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Recent Articles

A Civil War looming in South Sudan

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Bill Fletcher, Jr.

Contributing Writer

 

The escalating crisis in the South Sudan, a country only constituted in 2011, has brought with it growing concerns that a nation-state formed with such hope may now be on the verge of civil war. The crisis involves a factional struggle between the president (Salva Kiir) and the dismissed vice president (Riek Machar). Tensions have been simmering for quite some time. These factional battles have also been interlaced with ethnic tensions between the Dinka and Nuer peoples. The South Sudanese factional battle has taken many people by surprise. Continue Reading →

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Reverend Al Sharpton: The Rejected Stone

Activist reveals how he became ‘a force of consequence in America’
 
 
A Book Review

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

One does well to take the endorsements on the dust jacket of Reverend Al Sharpton: The Rejected Stone with a grain of salt. Most glaringly, a tribute from no less suspect a source than former President George W. Bush proclaims, “Al cares just as much as I care about making sure every child learns to read, write, add and subtract.” Bush demonstrated beyond a doubt that he never wasted a moment’s thought on the wellbeing of children of color. President Barack Obama states, “Reverend Sharpton is the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden.” Yet President Obama has proven himself deaf to the dire needs of the voiceless, if not with the fiasco of his Obamacare debacle, inarguably by his steadfast refusal to take any sort of impassioned stand on issues impacting the powerless, most conspicuously the Stand Your Ground Law, which has given gun-happy racists license to open fire on Black Americans. Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes extols, “Sharpton is the go-to Black leader today.” Why is this White woman dictating who qualifies as the number-one guiding African American light — of either gender? It’s best to simply set those comments aside and see for yourself, deciding on your own whether the book is worthwhile reading. (Odds are you’ve already made up your mind by now as to how great an individual Sharpton is or isn’t.) The fact, of course, that it’s about one of America’s most prominent figures alone is enough to warrant a look-see if out of nothing more than curiosity. Continue Reading →

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Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. named 2013 recipient of NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington and the NFL Players Association have selected Minneapolis native Larry Fitzgerald, Jr., Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, as the recipient of its annual joint award. Fitzgerald will receive the award during the 27th Annual Lombardi Gala on November 2 in Washington. The NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award was established to honor a leader in the sports industry whose life and family have been touched by cancer, and who encourages cancer research, prevention and treatment through awareness and philanthropy. Fitzgerald has been growing his trademark dreadlocks since he was a freshman in college in memory of his mother Carol, who passed away after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. To carry on his mother’s legacy, he helped establish the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, which supports the causes that his mother held close to her heart, such as the education of urban youth on HIV/AIDS and breast cancer awareness. Continue Reading →

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The Good Wife Works – On happiness and its enemies

 

“Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness.” (from a Selby Ave. storefront)

 

We have the keys to happiness within us: our brain. Sex and exercise, learning and curiosity are the keys. Curiosity and novelty alleviate boredom. These stimulate the brain’s reward centers. Continue Reading →

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Lorber and company wow Dakota crowd

Jazz and R&B heavyweights come together for “special show”

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Last week was the first time I attended a Dakota Jazz Club late show. Several patrons that attended the earlier Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, Shawn LaBelle, and Stokley Williams set on August 28 told me that I wouldn’t be disappointed. They weren’t wrong. Billed as “a special show featuring four of the biggest names in contemporary jazz and R&B,” the four veteran artists easily could have done a solo performance at the downtown Minneapolis club, but as a quartet, they nonetheless rocked the house. LaBelle, who plays keyboards and bass, assembled the quartet: “It means a lot to have all these guys come in. Continue Reading →

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Black Press still ‘delivering news for and about Blacks’

An interview with the national Black newspaper assn. board chair
By Kam Williams
Contributing Writer

 

Cloves C. Campbell, Jr., is publisher of the Arizona Informant, a family-owned and operated newspaper that provides an important voice for the African American community in Arizona. This year it celebrates 42 years of publishing. Currently, he serves as board chair of the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association (NNPA), “a 73-year-old federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers from across the United States,” according to their website (http://nnpa.org ).  

As a Phoenix native, Campbell’s personal commitment and knowledge of the community in which he grew up shows throughout his work. Continue Reading →

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Concussions: a knock-out blow to football?

 

Head injuries or concussions — it’s been called “getting your bell rung” — have been around since Fred Flintstone strapped it up for old Bedrock U. Too bad that in recent years it took pending lawsuits against the NCAA and the NFL to finally get the issue the rightful attention it deserves, including any long-term and short-term effects from head injuries. Some even have suggested doing away with such sports as football among youngsters, which frankly is a knee-jerk reaction, since anyone is susceptible to concussions by simply falling down while walking. Instead, what’s probably needed is better teaching at the youth level. Mike Pettis, a longtime North Commons youth football coach, strongly disagrees with those critics who advocate the end of youth football, calling them members of “a scared society.”

“I’ve been coaching [youth] football for about 35 years,” continues Pettis. “The first time I’ve heard of a concussion with one of our kids was last year. Continue Reading →

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Fitz delivers high-five performance

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — High-five for the Fifth Annual Fitz’s Supper Club at Morton’s in Scottsdale. It was a terrific event on Monday August 26, where a lot of good people supported and enjoyed a powerful evening with the Fitzgerald family and friends. The Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl star Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. teamed with Morton’s presents Fitz’s Supper Club Celebrities at your service. It was fun, entertaining and emotional. Mike Phillips delivered a wonderful, jazzy, musical

opening performance. Continue Reading →

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Locals joined bus ride to D.C. for 1963 March commemoration

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

A small but very enthusiastic group of Minneapolis-area residents returned from last Saturday’s commemorative march in Washington, D.C. pledging to work together for change. As the oratory at the 1963 March on Washington, which featured Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech, was important then, so was last weekend’s march, believes Hattie Bonds. She and her two young sons — her “change babies” as she proudly calls them — were among the nearly 30 people who left Sabathani Community Center last Friday for a two-day bus trip to the Nation’s Capitol. They joined thousands from around the nation to mark the 50th anniversary of the original August 28 March on Washington

Last weekend’s event was “spearheaded” by National Action Network (NAN) along with other legacy Civil Rights organizations and various unions that sponsored it, explained Bonds, a member of NAN’s Minneapolis chapter. She told the MSR prior to leaving for D.C. that she hoped that those who attended the march last weekend would be moved to action. Continue Reading →

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This week’s Entertainment spotlights!

 

 
The Music
 

 

 
Eve
Sun., Sept. 1, 10 pm • Epic, 110 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-332-3742 or epicmpls.com • The Grammy Award winning rapper-songwriter, record producer and actress is touring in support of her fourth studio release Lip Lock – her first new release in over 10 years.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Minnesota State Fair
Through Sept. 2 • 1265 Snelling Ave N., St. Paul, 651-288-4400, www.mnstatefair.org • After you’re done visiting the Midway or the 100’s of animals on display in the barns, check out some of this year’s must-see acts: Sheila E, Aug., 29, Bandshell stage; Robert Randolf and the Family Band, Aug., 30 & 31, Bandshell stage and the Twin Cities’ own Chastity Brown, Sept. Continue Reading →

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