Matthew Little

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Matthew Little: a selfless servant

By Maurice J. Rhodes

Contributing Commentator


Exponent: ally. Matthew Little was a visionary who sought out to right the injustices that curtailed the advancement of his people. Although he helped achieve many of the civil rights landmarks that are still pertinent in the welfare of today’s society, what I will also remember him for is his style and grace. He was a selfless man who believed that the ability to listen far outweighed the need for adjunct subjectivity. I read his column religiously in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder because he recognized what was beneficial to the cause and articulated it with insightfulness, passion and candor. 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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Cecil E. Newman documentary honors MSR founder’s birthday

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Beginning Wednesday, July 25, A Black History Chronicle Exclusive — Cecil E. Newman: The Friendship, the Life and the Legacy, a documentary produced by Productions, will air on a number of websites and local cable channels. This documentary is a tribute to and celebration of the birthday of Cecil E. Newman (July 25, 1903), businessman and publisher of the Minneapolis Spokesman and the St. Paul Recorder (now the MSR). With only $20, Newman founded the newspapers in 1934. Newman had significant local and national influence, with his relationships with U.S. 38th Vice President Hubert Humphrey, U.S. Senator Walter Mondale, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Josie Johnson, and Curtis Chivers (who once worked for the Spokesman and Recorder). Continue Reading →

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A pre-revolution football memory



As a tribute to the memory of one of the finest sportswriters that this area has seen, Kwame McDonald, I thought I would devote my return column to a sports story of mine that depicts the picture of sports in the past and today. The story starts back in the 1950s, before the Civil Rights Movement under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. It was when many of the most talented athletes in the country were denied the opportunity to participate in the highest levels of sport because of the color of their skins

Below the Mason-Dixon Line, this denial was accomplished by law. And, with few exceptions, the northern states, by custom, accepted the southern states’ apartheid regulations. Collegiate athletes therefore were relegated to African American colleges, which were, for the most part, located in the South. And although many of them offered excellent academic programs, few had the funds to offer the scholarships that could entice the most gifted athletes. Continue Reading →

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