Recent Articles

Donna Beatrice Sandberg (nee Beecham)

Donna B. Sandberg of Richfield, Minnesota passed away peacefully on March 25, 2014 at age 75. She is survived by loving husband Carl. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 11 am at the Cremation Society of Minnesota, 4343 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis. Family will greet friends one hour prior to service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota or your local food shelf. Continue Reading →

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Minimum wage increase likely

Several Minnesota elected officials from around the state took part in a Minimum Wage Challenge last month to experience what it’s like to live on the state’s minimum wage. Advocates for raising the state’s minimum wage have emphasized that it’s not just workers in large urban areas who need the increase. All too often, they say, political issues in Minnesota are presented as pitting the interests of the Twin Cities metro area against those of the rest of the state, also known as “Greater Minnesota.” But despite the rhetoric, raising the minimum wage cuts across all geographic boundaries. Heidi Durand, a city councilmember from Moorhead, Minnesota, just across the border from Fargo, North Dakota, discovered as much when she joined Working America’s Minimum Wage Challenge. “I grew up in a working class home and I always knew my mom was an expert at stretching a dollar,” Councilmember Durand said, “And like a tidal wave, this challenge has brought her values back into my life.”

The minimum wage budget in 2014 is harder to stretch than it was when Durand was growing up. Continue Reading →

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March madness continues



The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) has a rich storied history dating back to pre-World War II days. The Women’s NIT since 1998 has tradition as well — just not as long as the men’s. However, present-day hoops fans and snobbish media types give both the Rodney Dangerfield treatment:

No respect for either of them. While there are those who only see one tournament, and while the men’s NCAA annually gets marathon King Kong coverage and barely Timberbell-like coverage on the women’s side, this reporter gives four-fold attention to the two bigger tournaments, as well as the NIT and WNIT. Both men and women Gopher squads this week are in their respective NIT sweet 16 — the men play Southern Mississippi Tuesday at Williams Arena, and the women go to South Dakota State on Thursday. 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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March Madness begins



Let’s be perfectly clear from the start — this and all subsequent columns are March Madness cliché-free. We won’t be talking about dancing or getting tickets punched here. The Gophers women basketball team plays Thursday in the 2014 Big Ten women’s tournament in Indianapolis — they face 11th-seeded Wisconsin at approximately 8 pm local time. Minnesota (19-11, 8-8 Big Ten) as the sixth seed goes into Indy on a modest two-game winning streak, but more importantly, especially for further post-season considerations, the Gophers have won seven of their last 11 contests. Although the team finished with a positive conference record for the first time since 2009, from now on U of M’s “second season” record must stay above .500. Continue Reading →

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President Obama visits St. Paul



By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

President Barack Obama, in St. Paul on Wednesday, reiterated his vow he made earlier in his State of the Union address in January that he will take action when needed if Congress won’t. “I’m just going to do what I can…” proclaimed Obama during a nearly 20-minute speech to an enthusiastic overflowing audience at the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul. 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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A letter to Minnesota’s Caucasians

By Willie Johnson

Contributing Commentator


Black People in Minnesota are fed a daily dose of qualms. To steal the character of a people and deform their identities is a burden onto itself. We Black Minnesotans need a new mind set, lost in a wilderness of self-doubt, following the agenda of White Minnesotans whose intentions seem hostile. White Minnesotans policy is to keep Blacks below the poverty line, not just in economics but also in life. There are two sets of rules in Minnesota, one for its Black citizens and one for its White citizens. It is evident through the judicial system that there is an imbalance between Blacks and Whites in Minnesota and that Lady Justice needs to put her blindfold back on. Continue Reading →

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