MPS superintendent bids farewell to all-consuming job

She leaves proud of many achievements as ‘a fierce advocate for children’

Among the “frustrating challenges” she often faced during her nearly five years as Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) superintendent was the unfair “characterization” she received from some in the Black community, says Bernadeia Johnson, who announced her resignation last month. Her last day is January 31.

MPS superintendent bids farewell to all-consuming job Read More

Mall protester Levy-Pounds vows to fight charges

Bloomington presses ahead with effort to recover ‘lost revenues’

Despite written pleas by local and national elected officials and a petition with over 40,000 signatures against it, the City of Bloomington has announced it will seek “lost revenues” from 10 people associated with last month’s Black Lives Matter Minneapolis demonstration at the Mall of America.

Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson, who filed charges last week, is seeking restitution, including at least $25,000 in police overtime, stated a Black Lives Matter Minneapolis press release last week.

University of St. Thomas Law Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, one of the 10 persons charged with up to eight misdemeanors, told the audience at the January 15 Council on Black Minnesotans’ (COMB) Day on the Hill in St. Paul, “I was charged…because I have been outspoken against police misconduct [and] police brutality.” She characterized the action as “prosecutorial overreach and misuse of taxpayers’ dollars.”

Levy-Pounds, in a brief MSR interview after her scheduled appearance at St. Paul’s Christ Lutheran Church, said that the charges against her, if she were found guilty, carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison and an $8,000 fine, which “is retaliatory in nature because I have been outspoken in the media about the tactics being used by Johnson and Mall of America.”

Mall protester Levy-Pounds vows to fight charges Read More

From the MSR Legacy Archives: Juvenile Jive Part 1

Creep, leap, holler and wail, cause I am about to begin my tale: There was a jump at Banham’s on Friday night and I mean cats were really jumping…well, all night. Some of the fine feminine were Jean Cannon, Sally Williams, Jane House, and many more fine chicks. Also saw Virginia Beasly, who was looking mighty fine — Jack.

From the MSR Legacy Archives: Juvenile Jive Part 1 Read More

Where is Dr. King’s call for ‘community’ today?

There are several definitions for the word “community” according to Webster’s Dictionary. They include “a unified body,” “people with common interests,” and “society at large.”

These definitions seem to get at what the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once referred to, first in a speech at a church conference in Nashville, Tenn. in December 1962, and then reiterated a few months later in a published article he wrote for Religion and Labor in May 1963.

All humankind is part of a community, wrote Dr. King. “At the heart of all that civilization has meant and developed in “community,” King points out, “is the mutually cooperative and voluntary venture of man to assume a semblance of responsibility for his brother… Man could not have survived without the impulse which makes him the societal creature he is.”

Tragic incidents in Ferguson, New York City, Cleveland and elsewhere in 2014 have joined together Blacks and other people of color, as well as non-people of color, to loudly protest for change, for full respect of all in areas of justice in America. Do the emergence of these protests in the streets and public places of America serve as a cry for what the late Dr. King often suggested — assuming a responsibility for our brothers?

Where is Dr. King’s call for ‘community’ today? Read More

Families urged to learn more about PSEO

Project offers ‘an amazing chance’ for high school students of color’

Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) classes allow Minnesota high school juniors and seniors to earn college credits that can be applied at most local colleges and universities around the state. These classes are offered on college campuses and are available “to all pupils in grades 8, 9, 10 and 11,” says the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) website, which also points out that most classes are only open to high school juniors and seniors.

Families urged to learn more about PSEO Read More


As part of our celebration over the next several months of our 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 be sure to recognize friends, family and neighbors from the distant and not-so-distant past — such as the passing of one of the last surviving Black Civil War veterans reported in the April 13, 1945 issue of the Minneapolis Spokesman.