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Local churches take up fight against diabetes

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Diabetes is the “gateway disease” that often can lead to other health concerns, especially for Blacks. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one of every three Blacks in this country either has diabetes or is pre-diabetic, and nearly 39 percent of Black Minnesotans’ deaths are caused by diabetes. As a result, Stairstep Foundation/His Works United, in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health, has partnered with 11 local Black churches to host classes to help people avoid becoming diabetic. “My church has been doing this way before other churches,” claims local school nurse Beverly Propes, a member of Friendship Baptist Church. Her church and Wayman AME Church have been partners in this effort for about five years. Continue Reading →

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Godfather of Black psychology identifies Black strengths needed to counter harmful impact of mass media

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Black youth today “have a future of unknown opportunities…and need our support to get there,” said a longtime advocate for youth empowerment at a February 26 Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Black History Month event held at the MPS Davis Center. Retired psychologist Dr. Joseph White spoke to nearly 150 people on the importance of young Blacks understanding their strengths. A pioneer of culturally relevant practices in education, youth development and psychology, White was in town last week and made several appearances for Black History Month sponsored by Minneapolis-based Youthprise and the Cultural Wellness Center. “When we talk about our youth, the last remaining challenge in America is taking charge of our destiny. That is the challenge now in the 21st century,” White proclaimed, adding that Blacks have survived “two periods of Black history” in this country. Continue Reading →

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Letter to the Editor: A call for 21st century Black consciousness

 

First of all, our greatest gift to America is our humble humanity. Black people, we are in deep trouble with our Afro-American ideology. The responsibility of a community concerns everybody living in that community, whether you are rich or poor. We have fewer tomorrows than we had yesterdays. From slavery to today the White majorities haven’t allowed us to accumulate too many positive economic attributes. Continue Reading →

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Unchained to portray Black slavery? Was there a politically correct way for Django Unchained to portray Black slavery?

 

The start of 2013 is making it difficult to avoid one of America’s greatest sins — slavery. We’ve just marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and a plethora of films, documentaries and TV specials are scheduled to address slavery. One blockbuster hit that’s playing in cinemas now, and is likely to walk away with several Golden Globes and Oscars, is Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Django Unchained depicts a slave-turned-bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx) who fearlessly treks across the U.S. to find his wife (Kerry Washington) in order to rescue her from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). The film is classic Tarantino: a homage to the spaghetti western with romance and revenge narrative. Continue Reading →

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Spielberg’s Lincoln begs the question: Where is Fred?

 

 

By Marc Morial

Guest Commentator

 

“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.” — Frederick Douglass. No doubt many of you will take the opportunity during the holiday break to see the movie Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s much-acclaimed dramatization of Abraham Lincoln’s determined and ultimately successful 1865 fight for the passage of the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery. I came away from the movie impressed with its gripping depiction of the legislative maneuvering and horse-trading that Lincoln employed to win passage of the amendment. However, I am concerned that the movie leaves the false impression that the fight to end slavery was waged solely by White men in Washington and White (as well as a few Black) soldiers on the battlefield. Continue Reading →

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Lincoln, the movie: What’s missing?

By Gary L. Flowers

Guest Commentator

 

“‘Negro History’ is the missing segment of world history.” — Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson was right when he essentially said that Black history is the missing pages of world history. Never was such so true than in the movie Lincoln. While I, as a “weekend historian,” was impressed by Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of the 16th president of the United States, my knowledge of history begged questions: “Why were Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman not portrayed or mentioned?” or “Why was the ancient Egyptian mathematical formula attributed to the Greek mathematician Euclid?”

The movie Lincoln is politically presidential, yet porous on people who influenced the end of the American Civil War. The holes in the Steven Spielberg’s epic film are rooted in Hollywood’s tendency to omit key historical personalities and events from biopics. History reminds us that Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth all played significant roles in the American Civil War, and thus in the decisions of President Lincoln. Continue Reading →

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Africans, African Americans must discuss shared history, says African-born pastor

 

 

 

 
By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

 

African Americans and African immigrants are forever linked, says the pastor of St. Philip and St. Thomas Episcopal Church, St. Paul. “A mass movement of Africans from Central Africa to West Africa” in the 16th century eventually caused “a breakdown of the core African values of love, respect…and cohesiveness,” explains Father James Wilson as he spoke during a combined worship service of the congregations of his church and St. Continue Reading →

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