Gordon Parks

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Gordon Park’s Band to Play Matinee Dance

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From the MSR Legacy Archives

As part of our celebration over the next several months of our 80 years of continuous publication, the MSR will be republishing notable stories from our extensive archives of more than 4,000 weekly issues of African American news in Minnesota. Many of our readers will be sure to recognize friends, family and neighbors from the distant and not-so-distant past — such as the young band-leader (among many other things) below, as published in the April 23, 1937 edition of the St. Paul Recorder. Continue Reading →

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Gordon Parks film goes beyond Life photos, Shaft movie to reveal his life’s work

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

To call Gordon Parks (1912-2006) a Renaissance man might be an understatement to those who knew the late photographer, filmmaker, writer and composer. Born the youngest of 15 children in Fort Scott, Kansas, his father sent the teenage Parks to St. Paul to live with an older sister after their mother died. However he didn’t get along with his brother-in-law, who threw him out of the house, and Parks lived on the streets. Although he never graduated from high school, he nonetheless embarked on a journey that first began with playing piano in a brothel and playing semi-pro basketball to becoming an internationally renowned filmmaker. Continue Reading →

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This week’s Entertainment Spotlights!

 
 Revelations: Judgment Day
 

 Fri.-Sat., Nov. 23-24, 7 pm & Sun., Nov. 25, 6 pm
The O’Shaughnessy
2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, 651-690-6700 or http://oshaughnessy.stkate.edu
A gospel stage play about life’s tests, trials, and triumphs, Revelations asks, “Will your name be in the Book of Life?”
Special guest performances by Darnell Davis & the Remnant, Shed G. and James Grear & Company
Tickets are $20-$38. For advance tickets, go to www.showclix.com/event/3717861. Continue Reading →

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Hip hop classes nurture creative expression

 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

 

Arriving at renowned Watershed High School in South Minneapolis and walking to the “Hip Hop, History and the Arts” classroom to speak with curriculum founder-instructor Chadwick “Niles” Phillips is, to say the least, an interesting experience. The students have wrapped up rehearsal for the day, and he’s prepping them for the following evening’s premier of their artistic outing, “The Youth Performance Series (Act 4).”

This is, it’s clear, not simply a gathering reminiscent of Fame. These “at-risk” adolescents of color are taking advantage of the vital opportunity to pursue an alternative to the street life that more and more often sees minority youth ending up either victims or perpetrators of violent crime. The class is a viable alternative to having idle time on their hands and unwittingly following a dead-end path to a trouble-laden future. It’s a chance to begin realizing an ambition to do something positive with themselves and enjoy having their dreams nurtured to the fullest extent possible. Continue Reading →

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Cecil E. Newman documentary honors MSR founder’s birthday

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Beginning Wednesday, July 25, A Black History Chronicle Exclusive — Cecil E. Newman: The Friendship, the Life and the Legacy, a documentary produced by ShenaBarber.com Productions, will air on a number of websites and local cable channels. This documentary is a tribute to and celebration of the birthday of Cecil E. Newman (July 25, 1903), businessman and publisher of the Minneapolis Spokesman and the St. Paul Recorder (now the MSR). With only $20, Newman founded the newspapers in 1934. Newman had significant local and national influence, with his relationships with U.S. 38th Vice President Hubert Humphrey, U.S. Senator Walter Mondale, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Josie Johnson, and Curtis Chivers (who once worked for the Spokesman and Recorder). Continue Reading →

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