Two trailblazing cheerleaders were recognized at St. Peter’s Church in Minneapolis: (l-r) Harriet Bowman Solomon, Gwendolyn Morrow Fraction; Rev. Carla Mitchell, pastor of St. Peter’s; and former Minneapolis Public Schools.superintendent Dr. Carolyn Johnson. Few people realize that not only did women athletes cheerleading at sporting events originate right here in Minnesota, … [Read more...]
Welcome to Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder’s Black History Month special edition
“Early in life, I somehow got the feeling that I could succeed even if I were a member of a minority group… I knew that I would have to work hard and never give up. I would have to take many affronts, but if I kept my personal integrity, nothing could defeat me.” — Cecil E. Newman
In 1926, Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week in an effort to recognize African Americans in a history often void of their accomplishments. Surprisingly, this lack of recognition of African Americans and their contributions to society exists even now, almost a century after Woodson’s establishment of Negro History Week, now Black History Month.
Woodson recognized that if Blacks are unaware of their victories, they are more susceptible to give in to defeat under the weight of oppression. Our stories of triumph serve as a roadmap to future successes.
As the oldest Black-owned business in the state of Minnesota, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR), established in August of 1934 by Cecil E. Newman and led today by his granddaughter, Tracey Williams-Dillard, remains dedicated to championing the stories and achievements of the African Americans in the community and beyond.
For over a decade we have offered a special edition insert with feature profiles and reflections in celebration of Black History Month. We hope you enjoy the stories of triumph offered in our Black History Month special section and in each and every week of the MSR.
Marvel Jackson Cooke One hundred years after the birth of Minnesota’s first Black person, Marvel Jackson Cooke made her own history as the first Black birth in the city of Mankato. Her life was full of more firsts on her journey to becoming a pioneering journalist and political activist. Born Marvel Jackson in 1901 to Madison Jackson, the son of a free farmer, and Amy … [Read more...]
With Black History Month in full swing, our hearts and minds have been reflecting on the contributions of prominent and courageous African American women and men who dared to have a transformational impact on the world around them. Selma, the Washington Monument Mall, and Birmingham are a few places that come to mind. But, if you don’t live in or near those places, there are … [Read more...]
George Bonga, ca. 1870 // Photo Credit: Charles Alfred Zimmerman, courtesy MN Historical Society The first Black person born in Minnesota In honor of Black History Month, we’re sharing short clips highlighting the legacy and history of Blacks in Minnesota. This week, we salute George Bonga, the first African American born in Minnesota. In 1802, George Bonga’s birth … [Read more...]
In honor of Black History Month, we’re sharing short clips highlighting the legacy and history of Blacks in Minnesota. This week, we salute Ethel Ray Nance, Minnesota’s first African American policewoman and first African American to work in the state legislature. Ethel Ray Nance // Courtesy Duluth Public Library While the job of stenographer may not seem … [Read more...]