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Recent Articles

Bertha Mae Johnson Smith

February 12, 1920 — April 18, 2014

Bertha Mae Johnson Smith passed away peacefully at the golden age of 94 on Good Friday, April 18, 2014. Bertha was the first African American school teacher in the Minneapolis Public School District. She was a dedicated educator and was active in her community until her health failed her. Sister Bertha Smith was born on February 12, 1920, in Des Moines, Iowa. When she was five years old, her mother died and she and her siblings were left in the temporary care of a White family before moving to North Minneapolis with her grandmother and father. Continue Reading →

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Former professional takes “a massive leap of faith” into music career

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer

 

A Michael Jackson cover makes the United Kingdom top ten hits charts.  A music video of the song was aired on a cable music channel.  The song helped the artist that did the cover earn Grammy best artist consideration. Kenya McGuire Johnson left her career several years ago as an educator, clinical instructor and higher education administrator and took “a massive leap of faith.”  Now Kenya, the jazz/R&B singer — who uses only her first name professionally — is now working on her third CD. The young musician recently spoke with the MSR by phone from her Chicago home. “I did a lot of music growing up” in Denver, Colorado, including being active in choirs, and jazz bands, recalls Kenya, who has been singing since the age of eight. While in college, she was a member of the Howard University Gospel Choir. Continue Reading →

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