But reporting specifically on hiring of Blacks still won’t happen
By Charles Hallman
Minneapolis Civil Rights Director Velma Korbel pledged recently that her department will have a “distinct presence” in addressing issues of employment equity and monitoring construction hiring goals in the city. She also said, however, that the department is still not in a position to specify how many African Americans have found work on publicly funded construction projects. “The [Minneapolis] City Council was very clear that they needed someone riding herd on the work that happens” in the city, said Korbel recently to a small group of city residents March 22 in South Minneapolis at an Early Mornings with [City Council Member] Elizabeth [Glidden] event. “One of the main things we are working on right now is the NFL stadium,” she pointed out. The Minnesota Vikings stadium workforce goals are 32 percent “minority” and six percent women. Continue Reading →
By Mel Reeves
After a public pressure campaign led by Occupy Homes MN ’s Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone, Gayle Lindsey, a nursing assistant and grandmother in South Minneapolis who was facing imminent eviction, has won an 11th-hour loan modification on her mortgage from M&T Bank. Lindsey bought the home in 2001 and was given an adjustable-rate loan that rose by a few hundred dollars last year. “I was struggling, but I still paid, it,” she said. But, last year, hours on her second job were cut from 30 per week to only five, and she found that she was unable to afford her monthly payments.
Early last year, she said, M&T Bank, based in Buffalo, New York, sent a letter threatening foreclosure. Continue Reading →
Intensive home program supports students and their families
By Dwight Hobbes
Way to Grow Executive Director Carolyn Smallwood is passionate about the community empowerment institution. Sitting in a South Minneapolis coffee shop, she animatedly attests, “I have been blessed over the past eight years to be affiliated with such a great organization. It’s an honor. We have great staff. We’ve made a
significant impact in the community. Continue Reading →
Divas in Motion brings unique shoe styles to Twin Cities
By Jamal Denman
Divas in Motion is a small, intimate boutique located on the corner of 60th Street and Nicollet Avenue in South Minneapolis. It specializes in offering unique, one-of-a-kind women’s footwear that is not likely to be found anywhere else in the state. Divas in Motion offers limited quantities of fashionable flats, heels, wedges and boots, as well as a warm and friendly atmosphere for every customer they serve.The concept for Divas in Motion came from 29-year-old owner and entrepreneur Tashawna Williams. Williams earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, where she also played basketball and became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. The Minneapolis native — who is also the youngest of five siblings — returned to her hometown and became a teacher and mentor. Although she liked the fact that she was teaching and working with youth, Williams still felt like something was missing in her professional life. Continue Reading →
On Saturday, September 1 at Phelps Park on 39th and Chicago Avenue South in Minneapolis, the Third Annual Back in the Day gathering was held to reunite people who grew up in the community with youth and elders. Approximately 400 people attended the event.
[nggallery id=16] Continue Reading →
By Dwight Hobbes
Arriving at renowned Watershed High School in South Minneapolis and walking to the “Hip Hop, History and the Arts” classroom to speak with curriculum founder-instructor Chadwick “Niles” Phillips is, to say the least, an interesting experience. The students have wrapped up rehearsal for the day, and he’s prepping them for the following evening’s premier of their artistic outing, “The Youth Performance Series (Act 4).”
This is, it’s clear, not simply a gathering reminiscent of Fame. These “at-risk” adolescents of color are taking advantage of the vital opportunity to pursue an alternative to the street life that more and more often sees minority youth ending up either victims or perpetrators of violent crime. The class is a viable alternative to having idle time on their hands and unwittingly following a dead-end path to a trouble-laden future. It’s a chance to begin realizing an ambition to do something positive with themselves and enjoy having their dreams nurtured to the fullest extent possible. Continue Reading →
On Friday, July 6, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. (standing at center in left photo, with basketball in right photo) shared his success with his old neighborhood by donating a new basketball court to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in South Minneapolis. Parents and youth were invited to the court’s unveiling, which included food, beverages and ice cream compliments of Larry, Jr. and visits from Minnesota Lynx stars Monica Wright and Rebekkah Brunson. See more photos from the event on this week’s Sports Page. Photos by James L. Stroud, Jr.
Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
The 2011 documentary I Want My Name Back makes its Minnesota premiere March 14 at the Trylon Microcinema in South Minneapolis. It documents the rise and fall of the Sugarhill Gang, which is widely credited for kick-starting commercial hip hop music in 1979. “It’s a controversial documentary,” said director Roger Paradiso in a phone interview with the MSR last week. The story on how the group came together has been considered one of the most controversial stories in hip hop: The late singer Sylvia Robinson reportedly heard Henry Jackson rapping and asked him if he was interested in joining a group. Jackson then became Big Bank Hank, and teamed up with Wonder Mike (Michael Wright) and Master Gee (Guy O’Brien) and formed the Sugarhill Gang in 1979. Continue Reading →
By Dwight Hobbes
“I was tired of seeing our youth in the community hopeless, lost without leadership and fatherless.” That could be just about anyone talking about conditions that have gone on in Black communities for what by now feels to many of us like an eternity. It could be just about anyone who gave up hope and walked away, if not finding a way to leave the community then just turning off mentally and emotionally, no longer caring. Instead, exactly the opposite, it’s Minneapolis MAD DADS CEO and President V.J. Smith, explaining why he rolled up his sleeves and stepped to and, in October of 1998, established the Minneapolis Chapter of Men Against Destruction-Defending Against Drugs and Social-Disorder, Inc. (MAD DADS).
V.J. Smith, right, in the streets ‘promoting hope’
A mere glimpse at statistics exposes the need for Minneapolis MAD DADS. In 2001, African American males were 32 percent of all prison inmates in Minnesota with 25 percent of all arrests in the state occurring in Minneapolis. Continue Reading →