Rev. Jerry McAfee

Recent Articles

MPD chief a no-show at community forum on police violence

Harteau’s absence attributed to ‘public safety’ threats
By Khymyle Mims

Contributing Writer

This past Thursday night, citizens from across the city gathered at the Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis to take part in a “listening session” with the chief of police and other individuals who teach and work in the criminal justice field. Over 100 people from the community gathered to ask questions and express their concerns about police corruption and brutality in Minneapolis and elsewhere around the country. The plan was to direct these concerns to a panel consisting of Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, U of M Professor Dr. Rose Brewer, and author and Metropolitan State University Criminal Justice Professor Jason Sole, as well as lawyer and chair of the Police Conduct Oversight Commission Jennifer Singleton. Instead, the crowd addressed only Sole, Brewer and Singleton due to Harteau deciding not to attend. It was later relayed to the audience that Harteau’s decision came from her feeling it was not safe for her to participate. Continue Reading →

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What we know now…

We’ve learned that to the State, the families of incarcerated men and women are a source of extra taxes for prison budgets

By Sharon Brooks

Guest Commentator


It is no secret that a lot of Black people, particularly young Black men but also way too many Black women, are in prison all across America. But it is not very well known that for each Black person locked up in Minnesota’s prisons, the State allots $35,000 (each) to house and “take care” of them. For Black men in Minnesota prisons, this cost is $35,000 times about 5,000, which is roughly 50 percent of the 9,700 inmates incarcerated here in our great state. Yes, we have been informed that Black people make up more than 50 percent of the prison population here in Minnesota even though less than six percent of the entire state population is Black people. What? Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis NAACP on the move?


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 →

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Black Minnesotans lobby at the State Capitol

Can the new ‘Black agenda’ move the community forward? 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


There was nothing new revealed last week during the Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM) Lobby Day at the State Capitol presenting their Black agenda to this year’s Minnesota Legislature. Billed as “Black Minnesotans Helping Move Minnesota Forward,” around 50 people listened on March 19 at the Capitol Rotunda to over 20 scheduled speakers before many of them visited legislators’ offices. “The last two years there was a collective group that sat on this African American lobby day, and this place was filled,” noted Rev. Jerry McAfee, who added that the COBM “didn’t reach out to anybody else. If this is about Black Minnesotans, why are you leaving Black folk out?”

Although McAfee didn’t blame the council’s new executive director, Edward McDonald, for the seemingly solo effort in planning last week’s event, the longtime pastor nonetheless added, “Some of the people around him on the council knew about it, and they should’ve said, ‘We will be stronger if we put everybody in together.’”

McDonald was hired and assumed the COBM executive duties last October. “Whether we like them [organizations that represent Blacks] or don’t like them, every African American group should have been a part of this, and there should have been meetings prior to this so that there could [be] one agenda. Continue Reading →

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Marriage amendment divides Black Christians

Local Black clergy on opposite sides express their views


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

The issue of same-sex marriage has been a controversial one for Black people, especially after President Barack Obama expressed his opinion on it last spring. The MSRspoke with two local Black ministers, one feels that the amendment represents “the Bible’s way,” while the other says it defines the GLBT community as the “other.”

Rev. Jerry McAfee pastors New Salem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He admits that the president’s announcement in May disturbed him, believing that it was ill-timed. “I’ve been quite vocal on what the president did, not because he made the statement but at the timing of the statement. What I did not like was [that] he made the statement without talking to his African American constituents first — at least we could have helped him couch this thing in such a way that it would have been palatable. Continue Reading →

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Contract for Student Achievement can transform our public schools



Today the Black community has an opportunity to take real leadership in ending our cities’ persistent educational crisis. We have an opportunity to change the game by impacting the negotiations that are currently happening between the Minneapolis Public School District and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT). We can do this by individually and collectively raising our voices in support of the Contract for Student Achievement (CSA). CSA is a manifesto created by active parents, citizens and stakeholders. It calls on the district administration and MFT to “negotiate a different kind of contract — one that recognizes the academic crisis in our schools and makes student achievement the top focus.”

As stated in the CSA, “The teachers’ contract currently being negotiated represents almost $240 million in annual wages and benefits and directly controls who is teaching our children in the classroom. Continue Reading →

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