Recent Articles

Stereotypes thwart aspirations of young Black men

MPS Black Male Achievement director gets some barbershop ‘real truth’
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Shahmar Dennis plans to graduate next spring from Roosevelt High School. He also plans to continue his post-secondary education by studying computer science, with hopes to one day work as a computer programmer after earning a college degree at a school not yet decided upon. His hopes, dreams and goals mostly were self-directed and self-motivated, undeterred by some of his teachers’ stereotypical beliefs that Black young men are incapable of competent classroom achievement. When Dennis inquired about his school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a teacher discouraged him; but when a White student went to the same teacher, that student immediately received a pass to see a school counselor about taking IB classes. “I feel like teachers have the stigma about African American students on how they are supposed to act, speak, and how they perceive education,” recalled Dennis when speaking to the MSR soon after his appearance at the November 10 regularly scheduled Minneapolis School Board meeting. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

New MPS director to focus on Black male achievement

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) now has in place their new office that will specifically look at Black male student achievement. Michael Walker, a longtime district employee and most recently Roosevelt High School assistant principal, was selected as the first director of the district’s Office of Black Male Student Achievement. He begins work July 28. The district’s Black males are “a very narrow group,” admits MPS CEO Michael Goar when oft-asked why this student population is receiving so much focused attention. Eliminating the achievement gap between Black males and their MPS peers has presented “persistent challenges for the community” as well for the district, stated Goar. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Pulley draws national attention to Minnesota talent



Guards TYUS JONES (Apple Valley), ISAIAH MCKAY (Park Center), JARVIS JOHNSON (DeLaSalle), SACAR ANIM (DeLaSalle), MASON JENSEN (Ballard, Iowa) JAKE LAWSON (Hopkins) and BJORN BROMAN (Lakeview Christian) teamed with post players REID TRAVIS (DeLaSalle), JAMES LAWSON (DeLaSalle), and SAM NEUMAN (Cretin-Derham Hall) to lead the Howard Pulley Panthers to a 79-72 victory over Each 1 Teach 1 to capture the 2013 AAU 17U Super Showcase in Orlando, Florida last Sunday. Behind the guidance of coaches ANTWAN HARRIS, MICHAEL WALKER, JABBAR WASHINGTON and DEDRICK JENKINS and Executive Director RENE PULLEY, the Panthers outshined the competition before a national audience, leaving no doubt that the Twin Cities has some of the top prep basketball talent in the country. Travis, the No. 40-ranked player in the country according to ESPN, led the way with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Jones, ranked No. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,