Recent Articles

A sports reporter’s spring notebook cleaning

Marlene Stollings’ second hire on her Gopher women’s basketball coaching staff is Nikita (Niki) Dawkins. She is a 23-year coaching veteran who has been a VCU assistant coach the last two seasons and held similar positions at Old Dominion, Michigan and Ohio State, her alma mater. In a released statement, Stollings called Dawkins, whose duties include recruiting coordinator, “one of the top assistants in the country.” She joins Tiffanie Couts, who Stollings named director of basketball operations. Couts was a grad assistant last season at VCU. The women are the only two Blacks on the staff. Continue Reading →

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Dallas here we come!

It’s all set — the NCAA Men’s Final Four in North Texas this weekend features the best that college basketball has to offer. The Final Four is one of the most anticipated events of the year in college basketball. The East, South, Midwest and West region champions are headed to Arlington, Texas. All four teams, champions of their respective regions — No.1 Florida, Wisconsin, Connecticut and pre-season No.1 Kentucky — have won four in a row in the tournament to reach the Final Four, and all four teams believe they can win it. Let’s break down the finalists. Continue Reading →

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Be part of the sunshine! Change the system!

The new faces of the Mpls NAACP: MSR’s recent story on the new officers of the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP (“Minneapolis NAACP swears in new members,” Feb. 27) revealed among other things that women now constitute a majority of the new leadership, including for the first time several African immigrant women who bring impressive skills and experience to the organization. In the interest of introducing MSR readers to these new leaders, this is the second of a series of stories profiling three women from our African immigrant communities who appear determined to bring the historic civil rights organization’s power and prestige to bear on the obstacles currently inhibiting progress in our communities of color. Space permitting, we will allow these women to present their views in their own words. 

This week, meet Farhio Khalif, NAACP Assistant Secretary


By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer


Farhio Khalif speaks of her life in terms of a “journey,” and what a journey it has been. Khalif ‘s journey began in Somalia and made stops along the way to Minneapolis in Italy; Birmingham, Alabama; Florida; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Continue Reading →

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The Art Cunningham Show: over two decades of Black history through Black media



By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer


There is no more effective means of communicating than the media, particularly the visual media and especially television, since every home has at least one set. How far, after all, do you think the present celebration of Black History Month would’ve got without the media? Its inception came back in 1926, founded by Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week. It is undeniable the impact media communication has had, growing from the first celebration by Black United Students at Kent State University in 1970 to America acknowledging Black History Month in 1976, President Gerald Ford making it official.  

All this is said to underscore that Art Cunningham, creator-host of The Art Cunningham Show for 23 years, put the issues-oriented program on the air as a means to get voices of the African American community expressed that otherwise went unheard. Continue Reading →

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The Black codes: framework for today’s laws








By Jessica Wright

Guest Commentator

In 1777, slavery was abolished and with that the slavery codes became stagnant. Slave owners who fought against the abolition of slavery were athirst for a turnabout against the new law. The general assembly of several states inducted the black codes in an attempt to perpetuate their perfidy. Eventually the slave codes were transposed into black codes under the guise of equality. In this succinct article I will embosom the semantics of the black code in the 21st century we continue to adhere to, the flagrant rules and regulations that recur in an attempt to further attenuate Blacks. Continue Reading →

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Watkins eased into coaching for Twins

 Tommy Watkins is one of two Black coaches in the Minnesota Twins farm system.  After his season at Single-A Cedar Rapids concluded in September, he was called to join the major league team’s coaching staff for the remainder of the season. “I thought so as my career went on,” admits Watkins when asked if becoming a coach was part of his post-playing career plans. He spent 12 years in the Twins organization (1998-2009) but played only nine games with the big league club in 2007, mostly at third base after being drafted by Minnesota in 1998 out of high school. “I started helping out at my high school (in Riverside, Florida) in my third or fourth year as [an active] player. I always thought when I got done playing I would want to coach somewhere.”

Watkins completed his fourth season as a coach in the Twins organization. Continue Reading →

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Recent rulings an attempt to restore confidence in the system




The recent decision by a judge to limit New York City’s Stop and Frisk program, which targeted Black and Brown New Yorkers, and the decision to reduce crack sentences were neither coincidental nor accidental. The folks that are in charge, the real folks, the monied class, the ruling class, the real bosses recognize that the whole Trayvon Martin tragedy took some of the wind out of the sails of the system. Anyone paying attention had to recognize that the system just doesn’t work. Or that it does work, but only for the wealthy and sometimes White upper-class folks. In the case of Trayvon Martin the system worked. Continue Reading →

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