Savor Black Minnesota history: 12 notable landmarks

MSR building
Paige Elliott/MSR News The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR) is located at 3744 4th Avenue in Minneapolis

The MSR, celebrating a living legacy

On August 10, 2021, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR) will begin its 87th year of publishing and serving the community. The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder enjoys a living rich history as the oldest Black-owned newspaper in the state of Minnesota and one of the longest-standing family-owned newspapers in the country. 

Civil rights activist and businessman Cecil E. Newman launched the MSR in August 1934 as two separate papers, the Minneapolis Spokesman and the St. Paul Recorder, before it merged into one single news publication in 2000. 

Today, the MSR is helmed by his granddaughter, Tracey Williams-Dillard, who serves as CEO/Publisher. For the past 86 years, the MSR has established itself as a trusted voice for the diverse Black communities of Minnesota, championing voices and stories that might otherwise go unheard. 

The MSR’s mission is to provide timely news and information focused on community empowerment and education while championing underrepresented voices. More than just a newspaper, this includes creating content that not just informs, but also inspires, educates and encourages conversations that go beyond today’s news headlines. 

In addition to serving as a trusted source for Black news and information, the paper is also a cherished cultural resource. The MSR’s building was designated as a local historic landmark on November 20, 2015, by a full Minneapolis City Council vote.