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In the Red and Brown Water Greta Oglesby as Aunt Elegua, Christiana Clark as Oya, and ensemble in the background (Gavin Lawrence, Sonja Parks, John Catron, Aimee K. Bryant, and Celeste Jones) in The Guthrie Theater presentation of the Pillsbury House Theatre and The Mount Curve Company co-production of In the Red and Brown Water. Now thru Sunday, June 5. See website for showtimes & tickets: Photo: 2011 © Michal Daniel

INSIGHT NEWS May 23 - May 29, 2011 • MN Metro Vol. 37 No. 21 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

Tiffeny Powell (foreground) and Lakesha Powell


Soul food entrepreneur promises change in the neighborhood

By Al McFarlane Editor-in-Chief “Like the unique music that originates in the South, Louisiana Fried is the Bourbon Street of Chicken. The unique spicy Cajun flavor will Jazz your taste buds and put a smile on your face, The

spice is right!” That is the promise of young entrepreneur Marzell Harris, who last week declared “Change has come to North Minneapolis!” with the opening of the first Minnesota franchise of Louisiana Famous Fried Chicken. Harris is owner and CEO of the tastefully decorated soul food

eatery at 904 West Broadway, Minneapolis. So if you are looking for authentic Southern food, this is the place for chicken & waffles, delicious Southern fried fish and sides like red beans & rice, mac n cheese, greens and more.

LOUISIANA TURN TO 12 Photos by Brian Bradley Creative

Fall of the Black So all children can succeed Panther Party By Ivan Phifer Staff Writer

By C. Alexander Haywood, Special to the NNPA from Our Weekly “So the concept is this basically: The whole Black nation has to be put together as a Black army. And we gon’ walk on this nation. We gon’ walk on the racist power structure. And we gone say to the government: “Stick em’ up motherf****r, this is a holdup. We’ve come for what’s ours—an excerpt from the 1995 DVD “What We Want, What We Believe: the Black Panther Party Library. It’s been more than three decades since the collapse of the Black Panther Party (for Self Defense), as it was originally titled. After a historic campaign of militant demonstration and persisting community activism, the grassroots alliance that was, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described, “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country,” finally crumbled under the relentless pressure of external opposition in 1970. “Do you want to know why we aren’t still around like the NAACP and all those other Uncle Tom Negroes?” asked Roland Freeman, former leader of the Panther’s Los Angeles Chapter. “It’s because we didn’t want integration, we

wanted progress, and integration aint’ progress. We wanted our communities to be selfsufficient, self-aware and armed. Not walking hand and hand with the enemy.” Freeman added that Huey Newton, the Panther’s founding member, went public with his decision to disband every segment of the party, without informing with his estranged brethren. “He didn’t tell us nothing [Newton],” griped Roland Freeman, former leader of the Panther’s Los Angeles Chapter. “From what I knew, we were supposed to establish a new extension underground in Dallas, Texas, because things were getting too heated on the streets. But, that never happened.” Newton’s knee-jerk reaction to the government’s everlooming presence, prompted other key members of the panthers to break ranks, in an attempt to establish their own power base. “When the split came, all the comrades (who) were revolutionary in their ideals and admirations for the Black Panther Party were on one side; and the other side with Newton and Hilliard represented the dictatorial power,” former field


Twin Cities Anti-violence coalition Turning guns into artwork


The Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood is a community wide effort to ensure all children succeed in school and in life. St Paul is one of 21 communities across the nation selected to receive a Promise Neighborhood planning grant from the US Department of Education. St Paul received a $500,000 phase one

planning grant with $250,000 in matching funds and inkind contributions from local community partners. The Promise Neighborhood effort was inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City, a community based interlocking network of services for children from birth through college. The Harlem Children’s program has received national acclaim for its success in closing the achievement gap.

Suluki Fardan


Hamilton Bell, Director of St. Paul Promise Neighborhood

CBC celebrates 40th anniversary By Ofield Dukes Special to the NNPA [Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles on the history and legislative accomplishment of the Black Members of the U.S. Congress, the Congressional Black Caucus, in advancing Black political empowerment.] Washington, D.C. – This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The contributions of CBC members in ushering a new era of Black political empowerment are enormous. Unfortunately, these history-making legislative accomplishments of Black members of the U.S. Congress are not as well known by their constituents and the new


Lauren aims to inspire others, uplift community


Courtesy of the CBC

Thirteen members of the Congressional Black Caucus were the original founders of the organization in l971. The CBC has now grown to 42 members as the CBC celebrates its 40th anniversary. The 13 founding members in the photo are (front row, from left) are Rep. Robert N.C. Nix, of Pennsylvania; founding CBC Chairman Rep. Charles C. Diggs, Jr., of Michigan, Rep. Shirley Chisholm, of New York, and Rep. Augustus F. Hawkins, of California.


Fast, healthy summer meal tips


generation of young Black Americans as they should be. So, in a classic contemporary alliance between Black politicians and Black publishers, Danny Bakewell, the chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), has invited present and former CBC members to submit commentaries that will appear in local NNPA newspapers about the challenges they faced across America, and especially in the U.S. Congress, in responding to legislative and societal issues relevant to African Americans. I had the privileged of assisting in organizing and coordinating public relations for the first CBC dinner, held on June 18, 1971.



Tavis Smiley reflects on life lessons


Page 2 • May 23 - May 29, 2011 • Insight News

Deseria Galloway outside of Smith Foundry

Photos by Chris Garner

Turning guns into art By Chris Garner Contributing Writer Deseria Galloway of the Twin Cities Anti-Violence Coalition and Wellspring Second Chance Center is one of the few dedicated community members who is committed to keeping the Twin Cities safe. “The Twin Cities AntiViolence Coalition’s mission is to support efforts in the community by addressing violence on every level, specifically gun violence,” said Galloway who recently took the guns she and others collected last year at the ‘Bury Our Guns, Not Our People’ Gun Buy Back and turn them into art. With the help of Smith Foundry sculpture John Poole and Lieutenant Gregory Reinhardt of the Minneapolis Police Department, Galloway was able to melt over 70 weapons down into two separate sculptures that will be given to NorthPoint, Inc. and Shiloh Temple International Ministries, host sites, to the buy back. Galloway believes for each gun they have collected about two lives have been saved. She truly feels it is important to take these symbols of negativity and turn them into symbols of positivity

Steel being poured into the molds to make the sculptures and change. Reinhardt believes that change won’t happen overnight but knows that with community efforts like ‘Bury Our Guns, Not Our People’ can help put an end to gun violence. As head of the Child Abuse unit, he has seen how violent acts effort the community. “Long before someone pulls the trigger, they have to learn violence,” said Reinhardt. “After 20 years of living in violence, you act out.” Galloway is currently in the

process of creating programs through Wellspring Second Chance Center to keep children off the street so they can use their talents toward productivity. It is through collaborative efforts that a little bit of good can be done to change a people. For more information regarding the above events you may contact Twin Cities Anti-Violence Chair, Deseria Galloway at (612) 296-2895 or by email deseria.galloway@

Gun bill is reckless policy making The GOP-led State House of Representatives passed a controversial bill on May 14 that will make significant changes to current gun-related laws in Minnesota. HF 1467, the Omnibus Gun Bill, would greatly expand on a current Minnesota law known as the Castle Doctrine, which allows individuals to execute deadly force in order to prevent danger within their home. Provisions in the bill would not make individuals or communities safer, says State Representative Rena Moran. “Simply put, passage of this bill is unnecessary policy making with reckless results,” said Rep. Moran. “The implications of this bill will do nothing to keep our neighborhoods safe.” Of serious concern by some lawmakers and various organizations is the broadening of what constitutes a dwelling in the Castle Doctrine. In addition to a home, HF 1467 would define dwelling as a temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, overnight stopping accommodation of any kind,

Representative Rena Moran (MN-65A) including a tent, deck, bicycle, sled, or boat. “Minnesota already provides the right for an individual to protect themselves against deadly harm and there hasn’t been one case where a person has been charged when they were defending themselves,” explained Rep. Moran. “This is clearly a politically-motivated bill to appease gun lobbyists and fringe supporters.” Additionally, the bill would necessitate prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that

a person, who uses deadly force against another, did so for a reason outside of feeling threatened. As it is nearly impossible for prosecutors to find evidence to support the way a person feels or thinks, those who oppose the bill believe this provision would allow certain individuals to get away with murder. Law enforcement officials and organizations across the state have voiced their concerns with the bill. The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the Minnesota Sheriffs Association, and then County Attorneys’ Association are all opposed to the bill. “If we’re serious about safeguarding our communities and preventing violence, we should think very carefully about our priorities as lawmakers,” said Rep. Moran. “It is unreasonable and illogical to support a bill loosening state gun laws, while simultaneously slashing the Public Safety budget and cutting programs that keep our streets safe.”

Leading the way in transportation Minnesota is one of five states leading the way using data to guide and prioritize transportation investments, according to a new report by the Pew Center on the States and the Rockefeller Foundation. The other top states are Maryland, Missouri, Oregon and Virginia. States spent an estimated $131 billion on transportation in fiscal year 2010, but many cannot answer critical questions about what returns this investment is generating the report says. The study comes at a time when some members of Congress are proposing that the next surface transportation authorization act, the law that governs the largest federal funding streams for states’ transportation systems, more closely tie dollars to performance.

The report, Measuring Transportation Investments: The Road to Results, found considerable differences among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in linking transportation systems to six key goals important to states’ economic well-being and taxpayers’ quality of life: safety, jobs and commerce, mobility, access, environmental stewardship and infrastructure preservation. In all six categories, Minnesota was found to be “leading the way”; the highest rating given by the PewRockefeller study. “We’re pleased to learn that we’re among the top in the nation in tracking the performance of our transportation system because it’s a key part of our business

practices and helps guide tough investment decisions in this era of tight budgets,” said Tom Sorel, Minnesota Department of Transportation commissioner. The report cites Mn/DOT’s use of performance measures for 10 policy areas identified in its 2009-2028 Statewide Transportation Policy Plan. These measures include adjusting to the transportation needs of a growing and aging population as well as enhancing mobility by reducing congestion on the 9% of the highway system that carries about half of the state’s roadway travel. The full report and fact sheets for each state are available at: transportation. The Minnesota Statewide Transportation Policy Plan is at: planning/stateplan/index.html.

Insight News • May 23 - May 29, 2011 • Page 3

BUSINESS Lauren aims to inspire, uplift community Not many businesses can attribute their launch to a bad hair day. Yet if Ashley Lauren hadn’t awakened one morning with unruly hair when she was 15, she wouldn’t have started Diva Rags. That fledgling enterprise, in turn, begat Diva Rags & Suave Clothing, a South Minneapolis boutique that sells custom clothing, shoes, jewelry and related accessories. While Lauren, now 25, says her business is profitable, counting her riches isn’t her primary motivation in life. She aims to inspire others to follow their dreams and uplift the community, particularly youth. That’s why she conceived the Diva/Suave Project, a nonprofit through which she has donated hundreds of headscarves for cancer patients and others. Numerous items


Ashley Lauren Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane

she sells on the for-profit side—among them, hats, tennis shoes, ties, jeans, shawls

Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Vice President of Sales & Marketing Selene White Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Production Intern Andrew Notsch Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Facilities Support / Assistant Producer, Conversations with Al McFarlane Bobby Rankin Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Staff Writer Ivan B. Phifer Contributing Writers Maya Beecham Brenda Colston Julie Desmond S. Himie Marcia Humphrey Alaina L. Lewis Ryan T. Scott Lydia Schwartz Stacey Taylor Photography Suluki Fardan Tobechi Tobechukwu Contact Us: Insight News, Inc. Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis., MN 55411 Ph.: (612) 588-1313 Fax: (612) 588-2031 Member: Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC), Midwest Black Publishers Coalition, Inc. (MBPCI), National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Postmaster: Send address changes to McFarlane Media Interests, Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55411.

with positive messages such as “Live With Purpose,” “Persevere” and “Believe”—

she also gives away through the nonprofit. As part of her charitable efforts, she also


Work smart with consistent, conservative meetings

CFO Adrianne Hamilton-Butler Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane

and shirts, many of which are emblazoned with “wearable glitter” and gems and inscribed

Photos by Harvey Meyer

teaches and inspires youngsters in after-school classes. In part because of her community service, Lauren was selected a spring semester outstanding student at Metropolitan State University. She calls the honor “humbling and a blessing” that further fuels her philanthropic spirit. The first thing that strikes you about Diva Rags & Suave Clothing, near the corner of Cedar Avenue South and East 42nd Street, is a small “shrine of angels” erected near the front door. This eye-level platform displays photos and memorabilia of several people Lauren admires, including Danny Davis, her grandfather, and Mark Wald, her former high school art teacher. Both are now deceased. “The biggest challenge in my life has been losing these great persons,” says Lauren. “Both always inspired me to keep going. I try to keep their messages and legacy alive through this shrine.” Another striking feature about her business: Lauren herself. She is a petite package of enthusiasm and eversmiling positivity. She admits to sometimes behaving like a diva—hence the business’ name; a number of her girl

Plan Your Career By Julie Desmond If you follow Gram around for a day, you’ll spend most of that day in meetings. Gram manages six teams in a high profile department. Gram is responsible for a fat budget, so his teams have to be effective. Many employees dread meetings. The very word, Meeting, in the subject line of an email can make people cringe and hide their calendars. Gram spends most of every day involved in meetings, and yet no one complains when a meeting is called. Gram’s meetings are effective because, some of the time, his teams may not realize there’s a meeting being held. How does he do that? Gram says the keys are consistency and a conservative guest list. Gram’s teams are subjected

to only one recurring gathering weekly. This is a formal team conversation, with a strict agenda. The meeting starts promptly. Gram provides a written agenda that looks curiously similar week after week. The heading reads: Weekly Team Update Meeting. Below that are two discussion topics, and below that a series of five numbered lines. This is the to-do list. As each person gives their update in a prescribed order and with no sidebars or digressions, the others make notes on the todo list and follow up after the meeting. After updates, the group discusses the topics of the week. At the thirty minute mark, the meeting adjourns. These meetings are consistent: the routine of the meeting ensures that everyone plays by the rules so the session is efficient and effective. They also have a conservative guest list: if you aren’t on this team, no need to stop by. The other meetings dotting Gram’s day don’t look like meetings at all. For example, when a salesperson brings in a contract, Gram always

walks the seller to the Wall of Fame where the sale is posted and discussed: Where did this relationship come from? How did the sale occur? What additional needs does the buyer have? This is a brief, stand-up, celebratory meeting. But it is a meeting. And it is effective because it has consistency and a conservative guest list. Other, similar get-togethers occur at prescribed times. The favorite is a 3:00 hot-lap. This

is a brainstorming session with anyone who needs to get out of the building. Those who join in walk about a quarter mile through nearby neighborhoods. The discussion is high-energy and may or may not involve business. It’s like open-mike time with the boss and it’s both consistent and optional. Training meetings take place when Gram pulls a chair up to someone’s desk. These visits happen on short notice.

They usually include 2-4 employees who are struggling with similar issues. Consistency and a conservative guest list. Just because someone needs a meeting, doesn’t mean it has to look or smell like a meeting. Julie Desmond is a recruiter with Specialized Recruiting Group in Minneapolis. Write to

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EDUCATION Afterschool alliance honors Minneapolis Mayor Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was honored as an “Afterschool Champion” by the national Afterschool Alliance at a breakfast in Washington, D.C. on May 17. Mayor Rybak was honored for championing the Minneapolis Promise, engaging with the Minneapolis Youth Congress and spearheading Minneapolis’ Youth Violence Prevention initiative. He was one of just nine state champions from around the country honored for supporting and working on behalf of afterschool programs. “Mayor Rybak has been a tireless and true champion for the city’s youth,” said Laura LaCroix-Dalluhn, Executive Director of Youth Community Connections: Minnesota’s Statewide Afterschool Alliance, who nominated Mayor Rybak for the Afterschool Champion honor. “He knows that we must work on multiple fronts to help ensure a righter future for young people and he has dedicated himself and the city to achieving that goal.” “The real champions are the thousands of volunteers in our community of keep working in big and small ways to make sure we don’t stop caring about our youth once the school bell rings,” said Mayor Rybak. Mayor Rybak was honored as

an Afterschool Champion for his work with: The Minneapolis Promise, an innovative cluster of coordinated efforts that eliminate barriers to college for Minneapolis students. The Minneapolis Promise provides young people with high-quality summer jobs, privately-funded College and Career Centers in every public high school that help them plan a vision for their future, and financial assistance to attend college. The Minneapolis Youth Congress, an organization of 55 teens in 8th through 12th grade from neighborhoods across Minneapolis who collaborate with elected officials to create and influence public policy that positively affect local youth. Minneapolis’ Youth Violence Prevention initiative, a multi-year collaboration in 22 Minneapolis neighborhoods that treats youth violence as a public-health epidemic that requires a holistic, multi-faceted response. The four goals of the initiative’s Blueprint for Action are to connect every youth to a trusted adult, intervene at the first sign that youth are at risk of violence, restore youth who have gone down the wrong path, and unlearn the culture of violence in the community.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak

Wikimedia Commons

Since 2006, the number of youth suspects in violent crime in Minneapolis has declined 62%, and the number of youth arrested for violent crime has declined 52%. “Afterschool programs are lifeline for working families, they keep kids safe and — most importantly — inspire them to learn,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “Today, we are proud to honor the state champions who have dedicated themselves to ensuring that children have access to these crucial programs.” The “Breakfast of Champions” is part of the 10thannual Afterschool for All Challenge, sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance, which brings together hundreds of parents, educators, children, program directors and advocates from around the country for a series of events and meetings with members of Congress. Following the breakfast, participants fanned out across Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress about the importance of afterschool programs and expanding opportunities for kids to engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineer and Math) activities in those programs. 2011 is the Year of Science in Afterschool.

Joan Franks named Minnesota’s 2011 National Distinguished Principal Joan Franks, principal of Armatage Montessori School in the Minneapolis Public Schools, and a member of the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA), is Minnesota’s 2011 National Distinguished Principal (NDP). The U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) present the prestigious award, which has corporate sponsorship from VALIC. The NDP program was established in 1984 to honor exemplary elementary and middle school principals who set the pace, character, and quality of education children receive during their early school years.

Joan Franks

Courtesy of MESPA

The program highlights the fundamental importance of the school principal in achieving educational excellence for prekindergarten through eighth grade students and reinforces their continued leadership in helping children develop a lifelong love of learning. One NDP principal is chosen annually from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. “Making sure that all kids learn, grow, and achieve is core to my mission as a building principal,” said Franks. “At Armatage, the combination of high standards for all, additional support for struggling students, and the Montessori method allow us to help students develop to their

fullest potential.” “MESPA is honored to be represented by Joan Franks,” said P. Fred Storti, MESPA executive director. “She actively serves her principal peers and is steeped in the technology, pedagogy, and dynamics of today’s instructional leader. She truly is a distinguished educator.” “I have had the privilege of working for Joan Franks for over 12 years,” said Margo Borth, Armatage kindergarten teacher, “and it is without hesitation that I say you will not find a more dedicated and skilled principal. “Joan sets the bar high as an educational leader in every sense of the word.” MESPA is the professional

association of Minnesota’s elementary and middle level principals. With the vision to “be the premiere resource for preparing today’s principals for tomorrow and a strong leading voice for public education” and a statewide membership of 950 principals, MESPA has represented Minnesota’s principals since 1950. MESPA is affiliated with the NAESP and its 29,500 members nationwide. MESPA is dedicated to promoting and improving education for children and youth, strengthening the role as educational leader for elementary and middle level principals, and collaborating with partners in education to assist in achieving these goals.

Agency partners enrich summer school options The Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) summer school program strives to effectively engage students of all levels in rigorous academic work, enhancing the basic curriculum by incorporating hands-on learning techniques with the help of local organizations: AmeriCorps – high school students explore sustainable farming while learning how to grow food in MPS gardens around the city Eloise Butler Park – teachers make a wildflower garden their new classroom as students study birds, deer, toads

and frogs while exploring and learning about bogs, prairies, wetlands and wooded areas Simply Good Eating – students focus on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption The Bakken Museum – students explore magnetism and learn about the attract/repel concept and the north and south poles through experiments, games and demonstrations The Guthrie Theater – staff members enrich learning experiences through storytelling, theater games and creative problem-solving techniques

The Science Museum of Minnesota – students work with earth materials and learn about designing bridges, plant packages and parachutes through hands-on learning activities The University of Minnesota – grade-level instruction is enhanced with visits to the Raptor Center, the Gibbs Farm and climbing walls The Works –students complete science and engineering projects focused on electricity, engineering design, simple machines, sound and chemistry

Three Rivers Park District – students learn about gravity, ecosystems and the environment in the classroom and through nature exploration at North Mississippi Regional Park Wilderness Inquiry and the National Park Service – students study water ecosystems through canoe trips and an urban camping experience “Our summer school programs give us the opportunity to engage our students through unique activities that complement the learning that happens in traditional

classrooms during the regular school year,” said Mary Barrie, executive director of alternative and extended learning programs at MPS. “Summer school not only boosts the achievement of students needing additional support, but also keeps students on track toward at- and abovegrade-level proficiency.” Eighth-grade summer school students have the opportunity to attend a weeklong, overnight camp at Camp St. Croix and earn high school credit. GRAD test preparation and credit recovery support will also be available to high

school students, giving them the chance to earn additional credits toward graduation. Summer school registration forms are available on the MPS website or at MPS schools. Classes are offered Monday through Thursday. The grade K-8 summer program begins June 27 and runs through August 4. The high school summer program begins June 20 and runs through July 28. Breakfast and lunch are served daily at no additional charge and transportation is available. Call 612.668.5388 for more information.


“[Newton’s way was] you do what I say or you’re going to get your head knocked in. That was the split.” A number of Panther leaders, including Newton and chief of staff David Hilliard, turned their focus to community service as well as self-defense, while

former minister of information for the Panthers, (Leroy) Eldridge Cleaver, and others, embraced a more confrontational strategy. Cleaver’s faction proceeded to buck the powers that be— namely police, or “pigs” and they were often tagged by this

splinter Panther group—with streaks of arbitrary violence and engaged indiscriminate battles with rival organizations. Cleaver’s rash approach to Black justice culminated with the death of Panther Bobby Hutton, or “Lil Bobby,” the party’s treasurer, who was gunned down during a haphazard ambush attempt on the Oakland Police by Cleaver’s fraction of the party in 1968. The strain between he and Newton grew more severe when he publicly criticized his estranged comrade for adopting a “reformist” rather than “revolutionary” agenda, and he also called for Hilliard’s permanent removal. As a result, Cleaver was expelled from the Panther central committee but went on to lead a splinter group called the Black Liberation Army, which had previously existed as an underground paramilitary wing of the Party. Both factions eventually deteriorated due to rising legal costs and perpetual infighting with the individual groups. The demise was aided by steady doses of calculated interference by the FBI and other government agencies. Throughout 1969, the Black Panthers were the primary target of the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program COINTELPRO, designed to neutralize, and ultimately terminate, the more prominent Black Nationalist organizations. The secondary aim was to prevent the unification of these groups,

while also weakening the power of their leaders, which, in turn, would reduce their support and growth, according to the What We Want DVD. Consequentially, many established Panther chapters across the U.S. collectively experienced more than 233 government-authorized sieges as well as raids by numerous COINTERLPRO agents. As a result they were extensively weakened. Other intended targets of the government covert action program include the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Revolutionary Action Movement, and the Nation of Islam. In 1974, Newton appointed veteran member Elaine Brown as the first woman to chair the Panthers. Under Brown’s leadership, the party became involved in organizing for more radical electoral campaigns, including Brown’s unsuccessful run for Oakland City Council in 1975, and Lionel Wilson’s successful election as the first Black mayor of Oakland. Certain aspects of COINTELPRO were directed at creating and exploiting existing rivalries between Black nationalist factions. One such attempt was to “intensify the degree of animosity” between the Black Panthers and the Blackstone Rangers, a Chicago street gang.

In Southern California, similar actions were taken to exacerbate conflict between the Black Panther Party and a group called the US Organization. Violent conflict between these two groups, including shootings and beatings, led to the deaths of at least four Black Panther Party members, according to Jessica Christina Harris in the Journal of Negro History. On January 17, 1969, Los Angeles Panther Captain Bunchy Carter and Deputy Minister John Huggins were killed in Campbell Hall on the UCLA campus, in a gun battle with members of US Organization, stemming from a dispute over who would control UCLA’s Black studies program. Another shootout between the two groups on March 17 led to further injuries. It was alleged that the FBI had sent a provocative letter to US Organization in an attempt to create antagonism between US and the Panthers. While a sizable part of the organization was already participating in local government and social services, others were in constant conflict with the police. For some of the Party’s supporters, the lines between political action, criminal activity, social opportunity, access to sustainable power, and grassroots identity became blurred, as were the intentions of certain Panther organizers, Cleaver and Newton being among them.

From 1 marshal of the panthers Donald L. Cox said in an interview in the What We Want DVD.

Insight News • May 23 - May 29, 2011 • Page 5

AESTHETICS In the Red and Brown Water intrigues taking in the obstruction offers a refreshing ride. Opting for the “less is more” approach, McClinton’s wise choices in direction, don’t allow for any of these messages to get lost in set design or excessive props. With only a few lawn chairs cuffing the side of the stage, and others sprinkled amidst the backdrop, he creates a palette of only words, lighting, skillful acting, and an incredible storyline, which arouses the senses and ignites our own imaginations to carry us on this ride. Christiana Clark, gives the performance of her life as the troubled Oya, a role that calls for the deterioration of a soul, which upon dawn, once held an ocean of promise. Sonja Parks plays Mama Moja, Greta Oglesby plays Aunt Elegua, Ansa Akyea as Shango, James A. Williams as Ogun Size, John Catron as O Li Roon, and Gavin Lawrence as Elegba, a character executed so well

By Alaina L. Lewis Contributing Writer In order to get to the heart of a story, you can’t be afraid to muddy your heels in uncharted waters. That’s exactly what makes the play “In the Red and Brown Water,” such an intriguing piece. Where it excels in exploring a challenging journey, it equally marvels in its abstract execution. The production is being presented by The Pillsbury House Theater, and is currently playing in the famed Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater. “In the Red and Brown Water,” is one part of a trilogy of stories written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, a Yale School of Drama graduate. The Brother/Sister Trilogy, as McCraney calls it, explore a mythological world set inside the Louisiana Projects; a habitat heavily defined by its Yoruba culture and spiritual practices. Director Marion McClinton takes this rich storyline and leads us on a dance through femininity, adulthood, loss, heartache and despair, surrounding the world of Oya, a young woman who is internally battered by the planks of her circumstances. Oya’s greatest dream is to

Michal Daniel

Christiana Clark as Oya and James A. Williams as Ogun Size in The Guthrie Theater presentation of the Pillsbury House Theatre and The Mount Curve Company co-production of In the Red and Brown Water. go to college and run track; a road filled with a limitless outcome for any talented athlete. However, as the sour dew of fate rolls in, her dreams change when her mother Mama Moja gets sick. Oya pauses on her future, and opts to stay by

her mothers bedside. Death soon takes Mama Moja, and without her mother’s guidance, or her running shoes to combat any void, she finds herself dangling between what she once had, and where she longs to be: in the arms of a

womanizer named Shango— a choice that soils a real loving heart from an unlikely suitor named Ogun Size. Nothing about “In the Red and Brown Water,” is simple, but its complexities are presented with such ease, that

Film documentary revisits classic“To Kill a Mockingbird” the course of history and left an indelible mark on the country’s conscience. Excellent (4 stars) Unrated Running time: 82 Minutes Distributor: First Run Features

Universal Pictures / Photofest - Photographer Leo L. Fuchs

From left: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Film Review By Kam Williams In 1961, Harper Lee, an unknown white woman from a small town in Alabama, won a Pulitzer Prize for her groundbreaking novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Released at the height of the African-American struggle against Jim Crow segregation, the book played a pivotal role in raising the country’s awareness of racism while simultaneously serving to shame the South about its disgraceful legacy of lynching, oppression and discrimination. A couple of years later, the screen adaptation of the best

seller earned several Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor. Gregory Peck delivered his career performance as Atticus Finch, an attorney defending a black man unfairly accused of rape. Unfortunately, Harper Lee basically became a recluse after 1964, which is when she granted her last interview with the press. She also never published another novel, which has led to considerable speculation about the reasons for her silence and for her failure to write again. After all, she and Truman Capote had been best friends as children, and it is apparent that the characters Scout and Jem in “To Kill a Mockingbird” are based on the two of them. Their relationship would endure into adulthood, and it was even the subject of a recent bio-pic about Capote. All of the above and

more fascinating factoids are unearthed in Hey, Boo as intriguing a documentary as you could ever hope to encounter. Since Ms. Lee did not cooperate with the project, director Mary Murphy depended on the reflections of luminaries like Oprah, Tom Brokaw, Andrew Young Jon Meacham and Scott Turow for insight into the reasons for the very private author’s uncompromising withdrawal from the public eye. What turns out to be perhaps most compelling is how closely “To Kill a Mockingbird” mirrors events which transpired in Lee’s own life. For instance, she was a tomboy and the same age as Scout, 6, at the time that her father, a lawyer like Atticus, was representing a black man accused of a crime he didn’t commit. A fitting tribute to a true American icon, a half century after she subtly helped shape

that he will easily steal your attention every time he steps on stage. There’s a lot to learn from watching “In the Red and Brown Water,” but the lesson is not for taking, its for the creation of a higher understanding. Much of what you’ll see will lead to an evening of great debate, and a resonance of pleasure. But one things for certain, that is as clear as an iris can offer, “In the Red and Brown Water,” is not a play to be missed, or read about thereafter. It is to be seen and heard, as it is one of the most powerful pieces of entertainment that has ever graced a stage in Minnesota. To miss it, would be to deny yourself nirvana. In the Red and Brown Water is playing through June 5th at the Guthrie Theater. For more information: http://www. g u t h r i e t h e a t e r. o rg / w h a t s _ happening/shows/2010/red_ and_brown_water

Page 6 • May 23 - May 29, 2011 • Insight News

HEALTH Allina leaders tackle health race disparity Penny Wheeler, MD, chief clinical officer of Allina Hospitals & Clinics and Pamela Jo Johnson, MPH, PhD of Allina’s Center for Healthcare Innovation have been selected to participate in a year-long executive leadership program designed to tackle racial and ethnic disparities in health care. “We are committed to not having geography, ethnicity, gender, or poverty determine the health care one receives. Through this program, we will help ensure that our mission of exceptional care applies equitably to all,” Dr. Wheeler said. The Disparities Leadership Program is the first program of its kind in the nation for health care leaders and is led by the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Pamela Jo Morrison “Research will be an important component to identify gaps in care for specific patient groups, understand why gaps exist, and then, evaluate new

Courtesy of Allina Hospitals and Clinics

Penny Wheeler

ideas that address them. This is a valuable opportunity to create research-based innovations in care delivery that will improve the health of all the patients

Allina serves,” Dr. Johnson said. Drs. Wheeler and Johnson are two of only 34 individuals from 16 health care organizations from around the United States to be selected for the Disparities Leadership Program 2011-2012. They will join a cohort of 74 other organizations who have participated in the Disparities Leadership Program from 2007-2012. The goal of the Disparities Leadership Program is to create a cadre of health care leaders who have: In-depth knowledge of the research and causes of health care disparities; Cutting-edge, quality improvement strategies and skills to address disparities; and Leadership skills to implement solutions to help transform their

organizations. “This program is about developing new leaders and taking action. It is about helping individuals and their health care organizations understand the critical connection between improving quality and eliminating disparities in care through a concerted, coordinated effort to change our health care system,” said Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH, Director of the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH, and a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee, which produced the 2002 landmark report Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. This report revealed striking disparities in the quality of health care services delivered to minority and white patients -- even for patients of the same

socioeconomic background and access to care. “These health care organizations are clearly distinguishing themselves as national leaders by taking action to identify and address disparities,” Dr. Betancourt said. Allina Hospitals & Clinics is a not-for-profit system of hospitals, clinics and other health care services, providing care throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Allina owns and operates 11 hospitals, more than 90 clinics and specialty care centers, and specialty medical services that provide hospice care, oxygen and home medical equipment, pharmacies, and emergency medical transportation services. Allina Hospitals & Clinics and the latest health information can be found online at

Study: HIV treatment prevents new HIV infections A groundbreaking new study has shown that HIV infected partners are much less likely to pass on the virus to uninfected partners if they are put on antiviral treatment sooner, rather than later-on in their infection. The study is being hailed as perhaps the most significant breakthrough in HIV prevention to date. The study results were not entirely unexpected. Previous “test and treat” studies have already shown that when an HIV infected individual is diagnosed and put on treatment they are less infectious. What’s significant is the new study is the first major clinical trial to show how best to make that work. The study, called HPTN 052, consisted of 1,763 mostly heterosexual couples. Each included one HIV positive and one HIV negative partner. Some of the HIV infected partners were given HIV drugs early

on, immediately upon entering the study. Others were put on antiviral drugs later, when they started to develop AIDS symptoms. The study showed a 96% level of protection in the early treatment group. Only one of the uninfected partners in that group contracted HIV. For those who delayed treatment, there were 27 cases of HIV transmission to uninfected partners. Study researchers explained that for those who started treatment early, HIV was prevented from replicating in the body, so there was less virus, or viral load, and less time to transmit virus to their uninfected partners. For those who delayed treatment, however, their virus continued unchecked for longer and so more of their partners were exposed to HIV and infected. The HPTN 052 study was just the latest in a string

of recent advances in HIV prevention which have included Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) pills and gels, male circumcision data, and advances in HIV vaccine research. This latest advance may be the most significant one yet, however, and pronouncements proclaiming it as such came out fast and furiously. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which sponsored the study, declared, “This new finding convincingly demonstrates that treating the infected individual — and doing so sooner rather than later — can have a major impact on reducing HIV transmission.” HPTN 052 study investigator, Dr. Quarraisha Karim, emphasized that the HPTN 052 results are especially good news for women as it will increase their prevention

options. “It’s women who often bear a disproportionate burden of HIV infection acquired from infected male partners.” Karim said. Dr. Paul Sax, Editor of Journal Watch, HIV/AIDS Clinical Care called the study a huge win for early treatment of HIV. “I’ll also express the view”, Sax added, “that this result is far more important than the PrEP studies, since it’s always made way more sense to me to treat the person with HIV, not the other way around.” There were other benefits seen in addition to proving that early treatment can significantly prevent HIV transmissions. The study showed that those on early treatment had 40% fewer opportunistic infections than those who delayed treatment. That also included fewer cases of TB, an infection that is also often passed on to from positive to negative partners. With such positive results, the new study significantly bolsters the argument for massive “test and treat” interventions. Others stressed that if just half of the 15 million people worldwide who don’t know they have HIV were tested and put on treatment it would significantly decrease new infections and slow the epidemic. “Strategies for scaling up

knowledge of HIV status and increasing treatment coverage are critical next steps to realizing the public health benefits of this finding,” added Dr. Karim. Yet 30 million are HIV infected worldwide, but only 5 million of them have access to anti-HIV medications. The short-term costs of a massive worldwide HIV “test and treat” scale-up would be substantial. “These are daunting challenges for a world now facing limited financial resources,” said longtime HIV activist, Vic Hernandez, Dr. P.H., “but with so much at stake those challenges have to be met.” That so, considering studies have shown that, over the longterm, world-wide HIV treatment access might eventually pay for itself in cost savings, not to mention, life savings. Dr. Hernandez, did express concern over potential, accumulated drug toxicities if tens of million of people went on HIV drugs however. Especially where the resources to treat them are limited. “Doing that too would be a challenge,” Dr. Hernandez noted. Another question needing clarification is whether the impressive results of HPTN 052, a heterosexual couples study, will hold true for more at-risk demographic groups like gay and bisexual men.

For example, a study comparing gay and straight HIV transmission published last year in the International Journal Epidemiology found that, depending upon the circumstances, the risk of transmitting HIV during homosexual intercourse was around 18 times higher. Dr. Hernandez agreed that gay and bisexual men may face greater risks. “There is reason to think that, to some degree, this sort of early treatment intervention and prevention approach might help minimize HIV transmission among HIV discordant gay and bisexual couples, but the risks of transmission appear to be higher. For now there is a lot less uncertainty in just sticking with safe sex practices.” Dr. Hernandez cautioned. Director of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden, added to Dr. Hernandez’s note of caution with a reminder to those who are HIV positive. “HIV-positive people cannot assume they are not infectious simply because they are already on treatment.” he stated. “It is critical that individuals maintain close contact with their health care providers, in order to monitor viral load, and to maintain consistent treatment and care services.”

Low-cost vaccination clinics Vaccines prevent diseases for people of all ages, and Hennepin County is offering low-cost immunizations – including shots to prevent the measles –to people who lack health insurance or whose health insurance does not cover vaccines. Hennepin has about two dozen people infected with measles, and the public health department is reminding parents

of the importance of keeping immunizations up to date. The clinics will be: • Bloomington Clinic: Bloomington Division of Health, 1900 W. Old Shakopee Road, 3 to 5:30 p.m., on June 7 and 21. • Brooklyn Center Clinic: Hennepin County’s Brookdale Service Center, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, 9 to 11 a.m., on June 28.

• Downtown Minneapolis Clinic: Hennepin Health Services Building, 525 Portland Ave. S., 8:30 to 11 a.m. on June 3. For more information about these clinics, call 612-348-2884 or go to vaccines. Donations are requested but not required for the immunizations.

Insight News • May 23 - May 29, 2011 • Page 7

LIFESTYLE Fast and healthy summer meal tips (StatePoint) When the hot weather hits you want to put colorful, healthful meals on your family’s table without breaking a sweat. Preparing meals quickly can help you keep the temperature down in your kitchen during the summer. And adding fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits to lowfat meals is a great way to get the nutrients you need to take advantage of the warm weather while staying trim in your swimsuit. Here are a few tips for healthier seasonal meals, from the experts behind an innovative new cookbook, “The Special K Challenge & Beyond” cookbook, which features more than 100 recipes, as well as expert fitness and nutrition tips: * Mix up ingredients. Try new fruits and vegetables, grains and seafood you haven’t tried before. Or, bring excitement to meals by combining taste sensations. For example, mix sweet (fresh or dried fruit); salty (capers, olives, anchovies or Parmesan cheese); bitter (dark greens like arugula, escarole or kale); and sour (citrus, grapes, vinegar, yogurt) in complementary portions. * Build flavor instead of calories. Use mild fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, chives, chervil or tarragon. * Instead of whole milk cheeses, switch to reduced

butter 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger 8 ounces ground chicken breast 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 cups thinly sliced bok choy 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice 1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot 1/2 cup sliced green onions 1/3 cup chopped water chestnuts, drained 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 12 medium Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves

Healthy meals can be fast and easy, too. or nonfat versions of your favorite mozzarella, pepper jack or ricotta cheeses. * Instead of rice as a side dish, try whole grains like quinoa, bulgur wheat. Or swap

white rice for brown rice. More tips and recipes can be found online at www. and in “The Special K Challenge & Beyond” cookbook.

Alfreda Lodge dies Alfreda Lodge, age 88, of Minneapolis and formerly of Waterloo, died Sunday, May 15, 2011 at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. She was born October 27,

1922 in Albia, Monroe County, Iowa, the daughter of Clyde and Ethel (Lewis) Johnson. She married Wiley Y. Lodge, Jr. on October 27, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois. He preceded


Carolyn P. DuBose, a former press secretary to Rep. Diggs, described in her well-researched book, “The Untold Story of Charles Diggs,” how Diggs began organizing the CBC by establishing a Democratic Select Committee in l969. She quoted Rep. Diggs as saying: “They did not call me. I am the one who called them. I am the guy that called the meetings.” Added Diggs, according to DuBose, “I deliberately did not come in there Pharaoh-style. I wanted things to come up through the group to set the pattern about what they wanted to do.” In addition to a climate of White House hostility, in the civil rights movement, there emerged a militant Black power movement led by Stokely Carmichael and H. Rapp Brown. They both

From 1 Rep. Charles Diggs, Jr. (DMI) as the senior Black member of Congress, began a deliberate process of organizing the CBC. Having a prior friendship with Rep. Diggs, a Democrat who was a popular Detroit funeral home director, I was aware of his concern that President Richard Milhous Nixon might try to dismantle the historic civil rights legislation and Great Society programs passed under the courageous leadership of President Lyndon Baines Jonson. Diggs also took umbrage that President Nixon refused to meet with the 13 Blacks that were in the Congress at that time.

her in death on January 4, 1991. Alfreda Lodge worked as a telephone operator for the Waterloo Community Schools. She was a member of Antioch Baptist Church.

Ofield Dukes

advocated meeting white with Black violence, contrary to the non-violent approach of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There was also fear and anxiety in the white community in linking such a radical effort by Black members in the U.S. Congress with the Black power movement. I was in the second year of operating my public relations firm out of the National Press building when Rep. Diggs called me out of great concern for white and even Black perceptions associating the newly formed Congressional Black Caucus with the Black power movement.


In small food processor, work bowl or blender container combine orange juice, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. Mix until nearly smooth. Set aside. In a large nonstick skillet cook chicken and garlic over medium-high heat, breaking up chicken with a wooden spoon, for 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Drain off fat. Stir in bok choy, rice, carrot, green onions, water chestnuts and red pepper. Stir in orange juice mixture. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Place lettuce on serving platter. Spoon chicken into lettuce leaves. Wrap leaves around chicken, securing with wooden picks. Serves 4; Calories per serving: 230; Fat: 6g

To get started, here’s an easy recipe from the new cookbook that relies on the salty, tangy and spicy flavors of Thai cooking:

Thai-Style Chicken in Lettuce Cups

Survivors include two sons, Wiley Y. Lodge, III and Dana B. Lodge both of Minneapolis; a daughter, Rachelle R. Lodge of Minneapolis; four grandchildren, Quavonia Tucker, Darvell Gibens, Diondre Lodge and Shauntel Wiley Lodge; two great

grandchildren; a brother, Edward Johnson of Waterloo; and a sister, Adrienne Damme of Waterloo. Funeral Services will be held at 12:00 p.m. Monday, May 23, 2011 at Antioch Baptist Church in Waterloo with burial in the Garden of

Memories Cemetery. Public visitation will be held an hour prior to the services on Monday at the church. Memorials may be directed to the family at 111 Hawver Court, Waterloo, where they will be receiving friends.

Diggs and I discussed a strategy of my firm convening a press conference at the National Press Club to clarify the objectives of the CBC. At the press conference, CBC members Rep. Louis Stokes and Rep. Williams Clay eloquently explained the political objectives of the Black Caucus and the planned first dinner that June. A white syndicated columnist had written that the CBC dinner in June could be raising funds in support of a CBC member planning to run for president. The suggested candidate was Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) although Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) actually ran for president in l972. In my initial news release on the CBC dinner, I wrote: “Funds from the $100 per plate banquet will be used by the Caucus to finance a permanent, independent staff to conduct in-depth analysis of issues and polices relevant to Black and poor America.” The news release continued, “In a formal statement, the Caucus said, ‘Rumors, news reports, editorials and other

media statements are appearing frequently, implying sponsorship of the dinner is related to secret plans in support of a black member of Congress for the presidency in the l972 elections. The Congressional Black Caucus categorically denies that any money raised by us at this affair will go to support one black or white, Democrat, Republican, 3rd party or 4th party who is a candidate for the presidency.” In my firm’s handling the public relations for the first dinner, there was concern about people coming to the nation’s capital paying as much as $100 to attend a dinner. That was quite a sum of money at that time. But at the dinner, there was an overwhelming crowd. The hotel ballroom had a capacity of 2, 400, 10 persons at 24 tables. However, there were 2,800 excited people squeezed into the ballroom, a standing room only crowd. We had an anxious moment at the hotel when the fire marshal threatened to do something about the unsafely of such an overflow crowd. That could have led to a

riot and a public relations disaster. The dinner, itself, was a huge success, with entertainment by singers Nancy Wilson and Billy Eckstein, humor by Dick Gregory and Bill Cosby, and an electrifying speech by actor/ orator Ossie Davis. Davis told the audience that “It’s not the man; it’s the plan; it’s not the rap; It’s the map. Davis went on to say, “At the time when Dr. King died in l958, he was in the process of organizing his forces and calling upon his people to come one more time to Washington, D.C. And, I have a feeling that had he come that time he would not have said, ‘I have a dream.’ He would have said, ‘I have a plan.” And, I feel that that plan that he might have made a difference.” Ossie Davis’ profound remarks that inspired the founding 13 members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the thousands who attuned that first dinner 40 years ago are as relevant today. And, so is the work of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Ingredients: 3 tablespoons orange juice 2 tablespoons creamy peanut

Page 8 • May 23 - May 29, 2011 • Insight News

Tavis Smiley reflects on life lessons Interview

By Kam Williams From his celebrated conversations with world figures to his work to inspire the next generation of leaders as a broadcaster, author, publisher, advocate and philanthropist, Tavis Smiley continues to be a leading voice for change. He is currently the host of his late-night television talk show on PBS as well as the host of a couple of radio programs syndicated by Public Radio International: “The Tavis Smiley Show” and “Smiley and West” alongside Dr. Cornel West. This year, Tavis is celebrating his 20th year in broadcasting, and in conjunction with that anniversary he’s just published, Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure. In this revealing memoir, he recounts 20 instances of perceived “failures” which were, in fact, valuable “lessons” that shaped the principles and practices he employs every day. Kam Williams: Hi Tavis, thanks for the interview. Tavis Smiley: My pleasure, man. KW: I loved Fail Up. I have to start by asking, who is the celebrity you refer to as “Mr. X“ in the book? TS: Mr. X is Mr. X! I can’t tell you who he is, but the whole point of that story is a lesson I learned about how mistakes you make early in life can follow you. I wasn’t even in the broadcast business at the time. So, be careful about gossiping because loose lips really do sink ships. Now that I’m in the business, and people talk about me, I know what it feels like to be the victim of gossip. Mr. X is a major Hollywood player, but he won’t even come on my show. I had to learn those two lessons the hard way. KW: Who was the other mysterious figure in the book who sent you that 8-page letter criticizing you about Obama? Let me guess. Was it Oprah? TS: Ha-ha-ha! That’s another person I can’t reveal, only because I do still regard her as a friend. She was wrong and what

Tavis and his family

Young Tavis she wrote hurt me and brought me to tears. I included it in the book to make the point that sometimes even your friends don’t understand your calling, your purpose, your vocation. But you have to stand in your truth anyway, and they will eventually come around to understanding you, if you do it lovingly. KW: How hard was it for you to open up about your failures? TS: Very! This is my 15th book. None of the others required me to be this transparent, this open, this honest or this authentic. It was a very painful process, yet I thought it was important, because I feel blessed to be in the broadcast business for 20 years. I believe that when you’re this blessed, you have an obligation to pay it forward. That’s what life is all about ultimately. What better way to celebrate 20 years than by sharing the lessons I learned from my 20 biggest failings! KW: Jimmy Bayan asks: Looking over your life with a searchlight, if you had a chance to live five minutes of your life over, which ones would it be? TS: Wow! I don’t think I’d live anything over, even though I’ve made a lot of mistakes. As I say in the book, while I didn’t understand it at the time, in retrospect I have learned how to see failure as a friend. So, I’m not one to live a life of regrets. I try to learn from my mistakes, but I’ll take my life the way it is. KW: Robin Beckham asks: What

are your thoughts about President Obama’s re-election campaign? It is being reported that you are not an Obama supporter. Is that true? What are your expectations of and hopes for the Obama Administration as it relates to opportunities for Black people? TS: I believed that President Obama was a good choice a couple of years ago because I felt that, as a Black man, if he could win, it would open up progressive possibilities in this country for a lot of people. That was my major reason for believing his candidacy was a good thing. However, I don’t endorse candidates, given the type of work that I do. My job is to hold people accountable. I held him accountable when he ran in 2008, and I’m going to do it again this time. I respect the President because I know he has a lot on his plate. But at the end of the day, for me it fundamentally all comes down to whether he’s going to side with the strong or with the weak. When Wall Street needed his help, he responded. Black folks need his help in a major way, but he’s afraid to speak out forcefully on the issue of unemployment, even though African-Americans supported him the most, and are now hurting the most. I don’t want the Obama era to be more about symbolism than substance when it comes to Black people. I love him, but I love Black people even more. So, I’m going to keep raising issues to hold him accountable. I just want the President to stand up and fight more forcefully for the least among us, the poor folks and the Black folks, in the way that he has for his more powerful constituencies. KW: I want to know, when is he going to end these wars? The money invested in guns and bombs and destruction only serves to spread pain and devastation. Just think what good we could be doing if we spent as many billions on housing, education and healthcare. TS: I couldn’t agree with you more. KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: What message do you want the readers to take away from your latest book? TS: The simple message that the great Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett delivered years ago: “Try again! Fail again! Fail better!” I love that. I believe there is nothing we endure in life that you can’t recover from. Failure is not fatal. Everyone has the capacity to fail up. KW: Judyth Piazza asks: How important is it to have a mentor,

and who are some of yours? TS: I believe mentors are terribly important. My two best mentors, one dead, one living, are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. Cornel West. Even though he died when I was a young child, I regard Dr. King as a mentor and I consider him the greatest American we’ve ever produced. Dr. West is my living mentor, and a dear and abiding friend. Much of what I’ve learned about loving and serving people, and about appreciating humanity, comes from my relationship with Dr. West. KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What do you have to say to encourage all the men in jail, so that they can take away a message of hope from your sharing your life experiences? TS: That even behind bars, even on Death Row, you can fail up, because life is about committing ourselves on a daily basis to the best in us. Freedom is a state of mind. Freedom is an attitude. Freedom is a spirit. You may be behind bars, but you still have the capacity to be free. I’ve visited some people behind bars who are freer than Negroes I see running around every day. Being in jail, or poor, or uneducated doesn’t determine how free you can be.

Courtesy of Tavis Smiley

There are really only two types of people. Either you’re running scared or you’re running free. I choose to run free, and you can, too, no matter what your circumstances in life.

question because of the lack of eye contact? TS: They could, if I let them. But after 20 years, I’ve gotten pretty good at preventing people from dodging questions. [Laughs]

KW: Nick Antoine asks: Who was your favorite interview of all time? TS: My short answer is: My favorite interview is always the next one. And that’s not a way of avoiding the question. It’s a way of saying that I so love what you and I do, Kam, that I can’t wait to get to the next one. So, that’s my honest answer.

KW: Thanks for another great interview, Tavis. TS: Kam, you’ve always been so nice to me, and so kind to me. I always love talking to you, and I especially enjoy reading the interviews you do with other people. Thank you for the work you do, and thanks for interviewing me again.

KW: Harriet Pakula Teweles asks: When an interview’s not face-to-face, do you think a person can more easily evade a

KW: Maybe we can get together the next time you’re in town visiting Dr. West at Princeton. TS: We’ll make it happen.

Insight News • May 23 - May 29, 2011 • Page 9


Voting rights are under attack Child Watch

By Marian Wright Edelman At the signing of the historic Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965 striking down the discriminatory practices many states had put in place to prohibit Blacks from exercising their right to vote, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “Today is a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield.” Many Americans think of the fight for voting rights as a struggle that was settled once and for all during the Civil Rights Movement in that celebrated “triumph for freedom,” and is now a piece of history. But that’s a dangerous assumption.

While the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws prohibit discrimination based on race, sex, language, ethnicity, religion, and age, there is still no law that affirmatively guarantees citizens the right to vote. Just as we are experiencing a quiet but systematic rise in school segregation across the country, many people don’t realize that there is once again a quiet but systematic movement that would deny many African Americans and other American citizens the ability to vote with 21st century versions of old exclusionary practices. The Advancement Project is a civil rights law, policy, and communications “action tank” whose work includes fighting to protect the right to vote. In their new report What’s Wrong With This Picture?, they warn that proposals being considered by nearly two-thirds of the states

to require photo identification for voting are threatening to become a modern-day version of the Jim Crow-era poll tax, and are “a reactionary trend that is part of the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century.” As they explain, “These photo ID proposals stand to create second-class citizenship for classes of voters, particularly racial minorities, senior citizens, young voters, people with disabilities, immigrants, the working poor and students, who are disproportionately less likely to have current state ID or face substantial hurdles to getting one, who stand to be turned away or denied a regular ballot.” A recent New York Times editorial on the same threat cited a survey by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law that found 11 percent of citizens, or 21 million people, don’t have a current photo ID—including 15

percent of low-income eligible voters, 18 percent of young eligible voters, and 25 percent of Black eligible voters. College students are among the voters who would be affected in states like Texas and Wisconsin that are considering denying their student ID photo cards as valid forms of identification. Requirements for state-issued photo ID are just one of the modern ways voting rights are being threatened, including laws in several states disenfranchising people who have committed crimes after they have completed their sentences. The Advancement Project’s Right to Vote Initiative explains that they are continually trying to stop many other kinds of threats on a widespread scale: “Democracy advocates literally have to monitor and negotiate with thousands of local jurisdictions over issues such as how missing information on voter registration

forms is handled, when and under what circumstances voters are ‘purged,’ i.e., removed from the rolls, what types of election equipment are used and how that equipment is allocated among precincts and how poll workers are trained.” As they sum it up, “Without a federal guarantee of the right to vote, states use their control over this basic citizenship right in a patchwork quilt of arbitrary rules with vast consequences for close elections.” We can’t afford to remain silent—or ignorant—about the overt and covert ways some states are trying to restrict access to voting rights and their potential “vast consequences” for undermining voting rights and choosing our leaders. Although proposals pending in many state legislatures have not yet become law, it is crucial for leaders and citizens to wake up, speak up, and be ever vigilant. As he signed the

1965 Voting Rights Act with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders at his side, President Johnson stated he had long believed “this right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies.” We must not go backwards and we must ensure that the next election is not mischievously undermined by making it more difficult for millions to vote. Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.

The frivolous attacks on Obama and Common Opinion

By George E. Curry If you thought nothing could be more frivolous than conservatives questioning whether the President was born in the United States, think again. The recent criticism of Obama’s decisions to worship Easter Sunday at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and invite poet/rapper Common to participate in a White House

celebration of poetry illustrates how far his critics will stoop to manufacture a controversy. Fox News was hysterical over the Obamas’ decision to worship at the predominantly Black church founded in the 1800s by former slaves. Sean Hannity, co-host of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, aired a clip from the speech Rev. Wallace Smith, the pastor of Shiloh, had given at Eastern University, in Davids, Pa. “It may not be Jim Crow anymore,” said Rev. Smith. “Now, Jim Crow wears blue pinstripes, goes to law school and carries fancy briefs in cases. And now, Jim Crow has become James Crow, esquire. And, he doesn’t have to wear white robes anymore because now he

can wear the protective cover of talk radio or can get a regular news program on Fox.” After the clip aired as part of Hannity’s criticism of the president, Rev. Smith said his church received more than 100 threats via telephone and e-mail. “We received a fax that had the image of a monkey with a target across its face,” he told the Washington Post. “My secretary has received telephone calls that have been so vulgar until she had to hang up.” On his show, Fox host Bill O’Reilly tried to dismiss Rev. Smith as a “racial activist” and kept objecting to Smith’s observation on Easter that the original U.S. Constitution was a flawed document that did not count African descendants as

full human beings. O’Reilly made the mistake of inviting Rev. Amos Brown, pastor of Third Baptist Church, in San Francisco and president of the local NAACP chapter, to discuss the Obama decision to worship at Shiloh. Rev. Brown noted that Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton had attended the same church as president without being criticized. When O’Reilly said they attended under different circumstances, Rev. Brown corrected him: “It was the same church with the same pastor with the same views.” After Rev. Brown refused to back down, O’Reilly quickly ended the interview. But, Fox did not end its assault on

President Obama and his wife, Michelle. The first lady hosted an event at the White House to celebrate American poetry and prose. Among the performers invited was Lonnie Rashid Lynn, the poet/rapper better known as Common. Various Fox News personalities criticized Common for his work titled, A Song for Assata written in honor of Assata Shakur, the Black Panther Party member who was convicted of the 1973 murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. The trooper was shot twice in the head with his own gun. Black Panther Party member Zayd Malik Shakur was also killed in the New Jersey Turnpike shootout.

Both Assata Shakur and another state trooper, James Harper, were injured in the exchange of gunfire. Assata Shakur escaped from prison in 1979 and has been living in Cuba in political asylum since 1984. In his tribute, Common wrote: “Assata had been convicted of a murder she couldna done. Medical evidence shown she couldna shot the gun.” Although Fox led the recent campaign against Common, the network’s Jason Robinson told Common last year: “Your music is very positive. And you’re known as the conscious rapper.” Fox also sent out birthday greetings to rapper Ice-T whose


Are Freedom Rider seeds bearing fruit? Opinion

By Julianne Malveaux Fifty years ago this month, the Freedom Rides began. While the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in interstate commerce, including bus terminals, was illegal, the laws were not being enforced. Because the law failed to act, people of conscience, courage, and determination acted instead. Resistance to desegregation was such that those who got on buses risked their lives. The Freedom Riders, who were both African American and white, were arrested and attacked on the bus route. Anniston, Alabama

was an especially violent site of attack, where the local Klan and other residents, some still dressed in their church-going finest, were allowed to beat Freedom Fighters without police interference. The plan seemed to be that there would be an initial attack in Anniston, and a second attack in Birmingham. Someone attempted to burn or bomb the bus that transported Freedom Riders. As Freedom Riders became injured or delayed, often being denied hospitalization for extreme injuries, others kept coming, kept coming, kept coming. If they could get past Alabama and make it to Mississippi, they were often jailed in Jackson. Some were sent to the notoriously brutal Parchman prison, where they were treated with notable inhumanity. But, they kept riding until the walls of segregation came tumbling down. Some of their names are household words. Congressman

John Lewis (D-GA), Dianne Nash, James Farmer, Ruby Doris Smith, Hank Thomas, Stokely Carmichael. Others are less well known, but no less impactful. Their sheer determination, and willingness to sacrifice, literally changed history. This month, there are many celebrations of the Freedom Riders, including a celebration at the new Freedom Riders Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, and at a Freedom Riders Reunion and Conference in Jackson, Mississippi. There will be time for reminiscing, reflecting, and reconnecting. From honors bestowed on Congressman John Lewis at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Dinner in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, to an Oprah show featuring the Freedom Riders, to these celebrations and reunions, the contribution of the Freedom Riders will be recognized, honored, celebrated. It is notable that so many of

these Freedom Riders were quite young when they got on buses to risk their lives. What will young people risk their lives for these days? Many of the Freedom Riders were middle-aged, making the Freedom Rides a testimony to intergenerational activism and advocacy. Are there many such examples today? What will it take to galvanize people of conscience in this country? Many suggest that the mass incarceration of African Americans (see Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow) might galvanize people to act, but the unfortunate fact is that too many people are simply indifferent to the plight of the incarcerated. Some suggest that budget cuts and economic despair might galvanize people, but too many are celebrating economic recovery, no matter how spotty or uneven, for there to be mass action around economic issues. Fifty years ago, Freedom Riders were determined to challenge the status quo. Now the status

quo includes unequal education, unequal treatment in the labor market, and unequal treatment in the criminal just-us system, a rancid economy, a crumbling infrastructure, a challenged environment, and many other issues. Who will challenge this status quo? What are the fruits of the Freedom Rides? Thanks to Freedom Riders, legal segregation crumbled. In November 1961, months after the beatings in Anniston, Alabama, the federal government began to enforce a 1955 Interstate Commerce Commission Ruling, and a 1960 Supreme Court ruling. One might argue that the sit-in movement and the Freedom Rides led to the March on Washington, the Voting Rights Act, and other revolutionary changes in our society. Why did we stop there? And, where are today’s Freedom Riders? Today’s young people face as many internal as external

challenges. Too many first generation college students do not enjoy the parental or community support that first generation college students enjoyed in the days of Freedom Rides. Then, college students were considered the proud fruit of their communities. Now, many are indifferent, even hostile, to their achievement. We can’t expect young people to be Freedom Riders unless we raise them as Freedom Riders. But, we can’t raise them up as Freedom Riders unless we are willing to challenge the status quo for freedom ourselves. Our society changed because of the Freedom Riders, and those Freedom Rides represent the possibility of social change. When will we pick the fruit from the trees that our beloved Freedom Riders planted? Julianne Malveaux is President of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Page 10 • May 23, - May 29, 2011 • Insight News

Calendar/Classifieds Send Community Calendar information to us by: email, andrew@insightnews. com, by fax: 612-588-2031, by phone: (612) 588-1313 or by mail: 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411, Attn: Andrew Notsch. Free or low cost events preferred.

Events Work Green - May 24 Promoting green careers and entrepreneurial activities. Tue. May 24 1-5pm at the Wilder Center, 451 Lexington Parkway N., St. Paul. More info: http://www.positivelyminnesota. com/ Pillsbury United Communities Interpreting Agency Open House May 25 PUCIA is a translation and interpreting agency for more than 20 languages. PUCIA can translate any document – including websites, manuals, emails, letters, birth certificates, brochures and more. On Wed., May 25 11am1pm, guests will mingle and mix with the PUCIA Interpreters and staff while learning more about the Agency and services provided by PUCIA. Oak Park Center 1701 Oak Park Ave. N. Mpls. For more info: Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board wants your “two cents” on RiverFIRST - May 25 Seeking community input on RiverFIRST, a visionary proposal for parks-based revitalization of the Upper Riverfront. The public is invited to meet with the designers – Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich of Kennedy & Violich Architecture and Tom Leader of Tom Leader Studio – on Wednesday, May 25, 7-9:00 PM, at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road.

TELEMARKETING POSITION Insight News is seeking applicants for a part-time Classified Sales Telemarketing Representative. This position is perfect for a college student or someone looking for part time employment. Hours are Mon-Thursday, 10 – 2 PM, not to exceed 20 hours per week. Position Duties: • Deliver prepared sales talks, reading from scripts that describe Insight News and www.insightnews. com, in order to secure classified advertising. • Contact businesses by telephone in order to solicit sales. • Adjust sales scripts to better target the needs and interests of specific individuals. • Answer telephone calls from potential customers who have been solicited through advertisements. • Telephone or write letters to respond to correspondence from customers or to follow up initial sales contacts. • Maintain records of contacts, accounts, and orders. This position requires a high school diploma, previous telemarketing experience and the ability to produce results. Please submit resume with three references to NO WALK-INS and no PHONE CALLS, please.

PHONE: 612.588.1313

Also presenting will be Mary deLaittre, Project Manager of the MR|DI. Dragmanity: Drinspiration! - May 28 Come along and investigate your “spiritual” journey as we explore the sacred and the church! Bring your Bible, your Torah, or a statue of Buddha! Sat. May 28 - 10pm @ Bryant Lake Bowl Mpls. FOR TICKETS: http://www. or call 612-8258949 Tickets $10.00 Padelford Riverboats Offers Free Rides for Military Families - May 30 In celebration of Memorial Day up to 1,000 military members and veterans and their families are being offered free Mississippi River rides by the Padelford Riverboat Co. at Harriet Island Regional Park in Downtown St. Paul. The 90-minute, narrated sightseeing cruises will depart at Noon and 2pm Mon., May 30. For additional information and reservations go to www.RiverRides. com or call 651-227-1100. Minnesota’s Waiting Children PreAdopt Training - June Downey Side…families for youth, invites perspective adoptive parents for Minnesota’s Waiting Children to attend MN Public Private Adoption Initiative Pre-Adopt Training on June 16, 20, 23, 27 5:30-8:30pm, and June 25 9am-1pm. Trainings will be located at Downey Side Minnesota’s St. Paul office, 450 N. Syndicate Street, St Paul, MN 55104. There is no charge to families preparing to adopt children under state guardianship. Pre-Registration is required. To register, email stpaulmn@ or call 651-228-0117. Urban Summer Academy - June-July Are you looking for a safe, affordable summer program for your child? Try the Park Avenue Urban Summer Academy. This is a fun and challenging academic enrichment program for age 4 - High School. Lunch provided, scholarships available, schedules convenient for working parents. Vacation Bible School - June 13-17. Academic Day Camps - June 20 - July 29. www.payfs. org to learn more and to register online. Jail, No Bail! - June 1-3 Southside Family Charter School presents its annual school play, Jail, No Bail!. The school’s annual original musical has become an eagerly anticipated community tradition for over 30 years. Jail, No Bail! will run

Application Analyst The City of Brooklyn Park is seeking a full-time Application Analyst to provide support and assist with the planning, design, implementation and support of information technology to meet the city’s business application requirements. Anticipated salary range: $24.97 - $32.08/hour. City and supplemental applications forms and job posting with additional information and required qualifications available on city web site or address below. Closing date: 5 p.m., Friday, June 10, 2011. City of Brooklyn Park 5200 - 85th Ave North Brooklyn Park, MN 55443 Phone: 763-424-8000 Fax: 763-493-8391 Equal Opportunity Employer

FAX: 612.588.2031

June 1st, 2nd, 3rd at 7:00 pm at the St. Joan of Arc gym (4537 3rd Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55419). Out Twin Cities Film Festival June 2-5 2011 marks the Festival’s second annual celebration of connecting and celebrating the diversity of the community through the art of cinema by producing an annual provocative festival, showcasing Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer filmmakers. Visit: www. for a detailed schedule. WomenVenture - June 3 For further information and to register, visit or call 651646-3808. WomenVenture is located at 2324 University Avenue West, Suite 120, St. Paul, MN 55114. • Understanding Women’s Business Enterprise Certification Fri. June 3 8:30–11am at WomenVenture, $65. Becoming certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) is essential to growing your clients to include government agencies and corporations. Facing Race - Thru June 3 To generate fresh ideas for reducing racism in Minnesota, The Saint Paul Foundation has launched the Facing Race Idea Challenge. The Challenge is an opportunity for all Minnesotans to share their insights, inspirations and ideas for creating vibrant communities free of racial disparity. Entries must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on June 3, 2011. For complete details or to submit an idea, go to FacingRaceChallenge. Benefit to End Homelessness Feat. Pianist Steven C - June 3 Wells Foundation Pianist/composer Steven C and Special Guest Singer/ Songwriter Jeff Arundel at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 519 Oak Grove St. Mpls. Fri. June 3 7pm. YO MAMA: A New View - June 4,25 & July 16 5-8 p.m. also at St. Jane House. Mother Activism and Conscious Raising through film and conversation. Films to be viewed include; 500 Years Later, Praying the Devil Back to Hell, The Shape of Water, Trouble the Water, This Black Soil, Slingshot Hip Hop, Genesis, and Woven form the Land. (This event is scheduled for every 3 weeks). Light Refreshments served. Bike Walk Week - June 4-12 Events throughout the week include the American Heart Association Heart Walk, Grand Old Day, Women’s Wednesday, Yoga on the Greenway, and Bike Walk to the Twins Game on Sun., June 12. Additional events will be announced on the Bike Walk Week web site (, which is also the place to register to participate. By registering for Bike Walk week, participants pledge to make at least one trip each week without using a car. NHS Legacy Week – June 4 They’ve invested nearly a quarter


billion in inner-city housing purchases, rehabs and homebuyer training since 1980: Neighborhood Housing Services is celebrating its legacy with a week of different community activities starting June 4. The events have different times and locations, for details go to www. or call 612-5213581. Artists Who Cook - June 4 Join us for an evening of music, spectacular artwork, and sumptuous appetizers prepared by some of the hottest African American visual artists working today. $35 Sat. June 4 5-8pm Wilson Park Tower - Event Center 14th and Hennepin Ave. Mpls. Resources for Men - June 7 Feat. VJ Thomas of MADDADS and Clarence Jones, Southside Community Health Clinics, Fathers Program. Tue. June 7, 7-8:30am at Park Ave. United Methodist Church 3400 Park Ave. Mpls.

to register: visit http://walk4kids. North High School Summer Camp - June 20-Aug 5 The camp gives students in grades 5 – 8 and incoming freshman at North the opportunity to participate in activities offered in high school, which include badminton, baseball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross-country running and skiing, dance, football, golf, show choir, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball and wrestling. At North High School 1500 James Ave. N. Mpls, MN. Families may enroll students by calling North High School at 612.668.1700. Camp registration runs through June 20, which is the first day of camp.

Children and Other Optical Illusions - June 9-11 An original multi-media play written and Directed by Anne Sawyer-Aitch. June 9-11 7:30pm at Open Eye Figure Theatre 506 E. 24th St. Mpls, MN. Tickets: $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Recommended for adult audiences. Order on-line at: http://www., or call (612) 874-6338. Organic Farm School - June 13Aug 22 Urban and rural farming systems must unite to create food everywhere -fresh, nutritious, healthy, REAL food at affordable prices and with lower costs to our environment. Midtown Global Market Greenway Conference Room, 920 E. Lake St., Mpls. Every Monday evening from June 13–Aug. 22. African American Author Fair June 16 A unique opportunity to meet multiple authors, learn about their work, and purchase their books. Come support African American writers and writing at Magers & Quinn. Thur. June 16 5:308:30pm 3038 Hennepin Ave S, Mpls; 612/822-4611 Twin Cities Anti Violence Coalition Motorcycle Ride - June 18 Fundraising motorcycle ride to St. Cloud in an effort to assist with fund raising for Twin Cities Anti Violence Coalition. Sat. June 18 at Brookdale Mall, 1108 Brookdale Brooklyn Center, MN 55430. Registration: 9:30-11:30am. Ride starts at noon in the southeast parking lot. $15 donation per bike. Step Up for Kids! - Children’s Advocacy Center Walk - June 19 Walk with us as we increase public awareness about the realities of child abuse that thousands of children face every day and how Children’s Advocacy Centers make a difference in these children’s lives. Sun. June 19. Check in: 7:30am. At: Minnesota State Capitol at 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul. For more information and

Help Sabathani win dream makeover Help Sabathani Community Center win a $50,000 building makeover by simply going to your computer and logging on to, then vote for Sabathani as your favorite community house. Sabathani is in the running with 9 other community centers across the country to win the makeover of their dream. The five community houses that receive the most votes between now and June 17th will receive a $50,000 makeover. Sabathani Community Center is an anchor in the South Minneapolis community, providing a food shelf, free clothing and household goods, afterschool programs for children, services for seniors, and health resources for the entire family. The $50,000 makeover would upgrade the facilities in order to create an even more functional and inviting space for the people Sabathani serves. Please vote and help Sabathani win $50,000 in building renovations through the Maxwell House Drops of Good campaign by voting once a day every day from now until June 17th. Go to voting link: http:// maxwellhousecoffee/drops-of-good/ Pages/sabathani-community-center. aspx

Coffee Break 23. Makes feathers stick 24. Part of house frame 25. Roman goddess of fertility 28. One of Three Bears 30. Meddle 35. *Tubby little cubby 37. Like a limo window 39. ____ prosequi 40. Thumb for it 41. Waiter’s last word? 43. Accompanies gain? 44. Stopped by hitting snooze 46. Spiritual leader 47. Either right or left 48. European cavalryman 50. St. Louis tourist attraction 52. Not old nor borrowed nor blue 53. Multicolored horse 55. Architect’s software 57. Streamlet 60. *An angel? 63. Scoundrel 64. 19th letter of Greek alphabet 66. *James Dean’s Jim Stark and Elizabeth Taylor’s Maggie, e.g. 68. Without liveliness S T A T E P O I N T 14. Boat propeller 69. Communism or Taoism, 15. Nazareth’s famous e.g. CROSSWORD resident 70. Not hidden THEME: POP ICONS 16. Second most populous 71. Angle between branch city in Africa and offshoot, e.g. 17. Tote ACROSS 72. *He is symbol of 18. Like “The Biggest rebellion 1. Get lost! Loser” contestants 6. *Martial artist 73. Like untended garden 9. Z, NATO phonetic 19. *Pop icon-painting pop icon alphabet DOWN 21. Mob offensive 13. Defendant’s excuse 1. Salt in Spanish

2. Bird foot 3. Capital of Latvia 4. Terminate mission 5. Unfortunate outcome 6. Bum around 7. ___ de toilette 8. Plant fungus 9. Domesticated ox 10. Functions 11. Boozer 12. Make work 15. *”His Airness” 20. Speak like Pericles 22. Brazil, e.g. 24. Capital of Puerto Rico 25. *She’s a media mogul 26. Southern chicken stew 27. Fizzy drinks 29. Goes with pong 31. Floor cleaners 32. “Sarah, ____ and Tall” 33. Leave or strike out 34. Extend subscription 36. ____, not his 38. Millimeter of mercury 42. American evergreen shrub 45. *Dreaded singer 49. Wade’s opponent ek 51. Soil-smoothing he we t cultivator f o e 54. Below roof t uo 56. Moving crowd Q 57. Fat and flour sauce base 58. Tangerine/grapefruit “Rap actually comes out hybrid of punk rock, not Black 59. Zilch music.” 60. Be angry 61. Away from wind —Stanley Crouch 62. Animal group 63. Dietary guideline, acr. 65. Type of tray 67. Wilbur’s home Answers on page 11

Insight News • May 23 - May 29, 2011 • Page 11


making a difference in the community. She is especially interested in aiding urban youth. At twice-weekly afterschool classes at Richard Green Central Park Community School in South Minneapolis, Lauren teaches middle-schoolers, primarily girls, practical skills like cooking and exercising. She also helps them with art projects and offers tutorials on wide-ranging subjects, including hygiene, nutrition, conflict resolution, academic achievement, leadership and entrepreneurship. “If I can be a role model by inspiring these kids and letting them know that entrepreneurship is an option for them, that would be great,” she says. “I want them to know that they can be business owners, but they need to work hard and stay focused. Whatever their interests are, I want them to value themselves and education and capitalize on their talent, because everybody has something to offer the world.” Lauren says her future plans include continuing to expand both her business and nonprofit. Understanding the value of promotion, she’d love for entertainers and even local TV anchors to wear her customized apparel. But she also expresses interest in studying leadership and community outreach in graduate school. Additionally, Lauren says she’d like to write self-help books aimed at addressing the needs of urban youth. “I’d love to be known for uplifting youth in my community and keeping my grandfather’s torch lit by passing on his inspirational messages,” she says. “Kids need to know they should live life with a purpose and leave the world a better place than when they found it.” Metropolitan State University, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, provides high-quality, affordable education programs for adults seeking bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It is the only state university in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

From 3 students even call her “Miss Diva.” Keeping her grounded is her mother, Lynn Coleman— Lauren affectionately calls her “mom-ager,” for mom and manager—who often works with her at the store. Lynn Coleman says her daughter has always been precocious and arty; for instance, her poetry was published when she was just 12. So it wasn’t necessarily surprising when the teenage Lauren, after taming her wayward hair one morning with a highly stylized gold headscarf, was immediately pestered by other students in her Minneapolis charter school to fashion similar scarves for them. Thus Diva Rags was born, initially operated out of a shoebox in her South Minneapolis bedroom. Soon Lauren was peddling embellished headscarves, shawls and accessories at farmers markets and other community events. She branched out to include male attire—the Suave Clothing part of her company’s name—and by 2007 was working from a space at the Midtown Global Market on Lake Street. She opened her current 375-squarefoot store (with basement library) at 1832 East 42nd Street in South Minneapolis in 2008. Lauren says Diva Rags & Suave Clothing has recently entered into gift shops at hightraffic venues such as the Allina and Children’s Hospitals and Kowalski’s Markets. She’s even sold headscarves to the Harley Davidson motorcycle company in Saint Paul. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among Blacks in Minnesota is about 22 percent, which is three times higher than for whites. That unemployment disparity is among the highest nationally. Lauren suggested one way to help reduce that rate among Blacks would be for more to launch their own enterprises. “It can be done,” she says, “with the right resources, support and education.” In Lauren’s case, she is grateful for attending Metropolitan State University’s First College and graduating with a self-designed major in leadership, entrepreneurship and community outreach. The First College’s spring semester outstanding student is also thankful the college enabled her to receive some credit for prior life experiences.


From 9 song, Body Count, celebrated the murder of police officers. And, it never criticized Sarah Palin, who sees nothing wrong with placing shooting targets around photos of liberal Democrats. On the Aug. 24, 2007 edition of Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity introduced video of Ted Nugent, a musician and right-wing activist, calling President Obama “a piece of s---“ and referring to Hillary Clinton as a “worthless b----.” When Bob Beckel, a guest on the program, challenged Hannity to disavow Nugent, he declined, saying: “No, I like Ted Nugent. He’s a friend of mine.” It is unfair to hold Obama responsible for the lyrics of Common and not apply the same standard to other presidents. Daily Show comedian Jon Stewart drove home that point when he cited the lyrics of Johnny Cash: “Early one mornin’ while makin’ the rounds/I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down.” Cash was invited to the White House by presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush invited rapper Easy-E to the White House. His group, NWA, released a song titled, F--- tha Police. Among its lyrics: A young nigga on a warpath And when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath Of cops, dyin in LA Taking out a police would make my day Where was the outrage from conservatives then? Again, there was no public outrage. By today’s standard, Common’s lyrics are mild. So mild that The Gap featured him in an ad for its 2006 fall collection. He has also appeared in such movies as American

“I love the fact they acknowledge the worth and value of your past experiences,” she says. Daniel Abebe, First College dean and Lauren’s advisor, called her “extremely intelligent” and an “amazing example of what a human being

Gangster, Terminator Salvation, and Date Night, featuring Tina Fey and Steve Carell. Lost in the controversy over Common was the purpose of the White House event, which was to honor poetry. As President Obama said at the event, “The power of poetry is everybody experiences it differently. There are no rules on what makes a great poem. Instead, a great poem is one

can and should be.” Moreover, Abebe characterized her as a “visionary” and “inspirational leader” who is a “great role model for many young people of color.” Whether working for her business or nonprofit, Lauren says she is committed to

that resonates with us and challenges us and teaches us something about ourselves.” George E. Curry, former editorin-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached through his Web site, You can also follow him atwww.

Solutions From 10


Page 12 • May 23 - May 29, 2011 • Insight News

Louisiana From 1 And by the looks of the lines of people queuing up and waiting patiently to enjoy his brand of down home southern fried soul food, it is a change that will be significant for several reasons. Though he didn’t tell me this—we haven’t yet had our sit down radio/newspaper interview – I used my imagination to understand what bold vision led Harris to audaciously declare change has come to the neighborhood. In is early 20’s, Harris is obviously a man on a mission. Louisiana Fried Chicken is his second formal business venture as an owner, but he has already honed business skills and savvy as a manager in other major national chain retail businesses. Most recently he managed a Holiday Station Store in Plymouth, acquiring invaluable insight into the world of business, customer service, and top flight branding. So I imagine when candidate, now President, Barack Obama proclaimed Change was a hand, young Harris was one of the thousands of young people who caught the vision. Or perhaps it was that Harris’ own entrepreneurial vision found additional confirmation in the Barack Obama declaration that change was at hand. After all, the President was saying to all young men in our

Promise From 1 “Developing an action plan, that is the heart of the Promise Neighborhood,” said Hamilton Bell, project director of SPPN in a May 5th, 2011 St Paul Promise Neighborhood community event at The Wilder Foundation at 451 Lexington Ave in St Paul. To achieve this mission, the SPPN Advisory Board which includes public officials, Saint Paul Public School staff and community residents organized Solution Action Groups (SAGs), which met five times between January and March of 2011. The six SAGs, are Early

community, “If I can do it, your can do it!” Harris heeded the call to action by our President and redoubled his own efforts to pursue the path of business excellence. Most of all, he believed. And he let that unshakable belief fuel focused action. When you go to Facebook to the Louisiana Famous Fried Chicken page, you find that Harris has had his shoulder to the wheel on this project for at least two years. And you discover that his enthusiasm and conviction inspire belief and anticipation in others. Posts at his Facebook page show people mentally lining up for months, eager to check out the promise of authentically soulful Louisiana Fried Chicken. When I dropped in on Sunday,

Above (L-R): Tracina Coward, Dwight Harding, Fayidatt Odoffin, Marzel Harris.

the second day of operation, Harris manned the cash register, taking orders, and keeping eye contact with the host who greeting

people warmly at the door, and the cooking crew that, I discovered, had been overwhelmed by the tremendous rush of customers

Childhood, chaired by Barbra Yates of Resources for Child Caring; Elementary School, chaired by Zong Vang of Jackson Elementary, Middle school, chaired by Elona Street Stewart of the St Paul Public School Board, High School, chaired by Fue Vue of Vue Law Office, Post Secondary chaired by community member Mary K Boyd, and Community, chaired by community resident Charles Ellis. According to a SPPN community assessment, the greatest concerns for community are safety, crime and violence, drugs and education. “There are four concerns about a promise neighborhood; safe neighborhood, safe schools, quality schools and

after school programs,” Bell said. The St. Paul Promise Neighborhood encompasses a 250 block area in the SummitUniversity and Frogtown neighborhoods. Two public elementary schools, Jackson and Maxfield are targeted to become full service community schools, providing students, families and community members with additional services. “Over half of all caregivers, regardless of demographic, said they needed initial training to get a job, or to achieve job advancement,” said Muneer Karcher Ramos the community assessment lead researcher, SPPN. This initiative seeks to ensure parents are empowered

from the moment the doors opened, and with wait staff, who brought food out to tables and served sodas to customers as they waited for their orders. What was so nice about the first visit was the enthusiasm of the staff and of the customers. Harris got it right. North Minneapolis is ready for a change, and with his investment, he is saying the change begins with him.

Suluki Fardan

Muneer Karcher Ramos, St. Paul Promise Neighborhood Community Assessment Lead Researcher

to help their children be successful in school; to make sure that children enter grade school ready to learn, to strengthen measuring programs

Everything on the menu is moderately to inexpensively priced, meaning you can’t find a better price value anywhere. The specialties include fried catfish, fried red snapper, fried shrimp, shrimp po’boys and catfish po’boys, and sides that include fried okra or French Fries. Of course there are more sandwiches and chicken and fish box order combinations. But those details you will have to discover

for youth and to support learning outside of school all year long. Transportation, time conflicts, and cost of participation are the top barriers these goals face. In the Summit University and Frogtown neighborhoods, nearly 32% of residents are younger than 18; two thirds are low income with 89% being eligible for free reduced lunch. “45% of the households earn less than $18,000 a year. The overall poverty rate is 36%. About 15% of the primary caregivers are grandparents or other relatives. In addition, over 1,000 vacant house holds are in this 250 square block area,” Ramos said. The effort is managed by Wilder Foundation in

for yourself. I can only tell that the items I mentioned above are the items I tried. And I hereby declare the food exceptional! Harris told me that he opened on the 15th with meats that undergo 24 hours of marinating before being introduced to the deep fryer. “We couldn’t believe it! We had over 1,000 customers on Opening Day alone, selling out inventory prepared for that day and the next two days as well.,” he said as he was preparing my order. By midafternoon Sunday, he had served over 500 customers, he said. Here’s what I think. I am proud to see this energetic, focused young businessman drop anchor in North Minneapolis in the middle of our neighborhood. And I think he is right. Change has come to the neighborhood. And just like he is demonstrating that he believes that the change begins with him, by his passion and action he is saying that each of us should likewise say “The change begins with me!” Let’s do something special to support this young man. Let’s lift him up. Let’s support his business. Let’s help him break records for fried chicken and fish sales in a way that the market has to stop and take notice of the awesome purchasing power of our community. Let’s send a message to the market and to ourselves. “We are the market, and change has come to the neighborhood!” For further information: 612-756-7400, or visit www.

collaboration with the City of St Paul; Frogtown Neighborhood Association, Ramsey County, Saint Paul Public Schools, Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, Summit University Planning Council and YWCA Saint Paul. Financial and in kind support is provided by: 3M Foundation; F.R.Bigelow Foundation, Otto Bremer Foundations, Greater Twin Cities United Way, The McKnight Foundation, Excel Energy Center, Wells Fargo, Travelers, and Securian Foundation. To find out more information, contact Paul Mattessich at 612 280-2710, or Hamilton Bell at 651 280-2060. You can also visit www.wilder. org/promiseneighborhood.html

Insight News ::: 5.23.11  

Insight News for the week of May 23, 2011. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis /...

Insight News ::: 5.23.11  

Insight News for the week of May 23, 2011. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis /...