By Charles Hallman
Derrick Stevens was born in New York and was ‘weaned’ on radio. It was listening to the late legendary DJ Frankie Crocker (1937-2000), who pioneered the “urban contemporary” music format back in the 1970s that convinced him radio was the place to be. “I knew I wanted to be in radio when I was eight years old,” admitted Stevens, the production manager at KCMP-FM. “I grew up listening to Frankie Crocker on the radio — he was my everything, the king of the radio. I was enthused with how he went into a song. Continue Reading →
Mahmoud El-Kati’s newest missive, The Myth of Race, the Reality of Racism: Critical Essays (Papyrus Publishing, Inc.), marks the latest crowning achievement of a brilliant, well-storied career as author, historian, scholar and community griot. It joins a canon that includes the highly entertaining The Hiptionary: A Survey of African American Speech Patterns with a Digest of Key Words and Phrases and Politically Considered: 50th Commemoration of the Supreme Court Decision of 1954, which, like the title says, is an informed look at the desegregation of public schools. You can, if you don’t know, catch El-Kati’s issues-oriented program Reflections and Connections on KMOJ Tuesdays at 6:30 pm. You can also swing by his Fourth Fridays at the Movies monthly screening of historic African American cinema at Golden Thyme Cafe in St. Paul. Continue Reading →
According to DEREK REUBEN, director of the Inner City All-Star Classic, the rosters are set for the annual boys’ and girls’ basketball contests featuring the metro area’s top seniors. Reuben, who was named the state’s Mr. Basketball after an outstanding career at Minneapolis North, started the boys’ game in 1994 with then-teammate and friend RALPH CROWDER. At the urging and persistence of the late community and sports activist KWAME MCDONALD, a girls’ game was added in 2001.
This year’s Inner City All-Star Classic will be held Sunday, June 8, at the University of St. Thomas. Continue Reading →
By Lovell Oates
Conclusion of a series
Last week: If the bridge is not built to reconnect these [incarcerated] brothers…in the end, the work being done in the community will become more difficult because a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.
I remember when Joe and Tyrone were outcast in the community and brothers and sisters would check their behavior. In fact, their families wouldn’t allow it. I talk about Joe and Tyrone in terms of being incarcerated, yet we all know the community is full of these types of brothers that have never been to jail, which makes it worse for the simple fact that the brother in jail at least has a chance to evaluate his situation. Joe and Tyrone, in the free world, don’t even know that they are clowns and fools because it’s normal to everyone around them. Continue Reading →
Preparing for summer 2014
The “invitation only” “North Side Safety Summit” (“Gang Summit”) was held April 18, 2014, in North Minneapolis at the School District’s West Broadway headquarters. The Star Tribune reported “why” April 19, 2014: “The city’s North Side has seen one-third of the city’s violent crime and half of the city’s shootings over the past 14 years… Violent crime rose 24 percent…due to more assaults and robberies…centered around the Folwell, Jordan and Hawthorne neighborhoods.”
The purpose of the summit was to find solutions for summer 2014’s anticipated gang violence. Star Tribune: “Some 70 public officials…gathered…to talk about pervasive crime numbers and how to lower them.” The “containment” until winter hibernation returns is not a solution. The real solution, as I wrote about in my April 3, 2014 column, is to end the city political culture that results in providing little for the least among us in education, job opportunities, housing, health care, and further decline in families and community. It should have been called the Summit of Denial. Continue Reading →
One of the most critical, yet often overlooked aspects of poverty in this nation is the escalating incarceration rate of American citizens. The Justice Policy Institute notes that since 1970, the number of incarcerated Americans has grown nearly eight-fold to a total of more than 2.2 million people today. In addition, nearly five million more American adults are currently caught up in the criminal justice system through probation or parole. This precipitous spike in the U.S. prison population coincides with this country’s war on drugs and is representative of a proliferation in America’s poor, which now counts more than 46 million people among its ranks.
The link between poverty and contact with the criminal justice system is well established. Continue Reading →
Introducing a new column from a longtime MSR contributor
Now that you have started the journey toward self-sufficiency, you need to identify your values at work. Values are conditions and attributes which we consider necessary to our well-being and on-the-job satisfaction. When we think of what we value, words such as family, time and love often come to mind. When we think of what we value at work, compensation, salary, benefits, achievement and recognition are some words that come to mind. As you begin to identify what you value, ask yourself the following questions:
Why do I want to work? Continue Reading →
While speaking at a local college, I was recently asked a question by a student that I felt I would answer publicly. I was asked what does one have to do to become a community activist and how do you maintain your integrity once you become a community activist. The student also reminded me that this column is 10 years old this year — boy how time flies. The next column will showcase the highlights and history of this column over the last 10 years. Now, onto the question. Continue Reading →
University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds is one of the most influential young minority law professors in the country, according to media and research company Lawyers of Color. Levy-Pounds was named to the company’s “50 Under 50” list for 2014, which recognizes law professors of color who are making “bold contributions to the legal canon and the community at large.”
As professor and founding director of the Community Justice Project, the School of Law’s award-winning civil rights legal clinic, Levy-Pounds fosters and inspires up-and-coming lawyers to work to improve the lives of members of under-served communities and youths in the Twin Cities. Challenging laws and policies that hold back communities of color, she has carved her place in the local civil rights movement. With Levy-Pounds’ vision, the Community Justice Project developed Brotherhood Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uplifts and empowers young African American males who have had contact with the criminal justice system, are involved in gangs, or are at risk of such involvement. Continue Reading →
April 19, 1924 — April 28, 2014
Viola Wilder, beloved sister, aunt, cousin, and friend, age 90, of St. Paul died on April 28, 2014. She is survived by her brother Joe Wilder; also survived by a host of relatives and friends. Services will be held Friday, May 2, 2014 at 11 am at the Newman-Benson Chapel at the Lyngblomsten Care Center, 1415 Almond Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108. Continue Reading →