Harriet Tubman

Recent Articles

Empty seats







By Kevin Reese

Contributing Writer


In the previous two columns: On February 7 and 8, 2014 there was a Black History month celebration here at Lino Lakes Correctional Facility where I am currently housed. It was an amazing two-day event filled with heavyweight speakers, soulful music, topped with deep and rich history lessons… Everything was in its place except for one thing. The elephant in the room: all of the empty seats.  

I see the empty seat as not simply just a chair, but as a behavior and an attitude of unaccountability and complacency. Continue Reading →

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Is Black History Month still relevant?



By Charles Hallman
Staff writer


Is Black History Month still relevant? A mix of Black folk from the “young, and young at heart” assembled at Sirius XM’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and discussed this topic early February. USA Today columnist Dewayne Wickham, Association for the Study of African American Life Executive Director Sylvia Cyrus and social commentator Jeff Johnson were featured panelists on “Banneker, Barack and Beyond: The Meaning of Black History,” moderated by Sirius XM weekday morning host Joe Madison February 6. Sirius XM Urban Programming Vice President Dion Summers helped organized the event. “The question that we put out there — does Black History Month matter anymore — was aimed more at the group we call the ‘millennials’ (ages 18-34),” explained Summers in a phone interview with the MSR. “There always has been a certain understanding of Black History Month. Continue Reading →

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March should be Black Women’s Month



I guess we should be grateful we got Black History Month. To tell you the truth, I have never been particularly one of the grateful who are happy to have whatever they’re handed. My feeling is, so what? Had y’all told the truth about White history, there wouldn’t’ve been any need for Black history. So, ain’t nobody doing me a favor to set aside the shortest month on the calendar. Continue Reading →

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‘Study of people’ leads to advising corporations, hosting talk radio


By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


CulTives & Associates CEO/Founder Verona Mitchell’s success at impacting community is no surprise. It stems from a passion for exploring culture and empowering communication. This passion goes back to her days in academia at Bethel University, where she earned her master’s degree in organizational leadership before moving on to a Ph.D. in public policy administration at Walden University. “I like the study of all people,” she reflects while sitting down over a cup of mocha latte at Pow Wow Grounds in South Minneapolis. “I like to study about cultures. Continue Reading →

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Lincoln, the movie: What’s missing?

By Gary L. Flowers

Guest Commentator


“‘Negro History’ is the missing segment of world history.” — Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson was right when he essentially said that Black history is the missing pages of world history. Never was such so true than in the movie Lincoln. While I, as a “weekend historian,” was impressed by Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of the 16th president of the United States, my knowledge of history begged questions: “Why were Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman not portrayed or mentioned?” or “Why was the ancient Egyptian mathematical formula attributed to the Greek mathematician Euclid?”

The movie Lincoln is politically presidential, yet porous on people who influenced the end of the American Civil War. The holes in the Steven Spielberg’s epic film are rooted in Hollywood’s tendency to omit key historical personalities and events from biopics. History reminds us that Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth all played significant roles in the American Civil War, and thus in the decisions of President Lincoln. Continue Reading →

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Fragments of the Ark: Civil War saga tells of Black soldiers and survivors



Gifted novelist Louise Meriweather followed Daddy Was a Number Runner with Fragments of the Ark (Pocket Books/Simon and Schuster) a fascinating work of “faction” — well-crafted, fictional characters in an exciting tale steeped in a setting of historic fact. It’s something of, as it were, a blast from the past, having been published in 1994. Nonetheless, this is fluid, image-rich writing, capturing the African American aesthetic with strength and an expert grasp of Black culture circa the Civil War. A perfect companion for idle hours, the book is an irresistible page-turner. In late fall 1861, true to the war’s timeline, the Union Army — outmaneuvered and outmanned — is catching hell from the Confederacy, which, aided by the British, are not far from completely turning the tide inexorably toward triumph. Continue Reading →

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We need Black solutions to Black problems – Critical thinking in the Black Independence Movement



“Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within.” 

          — A. Philip Randolph


Unless you are Herman Cain, you know that the Civil Rights Movement was ignited by young people tired of going through back doors, tired of being refused service at lunch counters, tired of living in the prison of Jim Crow. The older of us were moved to act when we saw our babies being shot with water cannons, our babies being beaten by police in riot gear. When we saw our babies maimed by vicious, hungry police dogs, their mothers and fathers said, “Not our babies!”

News to the wise: Our young are on the move again, this time against the now semi-invisible Jim Crow — the cradle-to-prison pipeline, the divestiture of public education and concurrent divestiture of the surrounding neighborhoods, the dispensing of guns to children too young to apply for a driver’s license. They are on the move against disproportionate minority contact with the police and against systems sustained off of Black misery. They are on the move against the tides that for so long have bound their ancestors — not just Harriet Tubman but us, their ancestors still here on earth. Continue Reading →

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