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Janis Lane-Ewart: Twin Cities’ only Black female station manager

KFAI expands audience though Somali-oriented programming, social media

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Music always has been a part of Janis Lane-Ewart’s life; rhythm and blues was the norm in her home while growing up in Chicago. Although her aspirations initially were to pursue law, and Lane-Ewart studied political science in college, she eventually became an administrator for Chicago Music Collective. When Lane-Ewart relocated in 1989 to the Twin Cities, she worked with a local arts organization. But then the proverbial “phone” rang and her career changed directions. “The radio business called me,” she recalls of her first foray into radio when she became a volunteer at KFAI Radio to host a weekly jazz program. Continue Reading →

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Voter suppression laws cast chill on Black community

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Khalil Abdullah

Contributing Writer

 

As voter suppression laws continue to be debated in states across the country, members of the African American press and voting rights advocates say the repercussions of that debate are already being felt. The most immediate metric, they note, will be whether voter turnout is reduced. For some observers, that is a likely prospect. “Talking about the guys who are not going to vote, four years ago, they took chances,” said Harold Meeks, publisher of the Tell Us USA News Network, an online news magazine with bureaus in several cities. “I owe $23,000 in child support, but I’m going out to vote for the Black man,” Meeks said, describing a hypothetical Detroit voter in 2008. “They’re not going to take those same chances again, particularly with these other voices saying that we’re going to scrutinize you,” he continued. Continue Reading →

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Five million people of color made voting history in 2008

Will voting trend continue in 2012? By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) approximately five million more voters, including Blacks, Latinos and Asians, went to the polls in the historic 2008 presidential election in which America’s first Black president was elected. However, with the rise in voter suppression laws across the country since 2008, approximately five million voters are expected to be affected, says the ACLU. This includes Blacks and other people of color, the elderly, students, the poor and the disabled. “I don’t think it was any accident that after 2008 we found these huge gains in Blacks and Latinos in voting, as well as Asian Americans and Native Americans voting, then all of a sudden all these Republican-held [state] legislatures decided that voter fraud is a problem,” notes University of Minnesota Journalism Professor Catherine Squires. Continue Reading →

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