“The whites and their hatreds are the problem and not us.” — bell hooks, Bone Black
When the U.S. State Department’s former Secretary Dean Rusk’s daughter married a Black man, the Department received a few hundred nasty letters and calls. “An American Nazi Party captain in El Monte, Calif. declared: “I’d probably kill any of my children before I’d let them do such a thing.”
His reaction was echoed by a respectable businessman lunching at the Westmoreland Country Club in Glenview, Ill.: ‘If I were Rusk, I’d be inclined to shoot the guy.’ A grande dame at the Orlando Country Club in Florida gloated: ‘It will serve the old goat right to have ni**er grandbabies.’
Many others, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., preferred to view the match as a personal affair. “Individuals marry,” said King, “not races.” (source: Time Magazine)
Here in St. Paul, the anniversary of the Loving vs. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
A new documentary on the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall will air on public television in October, but a free public preview was aired May 3 at the University of Minnesota’s Ted Mann Concert Hall. The one-hour screening and a panel discussion afterwards was sponsored by the U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs as part of its “Keeping Faith with a Legacy of Justice” series, which continues through July of this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary year of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Prior to the screening of Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP, the MSR talked exclusively with producer Mick Caouette and both author Juan Williams and University of Baltimore School of Law Professor Jose Anderson, who appear in the film. Roy Wilkins’ nephew, Roger Wilkins, originally suggested that Caouette, who has done historical documentaries since 1996, present a historical film on Marshall (1908-1993), who successfully argued and won the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that desegregated U.S. public schools. “I discovered a lot, but unfortunately this film only really goes right up to Brown,” noted Caouette. Continue Reading →
By Brandi Phillips
Until recently, health equities has not been a subject in Minnesota that has received a lot of publicized attention. It represents the goal of groups working to address the health inequities that are well documented between communities of color and Whites in Minnesota. The Ad Hoc Roundtable is a group made up of subgroups that are interested in fighting against health inequities. Some of the participants in the Roundtable include members of the Council on Black Minnesotans, the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, the Chicano Latino Affairs Council, the Cultural and Ethnic Communities Leadership Council, the St. Paul Chapter of the NAACP, MICAH, HIRE, Isuroon, the Organizing Apprenticeship Project, and the Minnesota Tenants Union. Continue Reading →
The specter of racism has long haunted professional sports. Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA team the L.A. Clippers, is proving how wrong those are who deny racism exists anymore. Having held his race attitudes during his 30 years of ownership — well known to owners, media, players, fans, and sponsors — is Sterling a Rosa Parks “tipping point” for the collective “social conscience” of America, ashamed at the “yassah boss” polite role of “to get money you go along with money,” even plantation money, at the community’s expense? The worst-kept secret is again exposed of how White owner racism has long caused hair chafing at the majority of players being Black, letting Sterling do their ranting. That’s the true infamy. Continue Reading →
She says no one would call her a ‘well behaved’ woman
The new faces of the Mpls NAACP: MSR’s story on the new officers of the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP (“Minneapolis NAACP swears in new members,” Feb. 27) revealed among other things that women now constitute a majority of the new leadership. This week, meet Tee McClenty, head of the Branch’s new labor committee.
By Isaac Peterson
Labor activist Tee McClenty, originally from Camden, New Jersey, has a long history of service and of representing labor interests. As she tells it, “I’ve been a labor activist for a very long time. I worked at a long-term care facility, where I was a union steward. Continue Reading →
Let life be breathed into the education debate. At stake are not only the lives of our children but also the prosperity and happiness killed by the poverty in our urban neighborhoods. I recommend that the following organizations hold at least three major Minneapolis School Board candidate forums, in May, July, and late September, 2014: The NAACP, the Minneapolis Urban League and the African American Leadership Forum. They should commit themselves to an active and shared leadership role and no longer stand in the shadow of silence. With all of the pretense that goes on in the City of Minneapolis regarding education, you would think that three months into 2014, an election year, we would already be listening to and weighing passionate thoughts and policy recommendations to deal with the continued mis-education of children of color in Minneapolis public schools. Continue Reading →
The new faces of the Mpls NAACP: MSR’s recent story on the new officers of the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP (“Minneapolis NAACP swears in new members,” Feb. 27) revealed among other things that women now constitute a majority of the new leadership, including for the first time several African immigrant women who bring impressive skills and experience to the organization. In the interest of introducing MSR readers to these new leaders, this is the second of a series of stories profiling three women from our African immigrant communities who appear determined to bring the historic civil rights organization’s power and prestige to bear on the obstacles currently inhibiting progress in our communities of color. Space permitting, we will allow these women to present their views in their own words.
This week, meet Farhio Khalif, NAACP Assistant Secretary
By Isaac Peterson
Farhio Khalif speaks of her life in terms of a “journey,” and what a journey it has been. Khalif ‘s journey began in Somalia and made stops along the way to Minneapolis in Italy; Birmingham, Alabama; Florida; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Continue Reading →
“My intention was not malicious, but I broke the ground rule that families are off limits. For that I am sorry.” — MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry. So, she is off the hook with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, ACLU and the rest of the “Let’s get Dan Zimmerman” crew? Can you imagine if one of the FOXNEWS conservatives, such as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter or Glenn Beck, said the following on their TV shows? Let’s pretend the headlines would read “Rush Limbaugh in his creative wisdom was only (only, to minimize his actions) joking about a Romney family photo, which included their adopted African American grandson, Kieran James Romney. Continue Reading →
Congratulations to the Rev. Jerry McAfee, newly elected president of the Minneapolis branch of the NAACP, and to the new board members. This is an auspicious time. We just celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela, a man who proved a Black man can be a success as president of a country with both Blacks and Whites. Along with Archbishop Tutu’s “ubuntu,” he demonstrated that “truth” and “reconciliation” are more than slogans: they are action paths to unity. Minneapolis needs unity and reconciliation within the Black community and between White and Black people and institutions. Continue Reading →
By Marian Wright Edelman
“It should be clear by now that a nation can be no stronger abroad than she is at home. Only an America which practices what it preaches about equal rights and social justice will be respected by those whose choice affects our future. Only an America which has fully educated its citizens is fully capable of tackling the complex problems and perceiving the hidden dangers of the world in which we live.” — From the speech President John F. Kennedy planned to deliver on November 22, 1963.
I was a brand new law school graduate in my first months of work with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City on that fateful November day 50 years ago. I had begun the day visiting a young Black male death row client in a rural Georgia prison accused of killing a White farmer and had returned to Atlanta where I was sitting in a courthouse library researching how many Blacks and Whites had been executed in Georgia’s history. Continue Reading →