Orfield, the director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, which is housed at the U of M Law School. The report also shows that Blacks and other people of color who live in two North Minneapolis neighborhoods had the highest number of sub-prime loans compared to Whites in the same neighborhoods: 59 percent for people of color compared to 42 percent Whites in Near North; and 55 percent for people of color in Camden compared to 29 percent for Whites. These two areas also “were most dramatically affected” among Twin Cities neighborhoods. “Our report [reveals] discrimination in lending against individuals on the basis of race, and also discrimination in lending against neighborhoods on the basis of race,” noted Orfield, who heads the U of M Law School’s

Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity (IMO). Continue Reading →

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‘I’ll Fly Away’: Soul singer Jayanthi Kyle uses her talent to comfort mourning families

 

 

By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer

 

“There are funerals where they bring out a boombox and it’s so impersonal. It doesn’t honor or celebrate the person. It doesn’t touch souls the way live music can, the way a live human being could move with the spirit of the room, the feelings people are having, and pick up on that energy,” shares Jayanthi Kyle reflecting on what inspires her emerging work of singing at funerals. Kyle now offers the healing power of song to families who are celebrating the lives of loved ones who have passed on. Kyle’s experience as a young woman in many ways prepared her for this work. Continue Reading →

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Mayor-elect looks ahead to new job: ‘I’m very, very excited’

First order of business: addressing the racial achievement gap
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Betsy Hodges remarked last week that she doesn’t recall ever before meeting in the small den-like room on the third floor of City Hall. However, the room and the area it’s located in will become hers in a couple of weeks. The soon-to-be-former city council member will be sworn in on January 2, 2014 as the city’s second-ever female mayor. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity to talk to you and the community through your newspaper,” said Hodges during a December 10 interview with the MSR. “I campaigned consistently on two main things. One of them is building this city, and the second is closing the gaps that divide us racially and economically.”

Hodges said her “two main pieces of business” include the seemingly widening achievement gap between Blacks and other students in the city’s public schools. Continue Reading →

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