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Spoken Hero – Recording artist applies promotional expertise to community betterment

People in our community and their giving spirit to others often go unnoticed as “Unspoken Heroes.” Our “Spoken Heroes” feature gives the community the opportunity to recognize these everyday heroes and their accomplishments. Without looking for something in return, these individuals are often only rewarded by knowing that others benefit from their efforts. By Raymond Jackson

Contributing Writer

 

The first Spoken Hero of 2014 has made and continues to make many positive contributions to the Twin Cities area. He is the first nominee who is an up-and-coming musical artist whose main intent is to continue to be of service to their community. R&B recording artist J. MOST was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Continue Reading →

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Otaak Band brings East Sudanese soul to the west bank

 

By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer

 

It was a glimpse into a world nearly lost. But the rituals, the traditions, the passed down legacies and teachings from ancestors were still evident in his being. Ahmed Said Abuamna, from Otaak Band, sang as though the music was shooting up from the ground through him, his voice sounding transcendent of earthliness. Watching the smooth and effortless way in which movements flowed from Abuamna’s limbs and in the way songs poured seemingly unencumbered from his soul at the January 29th performance at the Cedar Cultural Center, became a reminder of the importance of keeping a people’s culture and traditions alive. Otaak Band is the collaboration of Abuamna who hails from Eastern Sudan, and Miguel Merino, a percussionist from Indiana. Continue Reading →

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The Art Cunningham Show: over two decades of Black history through Black media

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

 

There is no more effective means of communicating than the media, particularly the visual media and especially television, since every home has at least one set. How far, after all, do you think the present celebration of Black History Month would’ve got without the media? Its inception came back in 1926, founded by Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week. It is undeniable the impact media communication has had, growing from the first celebration by Black United Students at Kent State University in 1970 to America acknowledging Black History Month in 1976, President Gerald Ford making it official.  

All this is said to underscore that Art Cunningham, creator-host of The Art Cunningham Show for 23 years, put the issues-oriented program on the air as a means to get voices of the African American community expressed that otherwise went unheard. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Entertainment Spotlights

 

Ray Covington

Fri., Feb. 14, 9 pm

Bunker’s Music Bar & Grill, 761 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis

Go to www.bunkersmusic.com or call 612-338-8188

The 2nd Annual Minneapolis 

One-Minute Play Festival

Sat. and Sun., Feb. 15-16, 8 pm

Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 South 4th Street, Minneapolis

Go to www.oneminuteplayfestival.com or call 612-338-0937

Graff on Girlz MN [Sound+Art Composition]

A night of audio/visual art with Orko Eloheim

Live graffiti bodypainting

Tue., Feb. Continue Reading →

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Adoption celebrated during Black History Month

During February, Black History Month, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Council on Black Minnesotans, and several nonprofit and community organizations are working together to encourage families to adopt children waiting in the foster care system, particularly African American children who are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system. “All children need safe, stable, loving homes to thrive,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “During Black History Month, we are celebrating the African American families who have adopted and encouraging other families to consider adoption. We, along with our community partners, are here to provide support before, during and after adoption.”

Added Edward McDonald, executive director of the Council on Black Minnesotans, “As we celebrate the rich history of African Americans during the month of February, let us also use the month to begin doubling our efforts for the remainder of the year encouraging more African American families to adopt and provide foster care for children who are wards of the state, especially the disproportionate number of African American children. The greatest historical remembrance an African American child, or any child, can have is one that is highlighted by the love and care of a family.”

Throughout February adoption-specific events include:

The Minnesota Heart Gallery is featuring foster children in need of adoptive families in its large lobby display at the East Side Neighborhood Services Building, 1700 Second St. Continue Reading →

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In a chilly Super Bowl XLVIII, it’s Seahawks vs. Broncos

HONOLULU — The first-ever non-conference Pro Bowl number 34 in Hawaii was won by Team Rice 22-21 in the lowest scoring Pro Bowl since 2006 when defense took center stage. The game was played in a steady rain in 70-degree temperatures. Because of the rain, there were eight turnovers, six interceptions and nine sacks. Players had a tough time getting a grip on the ball. The game was a turnover fest, but it was one of the most competitive Pro Bowls in recent years. Continue Reading →

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Alarming ‘retirement racial divide’ could leave millions of Black elders at risk

AARP pushes for state retirement savings plan to bridge the gap
By Charles Hallman Staff Writer Are working-age Blacks and other people of color preparing themselves for retirement? A new study by the National Institute of Retirement Security (NIRS) claims a “racial divide” exists in establishing retirement savings. The nonprofit NIRS, based in Washington, D.C., released last month “Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States.” In a press release, report author and NIRS Research Manager Nari Rhee said, “I’m alarmed by the severity of the retirement racial divide. It’s well documented that regardless of race, the typical working-age American household is far off-track toward accumulating sufficient savings to meet their basic needs in retirement. “We find an even worse situation for Blacks, Latinos and Asians,” continued Rhee. Continue Reading →

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My Country ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future

Ellison’s bio a cutting-edge tale of resisting bias religious and racial
 
By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Unequivocally a singular success, Congressional Rep. Keith Ellison is one of the more fascinating figures in contemporary politics — indeed, an unprecedented, historic presence. Anyone who doesn’t believe he’s capable of becoming the second Black president of these United States needs merely consider this: How likely was it that with the country still rankling from 9/11, he accomplished a virtually unthinkable feat — becoming the first Muslim elected to Congress? My Country ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future (Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing, $25) is a newly published memoir cum biography and, whether you admire or abhor his consistently controversial stands on hot-button issues — for instance, the proposed mosque at ground zero, downtown Manhattan site of Al-Kaida’s 2001 terrorist attack on America — the book is a significant, definitively informing work that belongs in the library of every American — Black, White, Brown, Muslim, Protestant, Catholic, whatever — who wishes to know what he or she is talking about when they discuss the consequence of Keith Ellison. It should surprise no one that a significant amount of the material here concerns itself with Ellison’s devotion to his religion. Along with being the first Muslim to hold his office, he historically is strongly vocal about Muslim Americans getting a fair shake in society. Continue Reading →

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Would a Robinson Rule be just another ruse?

 

The only thing I like about a proposed “Eddie Robinson Rule” for college sports hiring is that it is being named for the late Grambling football coach. Otherwise, if the proposed law is modeled after the NFL’s Rooney Rule, I’m afraid it’s a recipe for deception, false hopes and tokenism. This week’s “Another View” published in the MSR sports section briefly discusses Richard Lapchick’s latest campus leadership report, where it notes again just how White (nearly 90 percent) of the campus leadership positions are.  

Here are the latest diversity report’s “lowlights”:

Coaches of color decreased by three, from 18 in 2012 to 15 in 2013. There was a two-percent drop in Black head football coaches (now 9.6 percent) from last year even though Black football players at the same time went up nearly three percent. Continue Reading →

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New mayor challenges Mpls to unite across racial, cultural boundaries

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, during her inaugural address Monday morning in the rotunda of Minneapolis City Hall, spoke of three major goals to help make Minneapolis more than just a great city: growing the city, running it well, and eliminating the gaps between White people and people of color. The newly sworn-in mayor ran her campaign upon a promise of eliminating the gaps between White people and people of color. In her address, Mayor Hodges echoed that promise, saying, “It must be possible for White people and people of color all to thrive in one city and in one region, and that we in Minneapolis would be the ones to do it.”

When it comes to ending the gaps that separate Whites and people of color, Mayor Hodges acknowledged that “we’ve been good at some aspects of doing this work, but we haven’t been great. And we need to be more than great. And a crucial component of being more than great is acting like One Minneapolis as we become One Minneapolis. Continue Reading →

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