Mary Anderson

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Black Minnesotans lobby at the State Capitol

 
Can the new ‘Black agenda’ move the community forward? 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

There was nothing new revealed last week during the Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM) Lobby Day at the State Capitol presenting their Black agenda to this year’s Minnesota Legislature. Billed as “Black Minnesotans Helping Move Minnesota Forward,” around 50 people listened on March 19 at the Capitol Rotunda to over 20 scheduled speakers before many of them visited legislators’ offices. “The last two years there was a collective group that sat on this African American lobby day, and this place was filled,” noted Rev. Jerry McAfee, who added that the COBM “didn’t reach out to anybody else. If this is about Black Minnesotans, why are you leaving Black folk out?”

Although McAfee didn’t blame the council’s new executive director, Edward McDonald, for the seemingly solo effort in planning last week’s event, the longtime pastor nonetheless added, “Some of the people around him on the council knew about it, and they should’ve said, ‘We will be stronger if we put everybody in together.’”

McDonald was hired and assumed the COBM executive duties last October. “Whether we like them [organizations that represent Blacks] or don’t like them, every African American group should have been a part of this, and there should have been meetings prior to this so that there could [be] one agenda. 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
 

Abraham Lincoln once stated, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” I say nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, educate him on the tools needed to empower his people and watch to see what he does with it! In the 1920s, African American neighborhoods all over the United States were in vogue. Jazz artists such as Jelly Roll Morton, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington were soothing the souls of Americans everywhere. Harlem, New York was experiencing what we now call the “Harlem Renaissance Era.” Great literature, art, poetry, music, and Black-owned businesses filled the streets of Harlem. Black folks had taken their claim to America despite the race tensions, and business was good! 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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When good people essentially do nothing

 

 

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

 

Many children win medals for being the fastest runner in their school, yet for two siblings who attended a Crow Wing County school in Minnesota, their fate proved otherwise. Imagine being forced to push the merry-go-round as a six-year-old while being called “ni**er bi**h, coon, monkey,” and other defamations, until finally one day you grow tired and simply say “No!”
The reaction of your recess teacher is shock — who is this little Black child who would dare question the authority of a White woman living in America? So again the teacher yells, “Push the merry-go-round you Black ni**er bi**h,” and again you look her dead in the eye and tell her “No.” After all, you want to experience the same joy you witnessed on the other kids’ faces as you pushed and pushed the merry-go-round for countless recesses. Immediately the teacher grabs you by the ear and drags you to the principal’s office, with all the other children following, proclaiming to onlookers that they will teach this “coon, ni**er, monkey, and child of Satan” a lesson! As if the girl understands that there is power in numbers, she breaks away from her teacher and runs as fast as she can inside the building, down the hall that had suddenly grown despairingly dim, and abruptly into the classroom in which her sister resides. Continue Reading →

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What happened when we got off the bus?

 

October 16 will mark the 17th anniversary of the Million Man March on Washington, D.C. I remember that day because I stood in support of the beautiful brothers that had sent such a loud message to the world. I remember listening to great speeches, hearing proclamations, and seeing a spark in the eyes of African American men that had been overshadowed with the mask of hard times. Somehow I knew that this march was going to change the direction of the people I had grown to love so dearly — my people! Two years later, on October 25, 1997, I did not even question whether or not attending the Million Woman March was an option. For once in my life I was not doing something because my family or elders encouraged me to do it. Continue Reading →

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Optimistic ‘Village Child’ serves Brooklyn Park minorities

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Immediately on meeting Mary Anderson, one is impressed by a sense of innate, self-possessed authority. And graceful cordiality. Professionalism personified. Sitting with her at Pow Wow Grounds coffee house in South Minneapolis, you have to believe she is a most welcome addition to the administration at the City of Brooklyn Park. Anderson signed on in February for a year-long stint as Community Engagement VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Continue Reading →

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