Martin Luther King Jr.

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Where is Dr. King’s call for ‘community’ today?

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There are several definitions for the word “community” according to Webster’s Dictionary. They include “a unified body,” “people with common interests,” and “society at large.”

These definitions seem to get at what the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once referred to, first in a speech at a church conference in Nashville, Tenn. in December 1962, and then reiterated a few months later in a published article he wrote for Religion and Labor in May 1963.

All humankind is part of a community, wrote Dr. King. “At the heart of all that civilization has meant and developed in “community,” King points out, “is the mutually cooperative and voluntary venture of man to assume a semblance of responsibility for his brother… Man could not have survived without the impulse which makes him the societal creature he is.”

Tragic incidents in Ferguson, New York City, Cleveland and elsewhere in 2014 have joined together Blacks and other people of color, as well as non-people of color, to loudly protest for change, for full respect of all in areas of justice in America. Do the emergence of these protests in the streets and public places of America serve as a cry for what the late Dr. King often suggested — assuming a responsibility for our brothers?
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NAACP activates legal strategy

 

 

 

 

 

 
Local branch joins Doug Mann in Sports Authority law suit
 

One of the traditional strengths of the NAACP movement has been its shrewd planning for taking legal action against those violating rights of African Americans. When you think of the successes of NAACP legal redress committees, you think of such leaders as Walter White, Roy Wilkens and Thurgood Marshall, as well as such historic actions and legal milestones as the 1954 decision of Brown vs. Board of Education and Martin Luther King’s 1968 Poor Peoples March. The legal redress committee, a historic pillar of strength of NAACP branches across America fighting for African American civil rights, is seen once again in the local NAACP branch’s crafty move on the legal front to join the suit of long time NAACP member Doug Mann against the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) for its failure to meet its diversity pledge. With the appointment of long time local branch NAACP supporter Louis King to its executive committee, the trap door has been slammed shut on the MSFA. Continue Reading →

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Hallelujah: the project begins

Constructing the new Peoples’ Stadium
 
Hallelujah! The great occasion of the beginning of construction preparedness and building of the Peoples’ Stadium arrived: December 2, 2013. “Mission accomplished” or another December day in infamy? “Success” is to be measured by the language of promises and guarantees in the stadium legislation and by the pronouncements of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA). Promised: full participation of all Minnesota’s citizens:

• Nothing but Minnesota workers on the stadium

• All steel produced in the United States, preferably from Northern MN’s Iron Range

• No cost overruns

• Equity Plan and Diversity Plan for Minnesota’s minorities and communities of color. Continue Reading →

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Nelson Mandela was both Malcolm and Martin

Nelson Mandela, the icon who led the emancipation of South Africa from White minority rule and became South Africa’s first Black president, was both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. He was an emblem of dignity and abstention. Imagine being jailed for 27 years, being humiliated and treated like dirt, and having your friends murdered systematically. Yet his incredible sense of purpose and strength is a lesson for a lifetime. I remember years ago meeting a man in flight who is not Black and has since become a friend. He was born in South Africa, finished school, and voted for Mandela for president. Continue Reading →

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The life and legacy of Nelson Mandela

By Issa A. Mansaray 

Contributing Writer

 

Nelson Mandela, 95, first Black president of South Africa who fought for the freedom of his people and against apartheid, died at about 8:50 pm local time on Thursday. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, current president of South Africa, said, “Our nation has lost its greatest son.”

Mr. Zuma announced in a televised message late Thursday, “Our people have lost a father.” Dressed in black, Zuma added that Mandela’s death is the country’s moment of “deepest sorrow” and that the Mandela family has “sacrificed much and endured so much that our people could be free.”

Mandela has been in and out of the Mediclinic Hospital in Pretoria on more than six separate occasions this year undergoing treatment for lung infection. “His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to,” said U.S. President Barack Obama in an official statement on Thursday evening, adding that the late Mandela was “influential, courageous and profoundly good.”

 

The noble family

Born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, a village close to the banks of the Mbashe River in the Transkei region, Mandela is the most famous South African in the world. His father, Gadla Henry Mphanyiswa Mandela, was a tall, imposing man who settled village quarrels. “I define myself through my father,” Mandela once said. Continue Reading →

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Attack on the Teachers Federation Why have friends become foes?

“The whole world opened to me when I learned to read.” — Mary McLeod Bethune

 

For decades, a workable relationship between organized labor and African American leadership existed in Minnesota. They do not necessarily speak with one voice, but, regarding financial consideration, they do. But for the last decade, this relationship has frayed, not in terms of financial considerations but in terms of standing up for real education for African American children. Legendary civil rights activist Nellie Stone Johnson clearly stated: no education, no job, no housing. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that although many Blacks were not qualified (lacking education and training), we are qualifiable through education and training. Continue Reading →

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Blacks need to realize the dream of unity

 

 

 

 

By Jessica Wright

Contributing Writer

 

Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Panther party, Emmett Till, Malcolm X, our very own Tycel Nelson and now Trayvon Martin. All of these African American men, along with women, have been racially profiled, beaten and or/shot and killed because of the color of their skin as well as the position they held in the African American community. They called us together for unity, racial equality and change. It is now 2013 and African Americans still have not found solace in America. African Americans are displaced and have no home to go “back” to. Continue Reading →

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Old Log’s Mahalia delivers in song

 

 

Old Log Theater’s Mahalia, starring Sandra Robinson Hodges with Dianne E’Laine and Sam Reeves Old Log Theater is flaws and all, a winning ticket. This is the second go around for the production, which premiered at Old Log in 1994. Ironically it’s a slice of African American theater, indeed, a page from Black history, running way out in the middle of White suburbia. And well worth the trip. Local gospel luminary Sandra Robinson Hodges is a natural to play Mahalia Jackson, the music immortal, civil rights activist and cultural icon. Continue Reading →

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Why are so many Black men dying?

 

 

By Terry Yzaguirre

Guest Commentator

 

As I arrived at the homicide scene on 21st and Penn Avenue North in Minneapolis on August 18at about 9 am, the crime lab was still working on the bullet holes on the exterior of the home after a shooting occurred around 3 am leaving one man dead and another wounded. Except for a group of about five people, the streets were desolate. The Black community’s radio station KMOJ located just down the street had no one present to update its listeners to the latest brother shot down. If the Black press in Minneapolis does not give a damn when a brother, sister, or our children are murdered, then why should anyone else? As I continued to monitor the scene, two female medical examiners carrying the blue body bag of the deceased walked out the front door. Continue Reading →

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