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PHOTOS | Lynx celebrate third WNBA title: parade, Prince and more

The MN Lynx celebrate three title wins in five years

“Do you think three times make a dynasty?” asked Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges to the appreciative crowd inside her city’s downtown arena midday Friday to fete the newly crowned Lynx. She then turned to the team standing behind her on stage and answered her own question: “I think you are a dynasty now,” she declared.
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Hometown Artist Sold Three Million Records Before Age 20

From the MSR Legacy Archives

As part of our celebration over the next several months of our 80 years of continuous publication, the MSR will be republishing notable stories from our extensive archives of more than 

4,000 weekly issues of African American news in Minnesota. Many of our readers will be sure to recognize friends, family and neighbors from the distant and not-so-distant past 

— such as the young man featured in our introductory story below, first published on February 5, 1981, nearly 34 years ago.  
To say that Warner Brother’s recording artist Prince is a musical prodigy is almost an understatement. Before he turned 20, Prince had sold nearly three million records. He had recorded three LPs, playing all the instruments and writing and singing all the songs himself. Continue Reading →

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The re-rebirth of soul

Electric Lady Janelle Monáe delivers
By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer
Janelle Monáe’s concert on Tuesday, October 22 at the Skyway Theater, like her music, referenced a legacy of soul that young audiences were eager to witness. The music from her latest contribution, The Electric Lady, like her past works, is thought-provoking and critical, yet funky and cutting edge. Monáe’s music is bringing Afro-futurism to modern-day realities with cleverness, freshness and fun in a musical climate that is in desperate need of her fearless, funky soul. The show was a dynamic unforgettable experience that made it clear she has all of the makings of a musical icon. Monáe is a genius at making music that is complex and entertaining – an impressive pairing in a musical era in which mainstream content is often saturated with lyrics that seem allergic to any real depth or social reflection. Continue Reading →

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Shapeshift hip hop dance group to perform

Shapeshift, a Minneapolis-based hip hop dance group, performs Friday and Saturday, November 1-2, at the New Century Theatre, 615 Hennepin Avenue, in Minneapolis. This exciting show is choreographed and passionately produced by Ashley Selmer and Herbert Johnson, well-established dance artists who have worked with the likes of Iluminate and Prince’s new band 3rd Eye Girl. The group recently performed in front of 18,000 fans at the Xcel Center on October 8. Tickets can be purchased at (search Shapeshift). For further information contact James Selmer at 612-220-8545. Continue Reading →

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Sandra Robinson Hodges speaks with MSR about her starring role in Mahalia



By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


Going backstage to the dressing room, congratulating Sandra Robinson Hodges on her triumphant turn as Mahalia Jackson at the Old Log Theater, you’d never guess she’s Twin Cities’ gospel royalty, not from her unassuming manner.  She greets you with a warm smile, “Just call me Sandy,” and is fairly shy about accepting compliments. For the record though, if she did have a swelled head, it’d be hard to blame her. For one, she has worked and recorded with her more famous brother, Robert Robinson, most notably at the well-renowned Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir, where she succeeded him as artistic and executive director.  Among her accomplishments in the area, she performed as both lead and background vocalist on albums for the Sam Davis Gospel Ensemble, Minneapolis Gospel Sound, and Excelsior Choral Ensemble.  Nationally, she has performed with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Jermaine Jackson, and Prince. There’s considerably more, including her present tenure as choir director at Park Avenue United Methodist Church and chapel choir director at Bethel University.  Suffice to say, illustrious singer Sandra Hodges (SH) indeed is an entity of considerable consequence.  During the run of Mahalia, where she shared the stage with gifted performers Dianne E’Laine and Sam Reeves, she granted the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder an email interview to reflect on her artistry.  

MSR: How did you come to do this role?  Were you in the premiere? Continue Reading →

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Old Log’s Mahalia delivers in song



Old Log Theater’s Mahalia, starring Sandra Robinson Hodges with Dianne E’Laine and Sam Reeves Old Log Theater is flaws and all, a winning ticket. This is the second go around for the production, which premiered at Old Log in 1994. Ironically it’s a slice of African American theater, indeed, a page from Black history, running way out in the middle of White suburbia. And well worth the trip. Local gospel luminary Sandra Robinson Hodges is a natural to play Mahalia Jackson, the music immortal, civil rights activist and cultural icon. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Entertainment Spotlights

Ray Covington

Fri., Dec. 28, 9:30 pm
Bunker’s Music Bar & Grill
761 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-338-8188
Cover is $7. Sat., Dec. 29, 9:30 pm: Chase and the Ovation:the music of Prince
Cover is $7. Continue Reading →

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Black Fashion History Day a great success

By Rosa Bogar

Contributing Writer


October 21, 2012, was declared “Black Fashion History Day” by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. When the governor’s Proclamation was read by “fashion enthusiast” Roger Clark to the crowd gathered at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis that Sunday evening, it brought down the house with thunderous applause. The event was historic, memorable, and enjoyed by all who attended. The emcee was Carol Payne, who also moderated the panel discussion with panelists Rozenia Hoodfuller, a former model; Jewelean Jackson, former director of the Ms. Black MN Pageant Inc.; Sylvia Loveless-Amos, who designed for the entertainers Prince, Jody Watley, and other noted musicians; and Charles Caldwell, a former model and now owner of C. Caldwell Fine Arts Gallery and Studio. The panel did an outstanding job of informing the audience of what the fashion scene was like during this period known as the “epicenter” of Black fashion in Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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‘Band Formerly Known as The Time’ sizzled at hometown concert Original 7ven played ‘scarifying’ funk/rock to raucously devoted fans


Excited energy abounded in Minneapolis’ State Theatre for the event billed “Original 7ven/Band Formerly Known as the Time Homecoming Concert” on November 5. The crowd flowed in, anticipation charging the air, part and parcel of which was nearly everyone decked out to the nines, clogging the main floor lobby, glad hands all around, seeing and being seen. When the lights flickered, signaling just a few minutes to show time, folk abruptly ceased styling, profiling and running their mouths to go get their seats. And soon as Morris Day, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Jesse Johnson, Jellybean Johnson, Monte Moir and Jerome Benton got busy, it seemed everyone in the audience simply “lost they mind.”

That’s how it went for 75 minutes. A civilized assemblage turned enraptured mob reveling in the return of their heroes. Continue Reading →

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