Martin Luther King

Recent Articles

The tragedy of guns in the streets

Another senseless death
 

Maya Angelou passed May 28. She had her finger “on the pulse of morning.” She had her “caged bird” sing a prayer of freedom to rise above the “bitter, twisted lies” people of color must contend with, for, as she wrote, “Still I rise.”

The caged bird sings in classic Black gospel fashion, lifting up a prayer through its tears, yearning to be free. May our leaders raise their song for freedom too, rather than acquiesce to the gun songs that cage our young people or the bureaucratic dependency programs that cage their parents. A 17-year-old was shot and killed June 1st on the 1600 block of Newton Avenue N. His death fosters another round of talking about solutions but not attempting to open cage doors. Unless you have lost a child to violence, its hard to know and understand the feeling. Continue Reading →

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Maya Angelou April 4, 1928 — May 28, 2014

How does one pay adequate tribute to the legacy of Maya Angelou, the beloved historic icon and cultural treasure who passed away on May 28? Her enduring presence as an enlightening, empowering beacon to which the hearts and minds of Black women faithfully were drawn, after all, marked her as an individual of inestimable consequence whose like we quite probably will never see again. Dr. Angelou, nee Marguerite Annie Johnson, advanced from an auspicious literary debut, publishing her first autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings with the aid of James Baldwin, who would become a lifelong friend, to a titanic career that spanned more than a half century. Her accomplishments included, in far from a complete listing, a film rendition of the book starring Diahann Carroll and Ruby Dee; six more autobiographies; acting turns in The Richard Pryor Special?, Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson, and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion; as well as stints directing (Down In The Delta, starring Alfre Woodward, featuring Al Freeman, Jr), producing (Sister, Sister with Rosalind Cash, Diahann Carroll and Paul Winfield), and scoring film soundtracks (For Love of Ivy, starring Sidney Poitier). She is best known for her vast volume of poetry, most notably “On the Pulse of Morning,” which she recited at President Bill Clinton’s 1994 inauguration. Continue Reading →

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Passion for Black history, culture leads couple to found company

Liberation Clothing and Gifts and Black History Expo result
 

By Isaac Peterson, III

Contributing Writer

 

About two years ago, Karla said to her husband Anthony, “Now is the time to start our own business,” and Liberation Clothing and Gifts was born. Karla, originally from Detroit, and Anthony, from the Chicago area, both relocated to the Twin Cities when they were young. Each showed an intense interest in Black history and culture from an early age, and both were frustrated with the lack of that type of information found in the public schools they attended. Of her time attending high school in Anoka, Karla says, “There weren’t very many people of color. They did not celebrate Black History Month or MLK Day at all at school. Continue Reading →

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Local civil rights leader Matthew Little passes

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

Matt Little is gone, leaving a legendary legacy. He was widely renowned and will be well remembered as a Civil Rights Era icon who held a soul-deep commitment to empowering the African American community. Graduating North Carolina A&T State University in 1948, he relocated to the Twin Cities and, in 1954 became a board member of the Minneapolis NAACP, beginning a lifelong dedication to the organization. During his career, he was president of that chapter as well as president of the Minnesota state NAACP. Far from being a figurehead, Little was hands-on and counted among his most prized memories filing a federal lawsuit to integrate the Minneapolis Fire Department. Continue Reading →

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PBS commemorates television show that featured the best in gospel music

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer

 

Over the course of three decades, the late Sid Ordower brought the greats and some-to-be greats in gospel music each week on local Chicago television. The likes of Albertina Walker, Mahalia Jackson, Mavis Staples — along with her sisters and their father, James Cleveland, and Otis Clay routinely appeared on Jubilee Showcase, a half-hour long show that ran from 1963-1984. Beginning November 30 and throughout the month of December, PBS will air a 50th anniversary commemorative television special on Jubilee Showcase, said his son Steve Ordower in a recent MSR phone interview. “He was an owner-operator [of his shows], which was pretty rare back in those days,” he explains. “Unfortunately, the first 13 episodes were erased, and he was livid. Continue Reading →

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“Ask What You Can Do For Your Country”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Marian Wright Edelman

Contributing Writer

 

“It should be clear by now that a nation can be no stronger abroad than she is at home. Only an America which practices what it preaches about equal rights and social justice will be respected by those whose choice affects our future. Only an America which has fully educated its citizens is fully capable of tackling the complex problems and perceiving the hidden dangers of the world in which we live.” — From the speech President John F. Kennedy planned to deliver on November 22, 1963.  

I was a brand new law school graduate in my first months of work with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City on that fateful November day 50 years ago. I had begun the day visiting a young Black male death row client in a rural Georgia prison accused of killing a White farmer and had returned to Atlanta where I was sitting in a courthouse library researching how many Blacks and Whites had been executed in Georgia’s history. Continue Reading →

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Free Angela provides a brilliant, invaluable look into America’s history

 

Movie Review

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

It is sad to see how complacent we Black people have grown since the 1960s. The bourgeoisie blithely transitioned from a populace who once vowed “We Will Overcome” to a generation whose abiding principle now is “I have overcome.” You’d scarcely believe there was a time when Black America was determined to revolt against entrenched, institutionalized racism by, as Malcolm X said, any means necessary. This country’s rulers realized back then that the bill had come due. Too many African Americans were longer shuffling along, head bowed, yassuhing and no ma’aming. Too many had their shoulders squared, braced to put their feet in the nation’s behind. Continue Reading →

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Wilder Foundation hosts unFRAMED conversations

Blacks discuss Zimmerman verdict’s effects on youth
 
By Jamal Denman

Online Editor

 

 

On Wednesday, August 28, 2013, the Wilder Foundation’s Wilder Center for Communities played host to what was referred to as a “community conversation,” where members of the Twin Cities community were invited to listen to and partake in a discussion about what impact the aftermath of the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent verdict in the Andrew Zimmerman trial will have on how young people — particularly young people of color and specifically African American boys — are taught and raised by those who care about them. The event, billed as unFRAMED: The Lessons of the Zimmerman Trial, was organized by Barbara “Bob-e” Epps and Dave Ellis of the Black Men’s Early Childhood Project (BMECP). Epps is a consultant to the Science Museum of Minnesota, which had started hosting an exhibit called The Wonder Years, an exhibit that “looks at early childhood development from prenatal to age five,” Epps explains. The Science Museum also started hosting a series of conversations, which they called “citizen’s conferences,” where “up to 100 people from a cross section of populations come together, look at the exhibit, and then have a discussion about what [the exhibit] means to them, what their thoughts are about children, and what do they want to invest [in them].”

In early 2012, Epps was asked by the Science Museum to help facilitate similar types of community conversations throughout the state, and she gladly said yes. “I suggested that they bring African American men together and have a dialogue with them,” says Epps. Continue Reading →

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Don’t let the radicals say anything

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is a theme to the 50th year commemorative marches held in Washington DC and in cities all over the country last weekend, it had to be “don’t let the ‘real’” activists speak. I think the decision not to include people who shared Martin Luther King’s vision that this system that features the triplets of racism, materialism and militarism has to be changed, is indicative of just how far we have not come in 50 years. Of course the radicals ironically were not allowed to speak at the original march either. In fact, the entire thing was orchestrated from beginning to end. Malcolm X called them out at the time. Continue Reading →

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Why government spying? Because you are the enemy!

The recent revelations that the government is storing all — that’s right, all — of our phone calls and emails and general communication ought to give us all cause to pause. Why would our government want to spy on everyone? Surely it is our friend! And why the indifference about it in the Black community? In fact, why are our so-called leaders silent? Continue Reading →

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