Frank White

Recent Articles

Another Black athlete gets posthumous recognition

William Henry “Bill” Binga until last weekend was resting in an unmarked grave for over 60 years. Now, that is no longer the case. Binga (1869-1950) played professional baseball before he and players like him were banned solely because of their skin color. As a result, he played barnstorm ball throughout the Upper Midwest and on teams based in Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit. He also played on the Minneapolis Keystones (1908) and the St. Continue Reading →

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Gopher softball heads for the top

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

There are approximately 100 African American and other student-athletes of color this school year at the University of Minnesota. In an occasional series throughout the 2013-14 school and sports year, the MSR will highlight these players. This week: Gopher softball players Tyler Walker and Madie Eckstrom

 

Juniors Tyler Walker and Madie Eckstrom are two members of a combined two-year recruiting class that helped Minnesota string together three consecutive 30-plus softball win seasons. Before last weekend’s league tournament play, Walker told the MSR that despite losing two of three to the conference regular season co-champs Wolverines in a series at Ann Arbor, “We can play with the top teams. We are one of the top

teams.”

The U of M went unbeaten and won the Big Ten softball tournament in Evanston, Ill. last weekend. Continue Reading →

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RBI reporter’s notebook

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

For the third consecutive year, the MSR was the only local media at both the 2013 RBI Baseball and Softball World Series. As a result, we had unencumbered access to the players, coaches and officials to provide virtually exclusive coverage. “It’s disappointing that more media hasn’t jumped on board to cover this event,” bemoaned Minnesota Twins RBI Coordinator Frank White. “The players are a lot more talented than what people are giving them credit for.”

 

The eighth is greatest 

Atlanta entered this year’s softball world series with seven titles, the most of any RBI team. Their eighth came last week, thanks to Manager Richard Lee’s effective managing of his shorthanded club. Continue Reading →

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Baseball offers a third option for athletic success

 

 

Baseball has existed for over a century, but among inner-city children it’s almost non-existent. Why isn’t this sport as popular as football and basketball, especially given baseball’s potential to offer the successful player both a very lavish lifestyle as well as a long playing career? Frank White, the Minnesota Twins Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) coordinator, believes the love of sports, no matter what type of sport, often is nurtured at home. He surmised that for many inner-city children, their parents probably grew up around basketball and football, so that it is probably what they will talk about or watch on television during family time. “Most children will be interested in what they are exposed to in their homes,” he pointed out. Continue Reading →

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Jimmy Lee gets ‘overdue’ induction into High School Hall of Fame

 

 

Jim “Jimmy” Lee posthumously “crossed the threshold” Sunday as the only Black member of the 2013 Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Hall of Fame class at the League’s 20th induction ceremony. Lee, who died in 1979, previously was inducted into the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame (1972) and the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame (1982). The St. Paul City Council renamed Oxford Playground after him that same year as well.  He also was featured in the MSR’s month-long Black history series in February. With his daughter and grandson present Sunday afternoon in St. Continue Reading →

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How is Dred Scott connected to MN history?

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Many people don’t know that for a time, Dred Scott lived in Fort Snelling, where he met and married his wife, Harriet Robinson. Local community member Frank White and others are working to see this knowledge becomes more widespread with various community events that will begin this coming spring. The Dred Scott case and its impact on this country too often have been undervalued in U.S. history. Scott was a Black man born around 1799 and had moved with the Peter Blow family from Virginia to St. Louis, Missouri. Continue Reading →

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Rondo history takes spotlight at history center

 

 
Program recreates Black neighborhood of past for MN youth
 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Minnesota History Center Program Assistant Dwight Scott often uses in his classes a former resident’s quote that every time she drives on Interstate 94, “I feel like I’m driving over my bedroom.”

“This was a story that [Interstate 94] was a neighborhood before all this was there,” notes Scott on the construction of the freeway that led to the devastation of the once-vibrant Rondo neighborhood that during the 1930s was the heart of St. Paul’s Black community. Rondo had “a different kind of vibrant activity there…a sense of camaraderie among different races,” says Scott. It is featured in “Uncovering Rondo” as part of the History Center’s “Neighborhood Access Initiative” educational program for youngsters to learn about their neighborhoods while visiting the center. Scott says today’s youngsters are often surprised when they learn that the freeway wasn’t always there. Continue Reading →

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St. Paul native spearheads projects highlighting Black achievement — Rondo, Toni Stone, Jimmy Lee, Dred Scott left imprint on Minnesota history

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Black folk and their accomplishments in Minnesota too often have been overlooked or undervalued, believes Frank White. For several years now White has been working on several civic projects to spotlight historic accomplishments of local Blacks. “I think what I’ve learned is growing up here in Minnesota, we [Blacks] kind of knew our place where we lived in the Rondo neighborhood,” says White in a recent interview at the MSR. “I really didn’t know why we couldn’t go way over there [and] I never questioned that. “Probably the biggest thing I learned is that Minnesota was a very biased state,” continues White. “On one hand, it was accepting of people but on another hand, Jim Crow and bias definitely was here, as it is today.”

White grew up listening to how the experiences of Blacks in the South differed from those in the North. Continue Reading →

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‘Long overdue’ Black museum dedicated

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Roxanne Givens’ dream of a Black museum finally became a reality as the Minnesota African American Museum (MAAM) was formally dedicated last weekend. Those present for the ceremony agreed they were sharing a momentous occasion. “When Roxanne had the epiphany, I was just as excited as she was,” says Judie Carmichael Brown of the museum’s founder and acting director. Brown, herself a founding board member and public relations chair, told the MSR that an estimated 200 persons attended last Friday’s three-hour event at the former Coe mansion, which the museum board acquired in 2008, located at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 18th Street South. Master of ceremonies T. Mychael Rambo called the event the “Who’s Who of everybody,” including as it did local and national politicians, business leaders and community folk. Continue Reading →

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