University of Minnesota

Recent Articles

‘Deceptive speed’ gives outfielder a defensive edge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are approximately 100 African American and other student-athletes of color this school year at the University of Minnesota. In an occasional series throughout the 2013-14 school and sports year, the MSR will highlight these players. This week: Gopher outfielder Jordan Smith

 

If there were such an award, Jordan Smith would be the hands-down winner this season for MVP — most versatile player honors — on the Gophers baseball team. The redshirt freshman from Eden Prairie, Minnesota has played all three outfield positions. “He’s an outstanding defender out there,” assessed Coach John Anderson. Continue Reading →

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Gopher softball heads for the top

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

There are approximately 100 African American and other student-athletes of color this school year at the University of Minnesota. In an occasional series throughout the 2013-14 school and sports year, the MSR will highlight these players. This week: Gopher softball players Tyler Walker and Madie Eckstrom

 

Juniors Tyler Walker and Madie Eckstrom are two members of a combined two-year recruiting class that helped Minnesota string together three consecutive 30-plus softball win seasons. Before last weekend’s league tournament play, Walker told the MSR that despite losing two of three to the conference regular season co-champs Wolverines in a series at Ann Arbor, “We can play with the top teams. We are one of the top

teams.”

The U of M went unbeaten and won the Big Ten softball tournament in Evanston, Ill. last weekend. Continue Reading →

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Gopher candidates for NFL Draft find the experience ‘overwhelming’

 

 

 

There are approximately 100 African American and other student-athletes of color this school year at the University of Minnesota. In an occasional series throughout the 2013-14 school and sports year, the MSR will highlight these players.  

This week: Gopher football players Ra’Shede Hageman and Brock Vereen

 

The waiting game hopefully is nearing its end for former Gophers Ra’Shede Hageman and Brock Vereen. These two are the only Minnesota players being considered in this year’s NFL Draft, which begins Thursday. If projections are accurate, Hageman will be the first Minneapolis City Conference player to be selected in the opening round and Vereen, the Valencia, Calif. Continue Reading →

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U of M study: Race matters most in determining who breathes bad air

The Twin Cities earn yet another racial disparities distinction
 

By Isaac Peterson
Contributing Writer

In April, researchers at the University of Minnesota released a study showing that people of color in the U.S. typically breathe air that is 38 percent more polluted compared to their White counterparts. The study concluded that race and income are major contributing factors in how much polluted air is breathed, but that race matters more than income. Using satellite observations, data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and maps of land uses, the research team was able to compare the geographic data with Census figures to determine socioeconomic disparities in air pollution exposure. The study was national in scope and provided information on air pollution on a nationwide basis, broken down to show comparisons between urban and rural areas as well by city, county, and state. The pollutant the study tracked was nitrogen dioxide (NO2), one of the main pollutants targeted by the EPA, which considers it one of the most significant threats to air quality. Continue Reading →

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Bertha Mae Johnson Smith

February 12, 1920 — April 18, 2014

Bertha Mae Johnson Smith passed away peacefully at the golden age of 94 on Good Friday, April 18, 2014. Bertha was the first African American school teacher in the Minneapolis Public School District. She was a dedicated educator and was active in her community until her health failed her. Sister Bertha Smith was born on February 12, 1920, in Des Moines, Iowa. When she was five years old, her mother died and she and her siblings were left in the temporary care of a White family before moving to North Minneapolis with her grandmother and father. Continue Reading →

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Black female strength coach a true rarity

Conclusion of a two-part column

 

If it’s hard being a Black female coach in any sport, it’s more than likely harder still for a Black female strength coach. Mia Erickson of the Mayo Clinic Performance Center in Rochester, Minn. was the only Black among the four-person sport science panel at the U of M Tucker Center Women Coaches Symposium in February. “That’s just the way it is on seeing [strength] coaches that look like me,” she admits. “First of all, I’m in a male-dominated field, so there are not going to be a lot of female coaches. Continue Reading →

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A sports reporter’s spring notebook cleaning

Marlene Stollings’ second hire on her Gopher women’s basketball coaching staff is Nikita (Niki) Dawkins. She is a 23-year coaching veteran who has been a VCU assistant coach the last two seasons and held similar positions at Old Dominion, Michigan and Ohio State, her alma mater. In a released statement, Stollings called Dawkins, whose duties include recruiting coordinator, “one of the top assistants in the country.” She joins Tiffanie Couts, who Stollings named director of basketball operations. Couts was a grad assistant last season at VCU. The women are the only two Blacks on the staff. Continue Reading →

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Civil rights tour opened students’ eyes to Black history

 Spring break trip field trip encouraged thoughts of college, attending HBCUs
 

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

Over 40 Minneapolis Public Schools’ (MPS) Black high school students, instead of spending spring break on a sunny beach, traveled down south by bus on a “Civil Rights Research Tour.” The five-day tour (March 31-April 5) took the students to Montgomery, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia and stopped at several historic sites, including the 16th Street Baptist Church, where four young Black girls died in 1964. For some students, the trip also included stops at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Four of the participants spoke to the MSR last week about their experience. “It helped me learn more about my history,” said Edison junior Nailah Heard. “I never heard of the 16th Street Church at all,” added Edison’s classmate Jasmine Valentine. Continue Reading →

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It’s hard being a Black coach — and harder yet as a Black female coach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First of two parts
 
The firing drum that has slowly banged for Mike Woodson since mid-winter reached its crescendo Monday when he was fired as New York Knicks head coach. The final drumbeat came last week when Woodson wasn’t involved in the usual coach-conducted players’ exit interviews. We are midway through the 21st century’s second decade, and we still only use one hand to count the number of Black coaches in any one of the five major leagues: four Black NBA coaches, two males and a female in the WNBA, three Black MLB managers, four NFL coaches. We’re still waiting for a Black coach in the National Hockey League. One-hand counting is still used in college basketball and football at all three NCAA divisions as well. Continue Reading →

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Condoleezza Rice: war criminal, race hustler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a myriad of reasons why Condoleezza Rice was a bad choice to speak at the University of Minnesota on Keeping Faith with a Legacy of Justice: the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The first is that it is downright hypocritical. Rice is not an expert on Civil Rights. In fact, her life and her career are all a reflection of her disdain for civil rights. Neither Rice nor her family believed in the efficacy of the struggle for the rights of Black people to be free of Jim Crow racism in the United States. Continue Reading →

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