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James on Jazz: Compassion in the age of social media

Billie Holiday

When I see photos of Holiday in gowns, smiling, I think about the profound courage it must have taken to get on stage and sing in front of crowds, all the while newspaper reporters were repeatedly chronicling explicit and unpleasant details of her life, instead of focusing on her amazing talent, and serious devotion to her craft. Continue Reading →

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MOA outwitted after Twitter fiasco

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The Mall of America (MOA) got caught with its underwear around its ankles last week when it tried to launch a #itsmymall Twitter campaign to promote the mall and to try to overcome the black eye it gave itself after its inane, but predictable, response to the peaceful anti-police violence protest last December. Continue Reading →

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Richard Sherman’s post-game comments overblown by information bubbles

 

 

 

The information bubble-blowers are ever on the job. In case you forgot, an information bubble is produced oftentimes by the media, sending out information that confirms any misbeliefs fans already have about a certain person — and usually that person is Black. I watched Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman’s post-game comments. If you are among those who don’t know what the young man said, here is the gist of it:

“I’m the best cornerback in the game,” said Sherman. “When you try me with a sorry receiver like [San Francisco’s Michael] Crabtree, that’s the result you are going to get.”

Sherman afterwards has been called everything but a child of God. Continue Reading →

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Noelle Scaggs from Fitz and The Tantrums talks touring, music and her three wishes

 

 

 

 

By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer

“I love the rush of performing on stage, and watching the emotional responses from the crowd,” says Noelle Scaggs the dynamic co-lead singer extraordinaire of Fitz and the Tantrums. “It’s always a great challenge for me to get the most stoic person in the room dancing and shouting towards the end of the show.”

Fitz and The Tantrums brought their “soul-influenced indie-pop,” to the metro area when they performed club Myth in Maple Grove November 21. The L.A. based band has created a name for themselves with soon-to-be pop classics from their second and most recent studio album, More Then Just a Dream, which was released in May of this year to critical and popular acclaim. The forming of the band, much like its sound, was from a place of impulse, synchronicity, fun and inspiration. Lead singer, Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick formed the band from friend and fellow musician Saxophonist James King, who recommended singer Scaggs and Drummer John Wicks. When Wicks brought in bassist Joseph Karnes and keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna to the clique of Fitz, the synchronicity was apparent and unstoppable. Continue Reading →

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Campaign launched to educate uninsured Minnesotans about Obamacare

Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS) is launching a campaign to help educate uninsured Minnesotans about the benefits and availability of new health insurance plans available through MNsure and help them get enrolled. “Thousands of Minnesotans without insurance will be able to enroll in more affordable, quality health insurance plans — but that’s only if they know where to go for information, how to get their questions answered, and how to enroll,” said Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of PPMNS. “That’s why we are launching this campaign to help educate eligible, uninsured women about the new options available to them.”

The campaign includes a new webpage at www.ppmns.org/healthinsurance, with enrollment resources and information and how the law benefits women. MNsure-certified navigators will be launching education and enrollment efforts in communities state-wide. Minnesotans can also learn more or speak with a navigator by phone (1-800-230-PLAN) or email (getcovered@ppmns.org). Continue Reading →

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This barbeque season, try something new!

Barbeque season has arrived at last! Time for outdoor cooking under the sun with friends, family, and good music! Having a special meaning for many Black people, the barbeque feast is a tradition that dates back many generations and has passed the test of time. While the layout and form of our barbeque meals may differ across regions and families, the staple items displayed are pretty solid — ribs, chicken, potato salad, greens, slaw and baked beans. OK, perhaps spaghetti and mac and cheese, too. 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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Twitter accounts pose new challenges for college athletes

A new study has found that college student-athletes use Twitter to stay in contact with family and friends, but it also allows fans to be overly negative toward the players. “The Positives and Negatives of Twitter: Exploring How Student Athletes Use Twitter and Respond to Critical Tweets” by Clemson Assistant Communication Studies Professor Jimmy Sanderson and Baylor Assistant Communication Professor Blair Browning, is based on interviews with 20 NCAA athletes. The co-authors also reported that players often get post-game comments that are “critical or even abusive…both performance-wise and personally.” Browning calls such tweets “modern…hate mail.”

The MSR recently asked four University of Minnesota student athletes about their Twitter use:

Junior Maverick Ahanmisi says he occasionally uses it to post pictures “or maybe when I have something that’s really on my mind, then I will use it. I really don’t use it that much.”

“I just got a Twitter account a few months ago, and I’m on it very rarely,” admits senior Leah Cotton. “I use it, but not that often,” adds senior Andre Ingram. Continue Reading →

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