By Charles Hallman
A Michael Jackson cover makes the United Kingdom top ten hits charts. A music video of the song was aired on a cable music channel. The song helped the artist that did the cover earn Grammy best artist consideration. Kenya McGuire Johnson left her career several years ago as an educator, clinical instructor and higher education administrator and took “a massive leap of faith.” Now Kenya, the jazz/R&B singer — who uses only her first name professionally — is now working on her third CD. The young musician recently spoke with the MSR by phone from her Chicago home. “I did a lot of music growing up” in Denver, Colorado, including being active in choirs, and jazz bands, recalls Kenya, who has been singing since the age of eight. While in college, she was a member of the Howard University Gospel Choir. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
Quincy Lewis says a large part of his new role as an associate development officer at the University of Minnesota is to create and maintain “the passion” among the school’s many supporters. He also wants to improve relations between the school and the city’s Black community, which historically have generated mixed feelings over the years. “As for the African American community, we have to do a better job of asking for engagement, and when we get engagement then we have to perform,” proclaimed Lewis in a recent interview with the MSR.
With a new president and new athletic director, “I think sometimes when you have change, there’s new opportunities. Now it’s time to step up and come with some fresh ideas, some fresh engagements and some opportunities. I think it’s a great opportunity for the university to be aggressive” in this area. Lewis said he is keenly aware of the historical distance between the school and the city’s Black community. Continue Reading →