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Insight News August 28 - September 3, 2017

Vol. 44 No. 35• The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

Leading with Art TURN TO PAGE 2

Portrait of Harriet Tubman Seitu Jones

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Leading with art:



Saturday, September 9, 2017 11pm—5pm

See | Make | Take Make your own button with youth apprentices from our Graphics Lab. Stop by the Textile print shop to see what’s new in our store.

Want freedom? Keep going! By Harry Colbert, Jr. Managing Editor @HarryColbertJr The strength of steel and larger than life. That’s Harriet Tubman in the figurative sense. Born a slave, Tubman escaped from bondage to become a heralded abolitionist and United States Army scout who led scores of once enslaved Blacks to freedom in Canada using the Underground Railroad. Tubman was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the Civil War. She is credited with guiding the raid at Combahee Ferry that freed more than 700 slaves. The strength of steel and larger than life. That’s how

ART 11

Seitu Jones

A watercolor edited photo of dancers in front of a Seitu Jones work, “Street Scene.” The photo was taken this past July at Public Functionary in Minneapolis.

Snap a pic in our Photobooth! Check out our new mural by the Contemporary and Public Art Lab. Take in our current Gallery Exhibit, Relics: An Investigation of Black August.

By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Contributor


JUXTAPOSITION ARTS 2007 Emerson Ave. N Minneapolis, MN 55411 612.588.1148

Dick Gregory dies at 84

Legendary civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory died on Saturday (Aug 19). He was 84. Friends, family and celebrities took to social media to honor the icon and innovator of the Black community. “It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist

Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, D.C.,” said Christian Gregory, his son, in a statement posted on Facebook. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.” On Facebook, Roland Martin, a journalist and host of “NewsOne” on TV One said he had enormous respect for Gregory. “He was honest, truthful, unflinch-


Dick Gregory

Insight News • August 28 - September 3, 2017 • Page 3

aesthetically speaking

Aesthetically It!: Events, concerts, venues in the Twin Cities


W I N N E R : 2 017 N N PA M E R I T AWA R D S : 2 N D P L AC E B E S T S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

Insight News August 28 - September 3, 2017

Vol. 44 No. 35• The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

For Minnesota GOP chief Jennifer Carnahan taillight stop was amusing

Should Castile have asked Yanez if he voted for Trump? By Harry Colbert, Jr. Managing Editor Twitter @HarryColbertJr

A since-deleted Facebook post from the state’s GOP chair has raised more than a few eyebrows and has some questioning if the post was a poke at Philando Castile, the man killed last year by then St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez. On Aug. 8, Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan took to Facebook to brag about her stop for a broken taillight. In the post Carnahan wrote, “Tales from the road … Driving back to Minneapolis from Pine County Candidate Forum and we get pulled over on 35W because the taillight was out. The result? Rick (a person traveling

with Carnahan) asked the state trooper if he voted for (President) Trump [trooper said yes], then Rick handed him a contribution card and asked for $10/month! The trooper said he’d mail it in and sent us on our way.” A commenter later asked if she received a ticket and Carnahan said she was not ticketed. This stop is in sharp contrast to Castile’s July 6, 2016 stop, also supposedly for a broken taillight. Castile was shot multiple times and killed by Yanez, who earlier this summer was acquitted on manslaughter charges stemming from the shooting. Castile alerted Yanez to his legally carrying a firearm just before he was killed. The motives behind Carnahan’s post are being questioned by several including the president of the Minneapolis

A screen-capture of an Aug. 8 Facebook post detailing a stop by a Minnesota State Trooper for a broken taillight by state GOP chair, Jennifer Carnahan. branch of the NAACP. “I thought she was talking a shot at Philando,” said Jason Sole, president of the Minneapolis NAACP. “To

me she was saying, ‘if you act accordingly, you’ll live.’ I thought it was blatant disrespect.” Sole said several people alerted him to the post and many

commented on what he called Carnahan’s poor taste before she removed the post. He also said he wants to know how ethical it was for the trooper to offer the GOP

Simon Minnesota second worst in the nation rejects in Black and white inequality federal request for voter statistics

chair a pass based on their mutual support of Trump. “People have to be held



By Harry Colbert, Jr. Managing Editor

Twitter @HarryColbertJr

We’re number two. In a race to the bottom, only our neighbor Wisconsin is worse when it comes to ethnic disparities between whites and Blacks. This according to an Aug. 18 report authored by 24/7 Wall Street. The report outlines a bleak picture nationwide. According to the report, “The typical white household’s income is nearly double the typical Black household’s income. Black Americans are twice as likely to be

James Burroughs unemployed and two and a half times more likely to live in poverty compared to white Americans. Just one in five

African-American adults have a college education, compared to one in three white adults.” But for Minnesota, the numbers are downright distressing. According to the report, Blacks in Minnesota have a median household income of just $22,399 compared to $56,177 for whites. The homeownership rate for Black residents in the state is a paltry 21.3 percent compared to a rate of 71.8 percent for whites. In Minnesota, Blacks are incarcerated at a rate per 100,000 of 1,493 to 309 for whites. While the report did not have the unemployment rate for Blacks, it noted that the white unemployment rate was a glowing 1.5 percent in 2016.

According to state statistics the current unemployment rate for whites is at 3.1 percent and Black unemployment is 8.7 percent. In a bit of positive news, while 8.7 percent unemployment is more than double that of whites in the state, the rate dropped nearly half from 2015 when it was above 16 percent. The state’s chief officer for diversity and inclusion was pointed in his assessment of the report. “The data in this report is not new, but it is embarrassing and unacceptable,” said James Burroughs, Minnesota’s chief officer of Diversity and Inclusion


Former Gary Indiana Mayor Richard Hatcher:

Stand up, fight Trump Yet, his minions are generating alarm and outrage as they push forward with their right-wing agenda. Recent reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is planning to investigate and possibly sue universities over admissions policies that allegedly discriminate against White applicants are fanning the flames of both racism and resistance to racism.

By Richard Gordon Hatcher, Chicago Crusader/NNPA Member

Donald Trump once famously asked the African American community: “What do you have to lose?” We now have the answer. Everything. Is this the time to stand up and fight back? Clearly, the answer is “yes.” Poll numbers on Trump’s disastrous performance as President reveal rapidly shrinking support for him and his policies.

Civil rights activist Richard Gordon Hatcher says that it is clear that this administration is building a case against young people of color on every front.


Radical thoughts Despite Unequal Treatment, about nonprofi Black t boards Women Will Rise


This action brings us back to the Allan Bakke case of almost 40 years ago that alleged “reverse discrimination” against White students at a California medical school. At that time, in a close vote, the court ruled that

News Education

Don’t complain, Harvest Network of activate Schools celebrates 25th anniversary


while affirmative action was constitutional, quotas were not. Judge Harry Blackmun wrote in his opinion on Bakke that, “To get beyond racism, we must first consider race.” His words ring as true today as they did then. Two years after the Bakke ruling, civil rights organizations came together to oppose the nomination of Robert Bork, an arch-conservative and Ronald Reagan’s nominee to the Supreme Court. We were able


Secretary of State Steve Simon formally rejected the request by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to turn over extensive personal data on nearly four million registered voters in Minnesota, citing serious doubts about the Commission’s credibility and trustworthiness. Simon formally rejected the request in a letter to the commission, which was in response to two letters the commission sent to all secretaries of state on June 28 and July 26. “As I’ve already announced, I will not be handing over Minnesota voters’ personal information to the commission,” wrote Simon in the letter. “I don’t think that any Minnesotan would ever have imagined when they registered to vote that such information would end up in some sort of ad hoc federal government database. Just as importantly, I have serious doubts about the commission’s credibility and trustworthiness.” In the letter, Simon outlined in detail six reasons why he has doubts about the credibility and trustworthiness of the commission. Simon noted the commission arose out of President Trump’s “baseless and irresponsible claim of massive voter fraud,” the leadership of the commission is unfairly slanted, the membership of the commission is not meaningfully bipartisan, the commission seems headed toward pre-


War on opioids hurts High prescription sickleprices cell disease drug hurt our patients community


Secretary of State Steve Simon determined outcomes, is poised to use sensitive voter data in methodologically unsound ways and it is turning attention away from the cyber-security issues that are the biggest threat to election integrity. Simon told the commission that he welcomed federal help, particularly regarding “the prospect of cyber-attacks by outside forces, including foreign governments, who seek to disrupt and undermine our elections.” He provided several examples of federal help that would be helpful, including continuation of the “critical infrastructure” designation by the Department of Homeland Security, additional help by other federal agencies in assessing cyber-threats and solutions, federal resources for state improvements to cybersecurity, and federal assistance for the purchase of new election equipment by local governments. Simon also challenged the commission to prove him wrong about its intentions, motives, biases, methodologies and pre-determined outcomes by, among other examples, “seeking and obtaining genuine bipartisanship, not needlessly undermining faith in our election system by legitimizing (overtly or through silence) unproven conspiracy theories, and always asking whether a proposed ‘cure’ is worse than the ‘disease.’”

Commentary AS

The Chronicles ‘The Governmentof Gang’ Miss Freedom Fighter, premieres with 30s-style Esquire: Ending mass gala incarceration

7 PAGE 10

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Oscar López Rivera to speak at events Monday and Tuesday in St. Paul A longtime political prisoner is coming to speak in St. Paul. Oscar López Rivera is the longest-serving Puerto Rican political prisoner. After serving 35 of a 70-year sentence in Federal prison, he was commuted by President Barack Obama in January 2017. Since his release, López Rivera has been traveling extensively to speak about

his life experiences and his quest for Puerto Rican independence. Lopez Rivera is the author of “Between Torture and Resistance,” and will be in St. Paul next week for two events organized by the Puerto Ricans In Minnesota Committee (PRIM) and copresented by Metropolitan State University. The first event takes place on Monday

from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center, 788 E. 7th St., St. Paul. López Rivera will discuss the history of Puerto Rico, decolonization and the role of arts and activism in liberation movements. The second event will be held on Tuesday at Metropolitan State University in the Founders Hall auditorium, 700 7th St. E., St. Paul, from 6 p.m. to


“We must do better as a state and we must continue to take urgent actions to immediately change this situation. The inclusion and diversity work you are leading at your respective agencies is even more important now than ever before. We must work diligently and aggressively to meet our inclusion and diversity goals so people of color in Minnesota have equitable opportunities at all levels to achieve success in our great state.” In the letter Burroughs said change must come from the top down. “I want to remind you that we as leaders in state government must be catalysts for this work and not accept where we are currently in racial inequity,” said Burroughs.

“Instead, we must lead through our actions and demand something more for those that have truly been underserved by our state. This change must happen through our hiring and retention practices, how we spend government resources with diverse vendors and how we engage and empower all communities. This change must also be reflected in how we provide equitable services for all Minnesotans. We must value and include all Minnesotans.” According to 24/7 Wall Street, to review Black and white racial inequality it created an index of 10 measures to assess racial gaps in achievement and opportunities in each state. The index includes data on median household

From 3 in a letter to state commissioners.


Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane Assistant to the Publisher Shumira Cunningham Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Managing Editor Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer Abeni Hill Associate Editor Afrodescendientes Carmen Robles Associate Editor Nigeria & West Africa Chief Folarin Ero-Phillips Associate Editor Culture and Education Dr. Irma McClaurin Associate Editor Leadership and Social Enterprise Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Content & Production Coordinator Sunny Thongthi Yang Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Contributing Writers Melvin Carter, Jr. Julie Desmond Fred Easter Gloria Freeman Timothy Houston Penny Jones-Richardson Michelle Mitchum Darren Moore Artika Tyner Toki Wright Photography David Bradley Rebecca Rabb 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,

GOP From 3 accountable,” said Sole, who said he hopes to identify the trooper involved in the stop. Carnahan said the post had nothing to do with Castile and said the stops were, “two totally different situations” and said, “every stop is different.”

While Carnahan has removed the taillight post, a post remains where she goes after the state’s DFL chair for his denouncing of Trump following the president’s refusal to hold white supremacists accountable for the violence that led to the horrific death of Heater Heyer, 32, killed when a car suspected to be driven by James Fields, Jr., 20 plowed into a group of counter-protesters. All told, more

9 p.m. This program will consist of a presentation by López Rivera followed by audience dialogue. This event is co-sponsored by the School of Urban Education, the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship, Puerto Ricans in Minnesota and the Minneapolis NAACP. This event is free and open to the public.

Oscar López Rivera

income, poverty, high school and bachelor’s educational attainment, and homeownership

rate for whites and Blacks from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey.

Data on white and Black 2016 unemployment came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

than 40 people were injured in Charlottesville, Va. during the white supremacists’ “Unite the Right” rally Aug. 11 and Aug. 12. Carnahan seemed to suggest moral superiority when she scolded DFL chair, Ken Martin, on Aug. 13 for calling out Trump in a Facebook post. “What happened in Virginia is horrific and unacceptable. However, to openly state that, ‘when Donald Trump said he wanted to ‘Make America Great Again’ many of us knew what he was referring to – he and others want to take us back to a time when scenes like this were commonplace, back to a time when white people terrorized communities of color and people were being killed because of their race, ethnicity and sexual

orientation ...’ as MN DFL Chairman Ken Martin recently did on his Facebook is both irresponsible, concerning and disappointing,” wrote Carnahan. “Shame on Ken Martin and any other DFL’ers [sic] promoting this same rhetoric,” wrote Carnahan. The post had garnered more than 130 comments, many defending the participants of the violent rally in Virginia. Martin later took Carnahan to task in an Aug. 19 op-ed penned in the Duluth News Tribune. In it Martin wrote, “I am disappointed Minnesota Republican Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan attempted to absolve President Trump of responsibility.” He went on to say, “David Duke, a former Imperial

Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, said the purpose of the rally in Charlottesville was to ‘fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.’ We cannot turn a blind eye to the red ‘Make America Great Again’ hats that were visible throughout the crowds,” wrote Martin. “We cannot pretend President Trump’s reaction to this tragedy was anything less than a dog whistle to white supremacists. “Every single one of us has a duty to stamp out hatred. The images from Charlottesville of white supremacists with Confederate and Nazi flags held aloft and of violent clashes in the streets, coupled with the terrifyingly divisive presidential response, should give us great alarm — regardless of political party.”

voice for justice. RIP.” Filmmaker Ava DuVernay tweeted that Gregory, “taught us and loved us.” Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, also paid homage to Gregory. “We salute and honor the living legacy of freedom fighter Dick Gregory. RIP,” wrote Chavis on Twitter. Gregory had been in a Washington, D.C.-area hospital battling an undisclosed illness. However, as late as Thursday, family members were said to have been upbeat about his recovery and he even had plans to appear at a

show on Saturday in the nation’s capital. Born Richard Claxton “Dick” Gregory in St. Louis on Oct. 12, 1932, Gregory became a comedian and civil rights activist whose social satire changed the way whites perceived AfricanAmerican comedians. Gregory entered the national comedy scene in 1961 when Chicago’s Playboy Club (as a direct request from publisher Hugh Hefner) booked him as a replacement for white comedian, “Professor” Irwin Corey. Until then Gregory had worked mostly at small clubs with predominantly

Gregory From 2 ing, unapologetically Black. He challenged America at every turn. RIP,” wrote Martin. “He was one of the sweetest, smartest, most loving people one could ever know,” said Steve Jaffe, Gregory’s publicist of 50 years, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jaffe added, “I just hope that God is ready for some outrageously funny times.” Singer John Legend tweeted, “Dick Gregory lived an amazing, revolutionary life. A groundbreaker in comedy and a

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Insight News • August 28 - September 3, 2017 • Page 5


Harvest Network of Schools celebrates 25th anniversary As a new school year is ushered in for staff at the Harvest Network arriving for their first day of professional development, the Harvest Network of Schools launches the celebration of its 25th anniversary under the theme “25 Years Matter.” The precursor to the Harvest Network of Schools is Seed Daycare, founded by Eric Mahmoud and Ella Mahmoud in 1985 in their North Minneapolis

home. In 1992 – in response to parents whose children were aging out of the daycare and who had embraced the high quality, African-centered curriculum of Seed – Harvest Preparatory School was founded as a private school. It is the anniversary of Harvest Prep (the first school in the network) that has sparked the anniversary celebration. In 1998, in an effort to serve more children at no cost,

Harvest Prep became a public charter school. Best Academy (2008) and the Mastery School (2012) followed with a shared mission, approach, and gapclosing academic framework. Since its founding in 1992, Harvest Preparatory School and the other two schools in the network have educated thousands of children, and its influence and impact in the North Minneapolis community

has mattered greatly in the lives of individual children, their families, and the broader community. Many of its scholars have gone on to success in high school, college, and career, and some have returned to the Harvest Network of Schools as staff. Twenty-five years has resulted in many accomplishments for the schools. In 2016, the Minnesota Teacher of the Year award went

to Abdul Wright – the first Black male, first charter school teacher and youngest recipient. CNN’s “Black in America with Soledad O’Brien” profiled the network of schools in 2013. A 2017 WCCO “Excellent Educator” award went to Harvest instructor, Loretta Hall. A community celebration of the network of schools is planned for later this academic year.

Eric Mohmoud

Early Childhood Family Education program secures grant funding Robbinsdale Area Schools’ Early Childhood Family Education has secured $1.9 million per year in funding via the Minnesota Department of Education’s Voluntary PreKindergarten Program Grant. This grant aligns to the five goals of the World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) Bill, passed in 2013, specifically addressing the first goal of the WBWF, “All children are ready for school.” “Robbinsdale Area

Hatcher From 3 to defeat Bork through national sustained political action, and thus were able to stem the tide of reaction in favor of democracy and fairness. But now we have conservative Neil Gorsuch on that court. By saturating the ground with gasoline, all someone needs to do is light a match at the Supreme Court that could undo admission policies all over the country. We cannot allow that to happen. Right now, the DOJ is looking to pull together a team of lawyers from the department’s Civil Rights Division to work on “…intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.” Eight states already ban affirmative action admission policies. It is clear that this administration is building a case against young people of color on every front. The evidence is compelling. Education Secretary Betsy Devos’s Civil Rights

Gregory From 4 Black audiences (he met his wife, Lillian Smith, at one such club). “Such clubs paid comedians an average of five dollars per night; thus Gregory also held a day job as a postal employee. His tenure as a replacement for Corey was so successful – at one performance he won over an audience that included southern White convention goers – that the Playboy Club offered him a contract extension from several weeks to three years,” reads Gregory’s biography. “By 1962, Gregory had become a nationally known headline performer, selling out nightclubs, making numerous national television appearances, and recording popular comedy albums.” While a student at Sumner High School in St. Louis he led a march protesting segregated schools. Later, inspired by the work of leaders such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Gregory took part in the Civil Rights Movement and used his celebrity status to draw attention to such issues as segregation and disfranchisement. “When local Mississippi governments stopped distributing Federal food surpluses to poor Blacks in areas where SNCC was encouraging voter registration, Gregory chartered a plane to bring in several tons of food,” reads his biography. “He participated in SNCC’s voter registration drives and in sit-ins to protest segregation, most notably at a restaurant

funding covers the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will award 61 grants for a total of $20.9 million for the 2017-2018 school year. The funding for Robbinsdale Area Schools would be the largest of these grants. The grant funding would serve 360 students at Meadow Lake, Northport, Lakeview, Sonnesyn, Forest, Noble and Neill elementary schools. The voluntary pre-K

program can serve any child who is four years old on Sept. 1. School districts can locally determine admission criteria. Open enrollment will also apply for the voluntary pre-K program. In order to meet the state requirement of supplementing and not supplanting services with this funding, examples of uses of the funding have been provided by MDE include expanding the number of 4-year-olds served, increasing the time children

are able to spend in school, reducing child to staff ratios below the maximum, increasing the expertise of staff working with the children and covering inflationary cost increases. “This grant will give us an opportunity to work with our governor and commissioner and our very own champion, Rep. Lyndon Carlson, to provide an opportunity we know all children deserve,” said Jenkins.

Dr, Carlton Jenkins

Schools has been part of the Early Childhood community for the last 43 years,” said superintendent of Robbinsdale schools, Dr. Carlton Jenkins. “This grant allows us to enhance our participation at another level as we continue to build from our Early Childhood to our Adult programming. We are glad the state’s investment will be combined with our district’s already extensive and historic investment.” The initial grant

Division chairperson Candice Jackson, who is white, will be brought into the fray. She has claimed she was a victim of discrimination at one point in her college career. Meanwhile, as planned, the Education Department has scaled back its civil rights investigations at public schools and universities. Many in the civil and human rights communities warned against DeVos heading up the Education Department. This is the result. This bombshell follows another volley from the Attorney General Jeff Sessions that they would not enforce recent DOJ reforms aimed at the nation’s police departments. The reforms mandated by then Attorney General Eric Holder were templates for the nation’s out of control police departments. An unrelenting trend in police shootings of unarmed AfricanAmericans continues to stalk the nation. Add to this, Sessions’ rant that prosecutors must enforce maximum sentences for drug offenses that we know will target Black and Brown communities unfairly, sending more young people to the nation’s prisons. And all of this on the heels of the gutting of the Voting

Rights Act four years ago. We agree with the Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Janai Nelson, that, “This is what a 21st century assault on civil rights looks like, an assault on voter rights, an assault on police-community relations, and now this latest attack on affirmative action. It is really stoking an ‘us versus them’ narrative that is doing nothing but harm to our country.” We hope that the public is not foolish enough to believe that the Trump Administration has no discernible policies. These actions are proof positive that through the DOJ, the Education Department and the Supreme Court, he intends to use false flags to tear asunder good policies and laws under the guise of “making America great again.” We say, he’s really trying to “make America white again!” We must stand up for this generation and the next in every way possible – through our national organizations, on the streets, in the courts, in our social media, and in our churches, mosques and synagogues. In this way, we can uphold our great democratic traditions by being on the right

side of history and make real the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s proclamation that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Richard Gordon

Hatcher is a civil rights activist, lawyer, and one of the first African-American mayors of a major American city, Gary, Ind. The Chicago Crusader is a member publication of the

National Newspaper Publishers Association. Learn more about becoming a member at www.

franchise in downtown Atlanta. Only later did Gregory disclose that he held stock in the chain.” Gregory’s autobiography, “Nigger,” was published in 1963 and it became the number one best-selling book in America. Over the decades it has sold in excess of seven million copies. He explained his choice for the title in the foreword of the book, where Dick Gregory wrote a note to his mother. “Whenever you hear the word ‘Nigger’ you’ll know their advertising my book,” wrote Gregory. Through the 1960s, Gregory spent more time on social issues and less time on performing, his biography noted. He participated in marches and parades to support a range of causes, including opposition to the Vietnam War, world hunger and drug abuse. Dorothy Leavell, chairman of the NNPA and publisher of the Crusader Newspaper Group said this was a sad moment and a great loss to America, especially Black America. “Dick Gregory was a personal friend, but also a voice for Black America, which has now been stilled,” said Leavell. “Dick was also a close friend to the Black Press and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). While we mourn this loss we are grateful for the many contributions he made that have helped us all.” Chavis agreed. “Dick Gregory epitomized the rare combination of being an intellectual genius and one of our greatest social visionaries,” said Chavis. “The National Newspapers Publishers Association deeply mourns the passing of freedom fighter Dick Gregory.”



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Page 6 • August 28 - September 3, 2017 • Insight News

Insight 2 Health

Silence is unacceptable

High prescription drug prices hurt our community By Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD.)

Nearly a decade ago, Clinton Crawley, a Baltimore resident and one of my constituents, was diagnosed with diabetes. Crawley has done everything his doctors asked – he eats well, he exercises and he takes his medication. Although Crawley has employer-sponsored health insurance, the cost of his medication – more than $1,000 each year – places a significant burden on his finances.

Crawley is not alone. Over the past decade, 90 percent of brand name drugs have more than doubled in price. In 2014, U.S. prescription drug prices jumped 13 percent. That year, Americans spent $1,112 per person on medication while Canadians spent $772 and Danes spent $325, and nearly one in five Americans have reported not being able to afford the medication they were prescribed. Simply put, the pharmaceutical industry’s greed is hurting the American people. The issue of high prescription drug prices has a severe impact on the African-Ameri-

can community. As the saying goes, “when America catches a cold, Black America gets the flu.” African-Americans suffer from chronic diseases at higher rates than other groups. AfricanAmericans are 40 percent more likely than Caucasians to have high blood pressure, and the rate of diagnosed diabetes is 77 percent higher in our community. In 2014, African-Americans were nearly three times more likely to die from asthma-related causes than Caucasians. African-Americans at every education level are also paid less than their white counterparts. These factors place African-Americans in a double bind – we are more likely to suffer from an expensive chronic disease and we earn less money with which to pay for our health care, including skyrocketing prescription drug prices. Crawley’s experience, and those of millions of Americans nationwide, is unacceptable

© Can Stock Photo / zef

at a time when the 10 highest paid pharmaceutical industry CEOs took home $327 million in a single year. President Trump was right when he said that these companies are “getting away with murder.” That is why Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and I put our differences with President Trump aside and met with him to dis-

cuss how we can work together to lower prescription drug prices. During that meeting, Welch and I presented President Trump with “The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act,” a bill that would lower prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare – the largest purchaser of prescription drugs in America – to negotiate for lower prescription

drug prices. We asked for the president’s support and feedback on our bill. Four months later, despite the president’s enthusiasm during our meeting, we are still waiting to hear from him. Instead of working with Welch and me, there are now reports that President Trump is poised to issue an executive order that would grant many wishes directly from the pharmaceutical industry’s wish list. This executive order would be a betrayal of the president’s promise to the American people. There is something wrong with this picture, and the American people know it. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents want Congress and President Trump to make lowering the cost of prescription drugs a “top priority,” and 92 percent of all Americans want Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. While I am disappointed by the president’s silence, I am undeterred. I am still fighting hard in Congress to address this issue. Welch and I recently joined Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) to introduce the “Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act” – a comprehensive approach to lowering prescription drug costs. Our bill would improve transparency in drug pricing and manufacturing, allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prices in Part D and require negotiation for certain high-cost drugs, allow the importation of safe, affordable prescription drugs; help generic drugs reach the market more easily and cap the out-of-pocket costs for pre-


Insight News • August 28 - September 3, 2017 • Page 7

Commentary Lost little girl in modern day slavery Part three in a series By Tonique Ayler I was forced to watch my trafficker punch the other girls with full force deep in their chests or with all his strength to the side of their faces. I knew that I better remain quiet, obedient and loyal. The most horrible incident I witnessed was my trafficker removing two of the other girls clothing, handcuffing them together, spraying them with water and whooping them with metal hangers. Some of the welts were as long as my hand with lacerations. I succumbed to playing nurse because out of six girls I was the oldest. I felt like a little girl again. An innocent onlooker of the abuse my dad placed on my stepmoms. I was unable say or do anything to help. All the money and false happiness was stripped from me the moment I saw my trafficker. I was so happy when my trafficker finally allowed me to go out of state alone. I could be a whole new person again and never come back. He sent me to Nevada to work in the Brothels and racked up as much money as I could. I wanted to run so bad and I felt an instant rush of remorse. How could I abandon all the other girls? They were like family … but I had to think of my safety and who was to say that would be brave enough to

Prices From 6 scription drugs in private insurance plans. I still hope that we will

Tonique Ayler leave with me. Instead of taking a flight back to Minnesota where my trafficker could easily track me down in the airport, I hitched a ride from state to state with truck drivers, drowning in guilt and fearful until I made it back to Minnesota. Now I became “Dreama.” I lived in hotels with my cash flow depleting rapidly due to my drug use. I was catching the bus one day to visit my kids and mom. I stopped at gas station when I heard the sounds of stretching tires come to a halt almost hitting me from behind. I turned to see my trafficker jump out the passenger door of a Cadillac with a bat in his hand. Luckily when he swung I stepped back and the tip of the bat nicked me on the forehead. I turned to run and after two steps everything turned black. When I opened my eyes everything was blurring with specks a silver dots floating in the air. My body was

gain the support of the president and our Republican colleagues on this issue. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue, this is a moral issue. Are we the type of country that values people over profit, or are we a country that values profit over people? The

in pain; my head was pounding with blood dripping into my hair, down my ear and neck onto the ground. The gas station attendant was standing over me and other people were asking me if I was ok. I faded in and out until I woke up in the hospital right before them putting staples in the back of my head. Apparently when I tried to run my trafficker hit me in the back of the head with the bat. When I fell to the concrete he began kicking me and yelling obscenities. He fled when the gas station attendant threatened to call the police. The police did come to the hospital but out of fear I remained silent. I was torn, left as a lost little girl in a big world of modern day slavery. My mother came to get me when I was discharged from the hospital and allowed me to stay at her home and heal. My trafficking lifestyle quickly went out of control and I was filled with loss of empowerment with major events that deeply affected my entire life. I truly believe unhealthy desires and the need to not feel are the main reasons that I lived trapped in addiction. Even though physically there weren’t any bars that kept me caged, it was the mental and emotion chains from my own thoughts that drew me to drugs which kept me imprisoned. One quick glance was worth a thou-

sand words of brokenness in chemical dependency. Behind a mask I become another person. My self-esteem never matched my self-image. I felt so worthless and isolated. While at my mom’s I was able to look and find a job that I loved, working in group homes. I stayed at this job for three years hiding my addiction to cocaine, weed, alcohol and now ecstasy. I met another guy at Walgreen’s who appeared to be perfect in every way. I bought a truck and we hurried to get an apartment together. My oldest son wanted to stay with my mom and I couldn’t blame him because I was absent from his life for so long he barely even knew me. My youngest son came with me though. I became pregnant with my daughter. Her father had a horrible gambling problem that put me through a lot of financial stress. I relapsed quickly and hard. Then my addiction went down an even darker road. Snorting cocaine wasn’t enough to get me high anymore. I started smoking it. Up for days on end I was smoking to make the reality of my life’s failures disappear. I couldn’t get out of the bad choices that I had made. All that kept going through my head was “I’m an addict and a prostitute.” I didn’t go to any of my doctor’s appointments because I knew they would drug test me. One day

American people have made it clear where they stand. They want Congress to work together to fix this problem. Continued silence in the face of so much hardship and suffering is simply unacceptable.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings is a Democratic congressman from Baltimore and the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Follow him on Twitter at @RepCummings.

my youngest son and I were at mom’s house visiting my oldest son. I snuck in the bathroom to smoke cocaine. My mom caught me. In fear of her threats, I left my boys, quit my job, packed up what I could fit in my backpack and I ran up North to a shelter in St. Cloud where I remained sober and had my daughter. After I gave birth to her I gave her to my

mom. Author, Tonique, shared her story of being trafficked on a recent edition of “Conversations with Al McFarlane.” The audio from that show is available online at kfai. org/conversationswithalmcfarlane and by clicking the Listen Now tab for Aug. 8.

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Page 8 • August 28 - September 3, 2017 • Insight News

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Insight News • August 28 - September 3, 2017 • Page 9

Twelve-episode film series features North Minneapolis residents, entrepreneurs, artists and youth

Northside Funders Group launches ‘Northside Storyville’ Northside Funders Group (NFG) is seeking to change the narrative about North Minneapolis through its new ďŹ lm series, “Northside Storyville.â€? “Northside Storyvilleâ€? is a data archive project aimed at challenging negative narratives about North Minneapolis community. “‘Northside Storyville’ challenges the headlines and rhetoric about North Minneapolis with real stories of everyday people and places who make the Northside’s heart beat with pride,â€? said Tawanna Black, executive director of Northside Funders Group. “The fabric of the Northside is as vibrant and diverse as the generations of Minnesotans who

have called North Minneapolis home, and it is time for people across the entire region to get to know the value and contributions that the Northside makes to our region, and we must do that by hearing it directly from the voice of the people who call the Northside home.â€? NFG is partnering with Northside ďŹ lmmaker, D.A. Bullock, of Bully Creative on this project. “We’ve invested in ‘Northside Storyville’ to shine a light on the great work and cultural vibrancy of the North Minneapolis we know and love,â€? said Sarah Hernandez, co-chair of Northside Funders


Northside Funders Group

Storytellers and fans at a July viewing of the film series, “Northside Storyville� at New Rules in North Minneapolis.

Phone: 612.588.1313

Fax: 612.588.2031

Group and program oďŹƒcer at The McKnight Foundation. “Northside Storyvilleâ€? will release an episode each month with the ďŹ rst focusing on New Rules, a newly established event and creative co-working space on the Northside founded by former Target Corporation engineer, Chris Webley. As a new physical space in North Minneapolis, New Rules has experienced notable progress during its early stages by hosting more than 60 events that have attracted 4,000 visitors. To view the New Rules episode go to www.vimeo. com/223284490.


RENTAL PROPERTIES INH Properties manages Section 8, Section 42 and Rural Development projects in the following MN cities:

Anoka – Bridge Square, 763-421-6772 Big Lake – Autumn Winds, 320-258-6000 Brainerd – Mississippi Terrace, 218-829-0274 Cold Spring – Cottage Court, 320-685-3888 Coon Rapids – Coon Creek, 763-767-7755 Eden Valley – Hillside, 320-453-5968 Fergus Falls – Kaddatz, 218-205-0644 Glenwood – Glenview, 320-634-3188 Hawley – Northside Terrace, 218-483-4524 Hutchinson – Clinton House, 320-587-5458 Isle – Isle View, 320-676-8624 Isle – Mille Lacs Manor, 320-676-8624 Mankato – Dublin Road, 507-345-3351 Minneapolis – Holmes Park, 612-378-8817 Morris – Crystal Lake, 320-589-3662 Onamia – Oakwood, 320-532-4321 Onamia – Onamia Shores, 320-532-4321 Pierz – Kamnic Lane, 320-468-2581 Rice – Benton Place, 320-630-1201 St. Michael – Countryside Cottages, 763-497-4901 St. Paul – Parkway Gardens, 651-771-0835 Virginia – Alice Nettell, 218-741-3650 Residents must meet income guidelines. Rent based on income at some locations. INH Properties is an equal opportunity housing company


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Page 10 • August 28 - September 3, 2017 • Insight News

Damian Marley SZA

Monday, Aug. 28

Thursday, Aug. 31 HIP-HOP

HIP-HOP/OPEN MIC Pass the Aux #OpenMicMonday The Red Sea 320 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis 10 p.m. 18-plus $15 Scarr hosts an open mic night hip-hop style in the Riverside neighborhood.

Aug. 28 Sept. 10, 2017

Aesthetically It! is a list of picks from the editors of Aesthetically Speaking. Aesthetically It! features venues, events, outings and more that are worthy of “It” status. If you have a venue, event or outing that you feel is “It” worthy, email us at aestheticallyit@

Studio Sessions Skyway Theater 711 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis 9 p.m. 18-plus $10 DJ Snuggles brings you his monthly with performances by Tek, Student 1, Travis Gorman, Pilot Jonny and ECG along with a special guest set by Dwynell Rolland

Tuesday, Aug. 29

Friday, Sept. 1



Ghost in the Shell at Geek Date Night Clubhouse Jäger 923 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis 7-12PM

Damian Marley Music Hall Mpls 111 N. 5th St., Minneapolis 7 p.m. 18-plus $32

Catch this “geek” dating night with a viewing of the classic anime film, “Ghost in the Shell.”

Arguably the best live show in music, Damian Marley returns to Minneapolis to promote the “Stony Hill” project.

Wednesday, Aug. 30

Saturday, Sept. 2



African Children›s Choir The Basilica of Saint Mary 88 17th St. N., Minneapolis 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Free

“The Government Gang” Screening and 1920’s Gala Public Functionary 1400 12th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis 8 p.m. $10 advance, $15 door

This amazing choir is made up of children 7 to 10 yearsold who have lost one or both of their parents to war, famine or disease.

Step back into time as Soul Tools Entertainment hosts a retro 1920s/1930s style gala

and screening of its short film “The Government Gang.” Hosted by Timberwolves legend Troy Hudson and Miss Brit. Live music from the Kevin Washington Trio and event DJ Willie Shu. For more information visit

Sunday, Sept. 3 JAZZ Jazz Brunch: Walter Chancellor The Pourhouse 10 5th St. S., Minneapolis 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. All ages Horn great, Walter Chancellor, headlines this monthly jazz brunch in downtown Minneapolis.

Monday, Sept. 4 REGGAE Massive Mondays NE Palace 2500 4th St. N.E., Minneapolis 10 p.m. 21-plus No cover DJ Iroach presents a night of roots reggae in Northeast Minneapolis.

Tuesday, Sept. 5 COMEDY Clayton English Acme Comedy Company 708 1st St. N., Minneapolis

8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. 18-plus $18-$33 “Last Comic Standing” comic, Clayton English, plays Acme Comedy Co.

Wednesday, Sept. 6 BLUES TajMo: The Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ Band State Theatre 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis 7:30 p.m. No cover Blues legends Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ bring you their collaborative project for the first time in Minneapolis. They’ll be playing covers of The Who and John Mayer as well.

Clusterflux: Cosplay Party Gay 90›s 408 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis 9 p.m. 18-plus Up-and-coming experimental artist, Symone Smashit, heads up a night of dance and costume at the 90’s.

Saturday, Sept. 9 DANCE Harlem Nights Affair Rouge at the Lounge 411 2nd Ave. N., Minneapolis 10 p.m. 21-plus $10 advance, $15 door DJ Fundraiser and DJ Big Reece combined with a live band to provide the soundtrack to this unique event.

Thursday, Sept. 7

Sunday, Sept. 10



“Fences” Capri Theater 2027 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis 7 p.m. $10

The Big Fat Comedy Hour Lush 990 Central Ave. N.E., Minneapolis 7 p.m. 21-plus $5

Guest speaker Lou Bellamy of leads a question and answer session on the August Wilson play that became this hit film starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.

Friday, Sept. 8

Miss Shannon Paul headlines a night of comedy with Jakey Emmert, Jason Schommer, Megan Anderson, Amanda Costner, Autumn Summers, Harrie Bradshaw and Taj Ruler.


‘The Government Gang’ premieres with 30s-style gala By Toki Wright tokiwright Who will tell our stories if we do not tell them ourselves? After the end of slavery several self-sufficient towns were created to house, feed and grow the Black community with

dignity. One in particular was known as “Black Wall Street” or “Little Africa” in Tulsa, Okla. When the town was destroyed in race riots many were displaced and pushed into poverty. Filmmaker Reggie Henderson chose to take these historical events and create a fictional narrative of a group of Black and NativeAmerican bank robbers that

have turned to a life of crime. This tale plays out in the short film, “The Government Gang.” The pilot premiere and 192s-1930s style gala takes place this Saturday, Sept. 2 at Public Functionary in Minneapolis (1400 12th Ave. N.E.). I sat with Henderson to talk more about the newest project from Soul Tools Entertainment. TW: Tells us the story behind “The Government Gang?” RH: “The Government Gang” is the story of a group of men from a predominantly Black community in Tulsa, Okla. They get into a life of crime after the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921.

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So, for those that don’t know, how and why did the riots begin? It was all too common. You had a situation similar to what happened with Emmett Till. A Black man was accused of groping a white woman and the (whites) retaliated against the entire Black community. At the time, Black Wall Street was a bustling business district created by Black people as an alternative to having to frequent white businesses that treated them unfairly or didn’t serve the population. The entire town was burned to the ground. The news at the time, which was truly fake news, reported that 300 Black people were killed but we know that it was a much larger number. Roughly 35 square blocks were burned down. Some have even reported that at the time of the race riot, Black folks were winning the fight but former World War I fighters came in dropping Molotov cocktails from air dusters. Where does “The Government Gang” come into the story? My approach is as a lover of creative pieces, film noire, and gangster films. I thought of how through what we know as historical fact would fictional characters respond. I figured people would respond with anger and vengeance. As they tried

Karuza Cooke

Top row: Paul Wenell Jr., William Everett, Joe Adams. Bottom row: James Logan, Reggie Henderson, Pail WonSavage. to rebuild their community the insurance companies wouldn’t approve their requests and many were forced to move and rebuild elsewhere. Out of that desperation and need for independence bred this gang.

that centered around the Black experience aside from “Hoodlum” and “Rage in Harlem.” There really hasn’t been many movies that represented that side of the story. So the film isn’t officially done?

This is your second film project. How does it differ from “Bahamian Son?” “Bahamian Son” was a more personal story. It was a bit more manageable due to the current time period. We are looking at a whole era of the Great Depression. We had to recreate scenes from the 1920s and 30s. This new project is leaps and bounds ahead of the last film as far as story writing, look and production goes. We premiered the film at the Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago to rave reviews. One thing an audience member told me was he was invested in the film because it had characters that he could identify with. Instead of it being Robert De Niro, he could relate to a person of color that walked and talked like him. We went on to discuss the lack of mob movies from that era

Correct. This is a short that we are using as a proof of concept to take to investors. So Saturday’s gala is our local pilot premier and crowd-funding launch. We’re no stranger to investing in ourselves. “Bahamian Son” was funded by ourselves. This is such a big scope and task so we need to get more outside involvement. Why is it so important for you to tell this story? In order for our stories to be told we have make sure we support those that are putting forth the effort. We can’t expect Hollywood to do it for us when they rarely do. There is one meaningful story to 50 that condone buffoonery. We don’t need saviors. We are our saviors. What can we expect at the

gala? People are really excited to dress in 30s style attire for the party; though it’s optional. We will be screening E.G. Bailey’s short film, “New Neighbors” that was just shown at Sundance. We will also show director Brian Few, Jr.’s new short. After that we premier “The Government Gang” and go directly into a dance party with hors d’oeuvres and drinks. It’s going to be a really good time with the Kevin Washington Ensemble playing music from 20s and 30s jazz era followed by DJ Willie Shu spinning all different types of grooves. It’s hosted by Timberwolves legend Troy “T-Hud” Hudson and Miss Brit. The premiere of “The Government Gang” pilot and 1920s-30S-style gala begins at 8 p.m. with the screening starting shortly after. Tickets are $15 in advance and $10 if wearing 1920s-1930s attire. Tickets are available through Eventbrite on “The Government Gang” Facebook event page at events/120851661895546.

Art From 2 renowned artist, Seitu Jones, captured her in the literal sense. Standing nine feet tall, forged from weathered steel, since 1998 the likeness of Tubman has pointed north – the path to freedom – outside of Tubman Center West, 3111 1st Ave. S. in Minneapolis. The

Insight News • August 28 - September 3, 2017 • Page 11 center serves as a shelter and resource center for women escaping abusive situations. A rectangular steel slab, the image of Tubman is purposely hollowed out. “I want people to be able to walk through the sculpture and get into Harriet Tubman’s spirit,” explained Jones. Inscribed on the sculpture are the words of Tubman. It reads, “Children,

if you are tired, keep going. If you are scared, keep going. If you are hungry, keep going. If you want to taste freedom, keep going.” Because of works such as his homage to Tubman and countless others, Jones was recently honored with the McKnight Foundation’s Distinguished Artist Award. According to the foundation, “the annual honor, now marking its 20th

year, provides $50,000 cash to an individual Minnesota artist who has made a significant contribution to the state’s cultural life.” Born in North Minneapolis, Jones now resided in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood. In addition to his many individual works, Jones is an elder of the Seed Project, an initiative that teams established artists with upand-coming creative minds to

produce various public works in Minneapolis. The group will unveil a mural along Olson Memorial Highway in 2019. “One of the things I’m most concerned with is working on projects that offer other artists the same opportunities I had … and the opportunities I didn’t have,” said Jones. Though the McKnight award only goes

to one individual artist, Jones said it is a shared honor. “I owe (the honor) to this strong and supportive community; and when I say community, I mean the African-American community specifically,” said Jones. “And I have to say I’ve received awards from my community that have been just as meaningful; just as important.”

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Seitu Jones

A second watercolor edited photo of dancers in front of a Seitu Jones work, “Street Scene.”






Page 12 • August 28 - September 3, 2017 • Insight News


Aug. 24 - Sept. 4




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Insight News ::: 08.28.17  
Insight News ::: 08.28.17  

August 28, 2017