From the MSR Legacy Archives

As part of our celebration over the next several months of 80 years of continuous publication, the MSR will be republishing notable stories from our extensive archives of more than 4,000 weekly issues of African American news in Minnesota. Many of our readers will surely recognize friends, family and neighbors from the distant and not-so-distant past — such as the students photographed below with MSR founder Cecil Newman, featured in the June 8, 1951 issue of the Minneapolis Spokesman.

Grads Honored At Dinner

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Benjamin Zachery, 320 St. Anthony, and Constance Brown, 931 St. Anthony look over a pamphlet on job possibilities held by Cecil E. Newman, publisher of the St. Paul Recorder and Minneapolis Spokesman newspapers. The two were among 46 Negro students graduating from St. Paul high schools who were honored at a dinner sponsored by the St. Paul Urban League Monday, June 4 at the YWCA. Newman was the principal speaker.

The newspaper editor told the graduates their future was in their own hands. He said he hoped that they felt that their graduation was the commencement of a fuller and more useful life.

Newman said it was unfortunate that the 1951 class was finishing at a time when the world was in a turmoil

“For this situation,” he said, “1951 graduates are certainly not responsible, but I would point out that the bulk of the responsibility for settlement of the world’s ills may well fall on your shoulders.”

He urged the graduates not to use the accident of color as an excuse for not accomplishing their goals.