University of Wisconsin

Recent Articles

When it comes to training dogs, Big D’s a winner

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Even before Michael Vick’s infamous association with and incarceration for dog-fighting, the public imagination did not pair Black men and canines in a particularly shining light. The stereotype held of ghetto thugs, usually drug-dealers, abusing pit bulls by gambling on to-the-death matches or sporting them as vicious, four-legged bodyguards and sentinels for drug or money stashes — all of which makes an enterprise on the order of Big D’s Dog Training (www.bigdsdogtraining.com) all the more refreshingly welcome. Going simply by the moniker Cooper, the internationally recognized behaviorist, handler, and instructor heading up Big D’s Dog Training of Circle Pines, MN owns and operates an inherited family business that couldn’t be farther removed from those unpopular perceptions. The thriving, nationally accomplished concern, he says, “started [in] South Minneapolis under the direction of my father, Catrell Cooper, who gave me the direction of hunting dogs. “My mother, Lucille Cooper…gave me the direction of science in the relation to dogs, and my sister Phyllis…gave me my first dog, Munica, a Mexican Fox Terrier. Continue Reading →

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Prep Scene: Faced with a tough choice, I opted for history

 

Last Thursday evening, I had a choice to make. The top-rated team in Class 3A boys’ basketball, DeLaSalle, was scheduled to play Park Center, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A. Across the metro, a girls’ basketball matchup was scheduled between Robbinsdale Cooper, a Class 4A team among the top 20, and DeLaSalle, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A. Continue Reading →

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Betty Ellison-Harpole: Teaching beyond the recipe, living outside the box

By Alleen Brown

Contributing Writer

 

Betty Ellison-Harpole moved to the Midwest in the 1950s from segregated Memphis, Tennessee. For 37 years she taught kindergarten through third grade, as one of few African American teachers in Minneapolis schools. She piloted the city’s first all-day kindergarten class at Bethune school in the early 1980s. Although she’s retired now, Ellison-Harpole is still active in education circles, and age has not diminished her personality. If you give her the opportunity, she will talk to you for hours about early education, Minneapolis politics, and growing up poor and African American in the South. Continue Reading →

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Black farmers fight to retain land ownership

 
Modern-day struggle renews, redefines 40-acers-and-a-mule promise
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Land ownership, which signaled both privilege and power, was a European concept brought to the country. “The way we think about property is a European tradition,” notes Maria Wiseman, an assistant solicitor in the Division of Indian Affairs with the U.S. Interior Department. Wiseman and the University of Wisconsin’s Katrina Quisumbling King and Jess Gilbert last month discussed the significance of Black farmland ownership in the Rural South at the Black Environmental Thought II conference at the University of Minnesota. The “40 acres and a mule” promise was a result of Special Field Order No. 15 issued by General William T. Sherman in 1865 that was intended to make available “hundreds of thousands of acres of confiscated and abandoned Confederate lands to former slaves for settlement,” explained Wiseman. Continue Reading →

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Prep football season begins

Page, Menifee lead Highland Park  to opener victory
 

The 2012 prep football season started off with a bang last Thursday as some of the state’s best mixed it up on the gridiron. TYCEL PAGE, a senior wide receiver who might be one of the best prep football players you never heard of, and junior running back MALIK MENIFEE paved the way in leading St. Paul Highland Park to a nonconference season-opening 41-10 victory over Jordan last Friday evening. Page caught touchdown passes of 32, 27 and 40 yards, and Menifee rushed for 119 yards and two scores for the Scots. GABRIEL WALKER ran for a touchdown and caught another from quarterback FELIX TAYLOR as defending City Conference champ St. Continue Reading →

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