Martin Luther King

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No More Excuses

Too many have sacrificed for us to give up now
Most of the excuses we make up make it hard for our life on this earth. Everything that really matters we make excuses for: excuses why we won’t go to school, why we don’t listen to our parents, why we don’t stay out of trouble, why we end up in jail, why we have a criminal record, why we have felonies. More excuses: I don’t have a job because I won’t work for less than $10 an hour. I don’t have a job because no one will give me a chance. If you don’t listen to your parents and drop out of school, your chances of being successful are slim to none without education. Continue Reading →

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Obama presidency gives African Americans hope for ‘a more perfect union’

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Editor-in-Chief

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over 800,000 people were in attendance on the National Mall for the 2013 presidential inauguration. Though the crowd may not have equaled the size of the 2009 gathering, this second presidential inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama demonstrated Americans’ enthusiasm for his presidency. What was a significant event for many Americans was even more so for those of African descent. “It’s good to see an African American in the White House, especially somebody I voted for,” said Damola Ogundipe, former Minnesota Gophers football player, while touring the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument in the nation’s capital the day before the inauguration. Ogundipe, born in Nigeria and raised in the Twin Cities, moved to Los Angeles just over a year ago after finishing college. Continue Reading →

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‘Fierce urgency’ stressed at MLK Breakfast

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, told nearly 2,000 people attending the 23rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast January 21, “We need to wake up.” 

Specifically, she urged the sold-out audience at the Minneapolis Convention Center and the live TV audience watching on TPT (Twin Cities Public Television) to wake up to the consequences of failing to improve the educational disparities that pose dangerous implications for the future of our country: “Will the United States be a beacon or a blip in history? “We need to recognize that we have to invest now,” Edelman said, “and invest with urgency and with persistence so that we can give every child a chance to be able to function, work and contribute in this very complex, changing world and economy.”

A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, Edelman began her career in the mid-1960s when, as the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Miss. In 1968, she moved to Washington, D.C. as counsel for the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began organizing before his death. In 1973 she founded the Children’s Defense Fund. Under her leadership, it has become one of the United States’ strongest advocates for children and families. Continue Reading →

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Sports Authority Legislative Report, with Unequal Equity Plan, sent to legislature

It is an unintended but very real sad irony of history that on the birth date of Martin Luther King, Jr., January 15, the Vikings, the NFL, and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) sent its first annual report to the state legislature carrying the message that there may be some room in the People’s Stadium construction bus, but only in the back, a Minnesota refrain I’ve steadily warned about since 2005. Our community has not believed. Will they now? On page six of the MSFA report to the legislature, we can see how the MSFA blindsided Commissioner Kevin Lindsay and the African American leadership of Minnesota. The highly touted, well-publicized PR charade of 32 percent minority participation evaporated. Continue Reading →

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MLK Holiday Event Calendar 2013

 
Friday, January 18
 

7 pm, Friends School presents the 2013 MLK Celebration, The O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul • Free• 651-917-0636 or www.fsmn.org

 
Saturday, January 19
 

8 am — 2 pm, Fifth Annual Power of Giving MLK Day of Service, Minneapolis Community & Technical College, T Building Plaza Dining Room, 1501 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis • 612-659-6000 or www.minneapolis.edu/mlk2013

 
Sunday, January 20
 

All day, honor and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by hosting a Sunday Supper • www.pointsoflight.org/mlk/host-americas-sunday-supper.  

4 pm, Martin Luther King Concert, University of Minnesota West Bank, Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2106 4th St. S., Minneapolis • Free • Ralph Blanco at rblanco@umn.edu or 612-625-8680 or https://diversity.umn.edu/mlktribute

 
Monday, January 21
 

All day, honor and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through volunteer service • 612-379-4900, info@handsontwincities.org, www.handsontwincities.org/MLK_2013 or www.mlkday.gov

 

7 am, Holiday Breakfast, Minneapolis Convention Center, Ballroom A, 1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis • Broadcast live at 8 am on TPT • contact@mlkbreakfast.com or www.mlkbreakfast.com

 

8:30 am — 2 pm, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statewide Celebration, Central High School, 275 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul • Free • Central High School at 651-744-4900 or Amanda Norman at mnmlkholiday@gmail.com

 

11 am — 2 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, Powderhorn Park Community Center, 3400 15th Ave. Continue Reading →

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When good people essentially do nothing

Power, politics, and policy and the influence they have over African American people

According to Pastor Terrance Jacobs, former director with the Gamaliel Organization who was appointed to Africa, power is the concentration of “organized people and organized money” (taken from the Alinsky model). Pastor Jacobs went on to explain, at the Minneapolis Neighborhood Hub’s Health Disparities training that was held in late October, that a state of powerlessness is a sin! My interpretation of his remark is that there is a whole lot of sin going around in Minnesota! In that one instance he essentially declared that seeking power is not a bad thing. Yet many of us have formed opinions about power to the effect that it is bad, that we don’t need too much of it,  and that anyone seeking too much power should be watched closely. Continue Reading →

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Obama wins! Historic second term for the president

The 2012 presidential election proves 2008 was not a fluke nor an accident. The 2012 election demonstrates the peril of all-White “dream teams” with mostly White door knockers in the field. When will the Republicans accept “representative democracy” on ballots and in the field as well as in voting booths? It was interesting to watch the red-faced and frivolous TV pundits scramble to understand, whether Fox News, CNN, MSNBC or the rest. The Republicans mixed up a special batch of snake-oil tonic in the first week of November 2008, after President Barack Obama won his first term. Continue Reading →

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A historical presidential election

This nation’s voters face a historic decision November 6, 2012: choosing between two Harvard graduates, both good, admirable family men, each with similar visions but clear differences on how to meet them. Given the improvement trend in the economy, does America change horses midstream and risk reversing improvement? Will Americans allow President Obama to complete his mission to help America recover economically and spiritually? In six days, the final votes will determine our future course. I urge America to set aside the issue of race and appreciate the character of President Obama as well as the content of his policy proposals. Continue Reading →

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Sgt. Pat King moves across the street — Law enforcement officer moves to Henn. Co. sheriff’s department

 

Last week there was a lot of surprise and concern in law enforcement circles regarding how this new chapter in Cowboy King’s history could take place: being transferred to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department’s Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF), especially in light of his having taken personal credit for destroying the Black Police Officers Association and destroying the career of fellow officers (see my August 29, 2007 column and December 14, 2007 blog essay). In the transfer, public officials again put fellow officials’ career survival/pensions ahead of their sworn oaths to do their duties in terms of public safety. Sgt. Pat King should minimally be censured, not celebrated. In the court transcript of a couple of months ago (I attended every day of that trial), he slandered a significant number of well-respected officers as “scum of the earth.”

Besides the transcript, see my columns of February 22 and May 30, 2012. Continue Reading →

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Voter ID march

 

On Sunday, August 26, 2012, an estimated 400 concerned citizens/protesters converged at the Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis. The group marched from Sabathani Community Center to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park for a rally and protest against the Voter ID amendment placed on this year’s ballot. The Sabathanites Drum Corps were the flagship group for the march. The purpose of the rally was to educate, motivate and inspire people to vote no on photo ID and encourage others to do the same. The rally was organized by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Council. Continue Reading →

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