Tracey Williams-Dillard

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Back In The Day 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approximately 600 people gather at at Phelps Park in Minneapolis on August 30 for the  Back in the Day Southside Annual Picnic. Pictured front row are (l-r) Tony Price, Tracey Williams-Dillard and Lisa Crawford, and back row Kimuel Hailey and Phillip Crawford. Williams-Dillard, CEO and publisher of the MSR, was awarded the 2014 Southside Back in the Day Outstanding Business Award.            

Photo by Chuck Robinson
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First Black member of the Minneapolis Club honored

It recently came to the attention of officers of the Minneapolis Club that some of its previous members were not represented among the photos of the club’s membership hanging on its walls, including the club’s first African American member, Cecil E. Newman, founder and publisher of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Longtime member Cornell Moore was instrumental in having this oversight corrected. Mr. Newman, invited to join by George Pillsbury in 1965, was a club member until his death in 1976. Present for the installation last week were members of Mr. Newman’s family: (l-r) Wallace “Jack” Jackman, Dr. Tonya Hampton, Tracey Williams-Dillard and Norma Jean Williams.

Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Club
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MSR’s 19th Annual Graduation Celebration

By Raymond Jackson
Contributing Writer

 

 

On Tuesday, May 7, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR) newspaper sponsored its 19th Annual Graduation Celebration to acknowledge African and African American senior students finishing high school. This year’s event was held at Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis.  

Shed G, co-host of The KMOJ Radio Morning Show, emceed the event, which awarded six graduates Cecil E. Newman Scholarships and two graduates Launa Q. Newman scholarships. Cecil Newman is the founder of MSR; his wife, Launa Q. Newman, carried on as publisher after her husband’s death. The food served was home style, with many in attendance returning for seconds. Continue Reading →

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Empty seats

 

By Kevin Reese

Contributing Writer

On February 7 and 8, 2014 there was a Black History Month celebration here at Lino Lakes Correctional Facility where I am currently housed. It was an amazing two-day event filled with heavyweight speakers, soulful music, topped with deep and rich history lessons. We had esteemed and accomplished freedom fighters who demonstrated what the modern-day activist looks like. They all brought different perspectives and showed that there are many different platforms to fight from in the struggle for liberation and justice. In attendance was the Spokesman Recorder’s very own Tracey Williams-Dillard who was so kind to offer the men this media outlet to let our voices be heard. Continue Reading →

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Local civil rights leader Matthew Little passes

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

Matt Little is gone, leaving a legendary legacy. He was widely renowned and will be well remembered as a Civil Rights Era icon who held a soul-deep commitment to empowering the African American community. Graduating North Carolina A&T State University in 1948, he relocated to the Twin Cities and, in 1954 became a board member of the Minneapolis NAACP, beginning a lifelong dedication to the organization. During his career, he was president of that chapter as well as president of the Minnesota state NAACP. Far from being a figurehead, Little was hands-on and counted among his most prized memories filing a federal lawsuit to integrate the Minneapolis Fire Department. Continue Reading →

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What does the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce do for Black business?

Many Black business owners are not sure
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The overarching question of the MSR multi-part series on local Black businesses is, “Do Blacks support each other?” During our interviews with many local Black business owners, they told us that they are not members of the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC), which describes itself as “an alliance of business leaders and entrepreneurs” whose main vision “is to promote and improve the general welfare, prosperity and inter-connectedness of the community of African descent.”

Avenue Eatery Owner Sammy McDowell said he knows about the chamber but is not a member: “I don’t know what it is all about.”

“If I see what it is…if it’s something good for us to be in, I wouldn’t have no problems at all [being a member],” said South Minneapolis barber Cameron Cook. “Why I am not a member? I don’t know. I don’t have an excuse,” responded computer store owner Eugene Banks. “There are a lot of organizations that I am not a part of that I should be a part of. Continue Reading →

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Malls and misconceptions: Black-owned businesses face unique challenges

Second in a series 
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Black-owned businesses in Minnesota have grown steadily over a 20-year span. According to the U.S. Economic Census taken every five years, there were 4,024 Black businesses in 1997; then the number grew to 7,837. The latest count, based on the 2007 census, tallied 12,454 Black-owned businesses in the state. Updated information based on the 2012 census will be released later this fall. However, percentage-wise, Black businesses only make up 2.5 percent of all Minnesota businesses, and just over five percent of all businesses in Hennepin County — nationwide, 13 percent of all U.S. businesses are Black owned. Continue Reading →

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MSR celebrates Minnesota’s Black businesses

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Founded in 1934 by Cecil E. Newman, the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder (MSR) this summer entered its 79th year of publishing the state’s oldest Black weekly newspaper. Tracey Williams-Dillard, granddaughter of Newman, is currently the CEO of Minnesota’s oldest Black-owned business. “He started the newspaper [in the Twin Cities] because when he was in Kansas City, he saw how African Americans were being mistreated, and he knew he needed to do

writings to help his people,” recalls Williams-Dillard of her late grandfather. “Unfortunately the times in Kansas City were so rough for Black people that the opportunity for him to start a newspaper [there] was not going to be too great, so he moved to Minnesota. At the time he started his newspaper here in 1934, there still was almost as much discrimination here as it was in Kansas City.” Over the years, the MSR has profiled and advertised many Black businesses, telling the stories of those that have failed, those that have ended after years of success and those that are thriving today. Continue Reading →

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Jerry Freeman of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder talks about his new novel

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

It’s said that those who can, do, and that those who can’t, teach. In the publishing racket, more than one grousing writer would attest that those who can’t do, edit. Not the case with Jerry Freeman of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR). Freeman has been editing at MSR — which, closing on 80 years, is Minnesota’s longest-lived African American publication (and, for that matter, the state’s oldest minority-owned business) — for the past decade. At the weekly community newspaper, he has developed a nettlesome reputation by assigning staff ace writer Charles Hallman stories delving into no small amount of controversy, among them a story on Black clergy members’ views on gay marriage and the series “Chasing The Tornado Money” (parts one, two, three) on just how much relief funding actually found its way to North Minneapolis victims of the deadly, vastly damaging tornado in 2011. Continue Reading →

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Cecil E. Newman documentary honors MSR founder’s birthday

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Beginning Wednesday, July 25, A Black History Chronicle Exclusive — Cecil E. Newman: The Friendship, the Life and the Legacy, a documentary produced by ShenaBarber.com Productions, will air on a number of websites and local cable channels. This documentary is a tribute to and celebration of the birthday of Cecil E. Newman (July 25, 1903), businessman and publisher of the Minneapolis Spokesman and the St. Paul Recorder (now the MSR). With only $20, Newman founded the newspapers in 1934. Newman had significant local and national influence, with his relationships with U.S. 38th Vice President Hubert Humphrey, U.S. Senator Walter Mondale, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Josie Johnson, and Curtis Chivers (who once worked for the Spokesman and Recorder). Continue Reading →

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