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United Theological Seminary seeks more diverse students, faculty

MSR speaks with United’s new president, Rev. Dr. Barbara Holmes
 

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

The United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is currently celebrating 50 years of service. Since July of 2012, Reverend Dr. Barbara A. Holmes has been the first African American woman at its helm. Her artist’s sensibility, imaginative approach to ministry, and creative problem solving are already being viewed as both inspiring and what’s needed to move the institution forward. Well known as an outstanding leader in theological education and an inspiring lecturer and teacher, Dr. Holmes hails from Memphis Theological Seminary, where she was professor of ethics and African American religious studies and served for five years as vice president/dean of academic affairs. Raised in the Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church in New Haven, Connecticut, Dr. Holmes is an ordained minister recognized in the Disciples of Christ and also a member of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis. Continue Reading →

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New music includes an early look at 2013 releases

 

Early next year, the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records is set to release two new albums from two legendary artists, Aaron Neville and Wayne Shorter. Now the label is busy promoting both artists and albums via touring and television. Shorter has even written a new piece composed for Esperanza Spalding, who recently won a 2012 Soul Train Music Award. Adding to the highly anticipated upcoming 2013 release schedule thus far, the Concord-Telarc division has released an impressive list of some new 2013 releases of their own. But wait: Helping to round out this year’s crop of new releases is one from ArtistShare featuring the Clayton brothers with friends. Continue Reading →

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Blacks: demand economic equity

 

By Marc Morial

Guest Commentator

 

 

President Obama’s decisive victory in this year’s presidential election signaled a shift in both demographics and attitude in America. While 93 percent of African American voters supported Obama, his victory reflected a cross-section of America, including substantial numbers of Whites and a growing number of Hispanics and Asian Americans. African Americans again made the difference in a number of key swing states. In fact, in hotly contested Ohio, the African American share of the electorate rose from 11 percent four years ago to 15 percent this year, with 96 percent of African Americans voting for Obama. Clearly, the president’s small margin of victory in Ohio was determined by an increase in the Black vote. Continue Reading →

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A political Ponzi scheme: The fix was in with 2012 election

 

Shell-shocked Republicans are asking “What happened?” as they lick their wounds and offer recriminations and finger pointing regarding who to blame for losing the election. They are the Bernie Madoff Ponzi-like schemers, losers asking what happened. Were they suckers? Can they get a refund? It was like putting money in a paper bag and passing it to campaign collectors. Continue Reading →

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HBCU coaches tend to see athletes as students first

 

The latest NCAA graduation rates report shows that overall Division I student-athletes graduate at 80 percent, but the oft-overlooked fact is that Black student-athletes graduate at least 20 percent lower than their White counterparts. Even a sport-by-sport breakdown analysis points out that Blacks lag behind Whites in every sport ranging anywhere from 12 percentage points (women’s basketball) to 23 points (men’s basketball). This “significant graduation gap” between University of Minnesota Black and White student-athletes over a five-year period was the focus of a MSRfront-page article this week. Sadly, most of us, especially in the Black community, rather direct our outrage toward who gets voted off reality show islands or dancing shows than publicly demanding an answer to why our Black athletes — most of which aren’t going to the pros after college — are not graduating from predominately White institutions at the same rate, if not better, than White athletes. Seemingly too many Black parents are delusional about getting rich quick off their son or daughter: University of Washington-Vancouver English Professor Thabiti Lewis recently offered such an example. Continue Reading →

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America’s Black First Family symbolizes rise of African culture

Hotep (Be at peace, be at rest, be free)

In this the second in a three-part series, I want to share another core idea: “SIA” an ancient African teaching that I have had the great honor of having verified in travels to the elders in Africa and in the 20 years of study in the International Khepran Institute. In both classrooms, I was able to verify that this idea is preserved through the trials and the awful terror of our existence in this country. The “SIA” refers to the intelligence of the heart. Cerebral intelligence depends upon the senses, the recordings of observed facts, and the comparison of these facts and ideas of the mind. The first four senses — touch, taste, smell and sight — pass through the brain; the fifth sense, hearing, passes through the heart without speaking directly to the brain. Continue Reading →

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Royal Comedy Tour: Too-brief sets by the best comics knock standup show off its throne

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

My people, my people. October 27 at Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theater, the audience of give or take 1,200 arrives in a veritable fashion show of styles ranging

from classy cool to tacky chic with most going for in-between, dressing sensibly smart. Everyone, though, is there for the same reason: to catch the third annual incarnation of the Royal Comedy Tour. The evening of standup was, in a word, wack. You had Sommore, Mark Curry, Earthquake and Bruce Bruce on the bill in a truly bass-ackward lineup. Continue Reading →

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A historical presidential election

This nation’s voters face a historic decision November 6, 2012: choosing between two Harvard graduates, both good, admirable family men, each with similar visions but clear differences on how to meet them. Given the improvement trend in the economy, does America change horses midstream and risk reversing improvement? Will Americans allow President Obama to complete his mission to help America recover economically and spiritually? In six days, the final votes will determine our future course. I urge America to set aside the issue of race and appreciate the character of President Obama as well as the content of his policy proposals. Continue Reading →

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Voter suppression laws cast chill on Black community

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Khalil Abdullah

Contributing Writer

 

As voter suppression laws continue to be debated in states across the country, members of the African American press and voting rights advocates say the repercussions of that debate are already being felt. The most immediate metric, they note, will be whether voter turnout is reduced. For some observers, that is a likely prospect. “Talking about the guys who are not going to vote, four years ago, they took chances,” said Harold Meeks, publisher of the Tell Us USA News Network, an online news magazine with bureaus in several cities. “I owe $23,000 in child support, but I’m going out to vote for the Black man,” Meeks said, describing a hypothetical Detroit voter in 2008. “They’re not going to take those same chances again, particularly with these other voices saying that we’re going to scrutinize you,” he continued. Continue Reading →

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