Founded in 1934 by Mr. Cecil Newman, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR), established as the oldest Black business and newspaper in Minnesota, has long been a pillar of the African American community, providing insightful journalism, fostering important conversations, and advocating for social change.
The Legacy Yacht Cruise stood as a testament to the publication’s enduring impact on the community it has served for nearly a century. Guests from various walks of life, including sponsors US Bank (Tim Farrow), Andersen Windows & Doors (Tracey Gibson), and Hue-Man Partnerships (Clarence Jones), a host of top-line vendors, community members, business leaders, and dedicated longtime supporters of the newspaper, gathered for an evening of sophistication and celebration.
Against the backdrop of the sparkling waters, attendees experienced an event that blended the rich history of the publication with contemporary elegance. As the cruise ship embarked on its journey, attendees were treated to a variety of experiences that paid homage to the newspaper’s legacy.
Three floors of orchestrated exhibitions provided a live jazz band, a spectacular array of vendors from some of our top entrepreneurs, and an upper level showcasing the talents of DJ Ray Seville, line dancing with Phyllis ‘Showtime’ Braxton, and a meal that was fit for a country club. Two of the vendors on the Legacy Cruise—DeVonna Pittman of Nature’s Syrup Beauty and Rama McGraw of Tropical Trends were sponsored by US Bank, in supporting small businesses.
Tracey Williams-Dillard (third-generation owner of the paper) gave an account of pivotal moments in the publication’s history and insights into the role of journalism in shaping societal narratives. The evening was a true amalgamation of culture, history, and future aspirations that highlighted the ongoing importance of diverse voices in journalism and the impact they have on fostering understanding and change.
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The Legacy Cruise wasn’t just a celebration of the past, but also a call to action for the future. Amidst the glitz and glamor, attendees were reminded of the journey that lies ahead and the role that media, particularly newspapers like the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, play in addressing and reporting the Black community’s interests.
The event exemplified the newspaper’s commitment to fostering unity, encouraging dialogue, and amplifying the voices of the African American community. As the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder looked back on 88 years of achievement, it also embraced the opportunity to shape the next chapter of its impactful journey.
The cruise was not just an event—it was also a reflection of resilience, progress, and the power of storytelling. As the MSR continues to navigate the evolving landscape of journalism, it does so with the knowledge that its history is a foundation upon which an even brighter future can be built. In the words of Publisher/CEO Williams-Dillard, “Let’s get ready to celebrate 90 years as we plan for 2024!”
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