Langston Hughes

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Minnesota honors civil rights legend

 

 
Juanita Jackson Mitchell helped reestablish Twin Cities NAACP branches
 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Juanita Jackson Mitchell (1913-1992) only lived in St. Paul for four years, but her impact during that stint laid an eventual path to many firsts in Minnesota. The Juanita Jackson Mitchell Crusader for Freedom Exhibit, a compilation of Mitchell’s personal photographs and other artifacts, was on display at the State Capitol May 8-14. It is a traveling exhibit on loan from Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, Maryland, where it was established in 1995, three years after her death in 1992 of heart failure at age 79. “This exhibit [is] about her life,” Minnesota State General Counsel Micah Hines told the MSR prior to the May 8 opening program and tour. Continue Reading →

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Autumn Reign’s Truth Serum: poetry to touch and heal

 

It’s quite an accomplishment to write poetry well. If you don’t think so browse through the aisle of a bookstore — one of the few that may be left in an area near you — and take agood look at just how many books you can find of either cloying drivel or pretentious pap that pass for poems.

That, in and of itself, makes Autumn Reign’s Truth Serum, Watering Seasons of My Love (Belfrey Books) a relief, penned in a sure hand that consistently engages and, at times, wholly compels. All the more noteworthy, Truth Serum is a debut collection, the first time out of the gate for a voice that already warrants close listening. As in, “No matter the threat of thunderstorm in my sky, you have been the lightening that has illuminated my heart, I cannot always express why or what but the light has always been there shining awaiting your return… Loving you has always been cloudy on a clear day.”

Autumn Reign (AR) is a native of Boston MA. She grew up in Dorchester and attended Boston High school and Northeastern University. Continue Reading →

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‘The Wheatley’ reinvents itself as needs evolve

 
Director Milon talks about what holds communities together
 

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 
The Phyllis Wheatley Community Center (PWCC), also affectionately known as “The Wheatley,” is widely known and respected as a source of strength and pride for children, youth, families and elders in North Minneapolis. The center’s namesake is a slave who won her freedom and emerged as the first African American to publish a book of poetry. In the past, PWCC was once a settlement house where famous Black artists and musicians found shelter after discrimination kept them from local hotel establishments. Marian Anderson, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ethel Waters, and Paul Robeson among others stayed at the settlement house from the time it first opened its doors back in 1924. In the present, it still serves as a gathering place, particularly for those interested in educational and social supportive services. Continue Reading →

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