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Saturday June 6th 2020

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Minneapolis’ Education Explosion assists over 150 clients for a pathway to education

Editor’s Note: I met Ms. Angela Edwards many years ago when she worked out of the Minneapolis Urban League. Her dedication to all in the community should be commended, but also she is a premiere community stakeholder who walks-the-walk. ~Don Allen

By Rick Altorel, Guest Columnist – OurBlackNews.com

Angela Edwards is humble. Today in her modest office on Lyndale Avenue north at Dowling, she sits at her desk peaking around the corner every couple of minutes to see if the clients in Education Explosions computer lab needed help. Surrounded by over 200-nonprofit agencies within an five-square-mile area, Education Explosion sits as one of the best functioning agencies and one of the only that has not ever been funded…for more than 10-years.

“It’s me…all me. I care about the community and work two different jobs just to keep this place open. I’ve been doing this for the community for over 10-years and never took one grant or donation from anyone,” said Edwards.  Education Explosion is going through some growing pains, a large number of residents seeking assistance from far away like Saint Cloud and right here in north Minneapolis depend on “Mother Angie” to keep these doors open to print up resumes, fill out online applications and to be in a safe and culturally relevant surrounding while applying for school or a job. Edwards sees the need to expand her real-time working model to get her clients GED’s and into local community and trade colleges hoping for the best in an area that has unemployment numbers sometimes in the double-digits.

“I have clients being referred to me from prison reentry programs, local nonprofits and word-of mouth, but I’m their last ditch effort of some kind of normalcy before some of these young men go back to the streets. I have applied for local grants with everyone from Wells Fargo, to DEED,” said Edwards with a postscript that DEED officials came and visited her operation and have engaged her – but to what extent is unknown.

“It looks hopeful, but I want to know what I have to do to get funding that would help the many people I see each day in search of a new way of life, chasing a dream, or deciding the streets are not enough and an education is the best way to move forward for them as an individual and their families…that’s what’s important, them kids,” – firmly stated by Edwards.

In June 2016, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton signed off on more than $35 million dollars to assist the black community in their efforts of training for jobs, education and proactive, positive community engagement. Year-to-date, there has been no sign of the money, nor has there been a top-of-mind and sight of a change for people of color in the area of Education Explosion.

Edward spoke with tears in her eyes: “My office is right next door to a liquor store; I count hundreds of black men and women at all hours of the day going in and out of the liquor store. I just want to provide an alternative to medicating poverty with liquor in our community. I’ve always done the right thing and I hope karma is real because we are dying out here.”

Governor’s $35 million for MN Black community hits the streets Friday!

Something is very wrong and nobody is asking questions or getting answers. Essentially, disparities created by unequal treatment in the past persist today because much of the Civil Rights Movement has not progressed beyond legislative and social issues into the arena of economic empowerment through entrepreneurialism and financial literacy.

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

Surrogates for local agencies listed to receive pieces of the $35 million dollars are now saying the money was never there and that agencies did not receive any money based on the governors push to end generational disparities in Minnesota’s black community. On last Sunday, a local public radio community program publicly stated that agencies in north Minneapolis did not get the $4.2 million dollars as listed by the State Legislature and on the City of Minneapolis’ website.

This become a challenge with unemployment at an all-time high and real community stakeholders have been forced to deal with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Developments (DEED) hyperbole on the Pathway to Prosperity; the same tripe the Minneapolis Urban League tried to launch under its former president Scott Gray. The real question is where did the money go? Did the Somali, Asian and Native American agencies get their piece of the pie? If they didn’t, we certainly don’t hear any voices of protest at this point.

If billionaire governor Mark Dayton is doing so well with Minnesota’s economy, then why don’t the narratives of success match? As we head into the fourth-quarter, it seems like the usual suspects might be benefiting from trickles of money (a sighting at a local night spot was reported), but the big bucks have yet to make change or for that matter show successful measurable outcomes for black people in Minnesota.

According to the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau ACS study (see charts here) 27% of all African American men, women and children live below the poverty level compared to just 11% of all Americans. An even higher percentage (38%) of Black children live in poverty compared to 22% of all children in America. The poverty rate for working-age Black women (26%) which consists of women ages 18 to 64 is higher than that of working-age Black men (21%). Poverty rates for Black families vary based on the family type. While 23% of all Black families live below the poverty level only 8% of Black married couple families live in poverty which is considerably lower than the 37% of Black families headed by single women who live below the poverty line. The highest poverty rates (46%) are for Black families with children which are headed by single Black women. This is significant considering more than half (55%) of all Black families with children are headed by single women (BlackEconomics.com).

No, the money is not hitting the streets on Friday, and if it has, not too many people know what it is doing. One thing for sure, we know that DEED is sitting on multi-millions of Minnesota cash and has become the dog-trainer in this thing called grants to cure generational disparities. If you put first-things-first, you’ll realize it is impossible for the same group who created MNSure to assist in a Band Aid for the black community.

Open letter to the City of Edina, Minnesota: Don’t be a part of Black Chaos

Critical thinking and white guilt don’t mix – but someone wants them to. It’s evident in Minnesota for over 10-generations, neither create wealth nor prosperity for Black Minnesotans…what’s next? It’s self-evident that Black, Asian, and Middle Eastern men and women ought to take pride in their identities and fight for their group interests, so it follows that White people have that same right. Right?

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News (OpEd)

Edina, Minn. – Let’s face the truth; Edina is convenient. If a Black man, women or child had their civil rights violated in Ball Club, Minnesota (between Grand Rapids and Deer River) and it was videotaped and went viral, there would be no connection to the group of protesters that became nuisance by protesting in the streets of Edina last week (Geography is a tendered bedfellow).  Country music mega-star Kenny Rogers wrote: “You have to know when the hold them; know when to fold them; know when to walk away, know when to run.” In the matter of the Edina police officer who did harass a Black American pedestrian, evident by a video that went viral on social media, I’m telling you to pull up your collective boots straps, stand tall and hold.

Many years ago I lived on the fringe of Edina near Lake Harriet. Edina is a city that has figured out how to engage the state, federal and local tastemakers to maintain its rich city infrastructure while creating opportunities in that city for its more than 50,000+ residents. Current City of Edina Mayor Jim Hovland and past mayors have maintained Edina as a generationally-wealthy, white Southwest suburb free of the many economic blights that have covered many parts of the Twin Cities for more than five generations. The challenge begins when a white law enforcement officer is clearly caught obeying his mandate, but violating what seemed to be civil rights of a person that does not fit the profile of city residents. This is not the first time it has happened and will not be the last time, so don’t let your white guilt feed into a process of protest that appears to make you look bad when bad always has two sides.

The incident in Edina became a distraction for more important issues in the black community like the announcement that police officers involved in the Jamar Clark shooting would not be suspended not disciplined. No… Jamar Clark should not be dead; then again, he shouldn’t have been used as the poster boy to move certain people’s agendas while they looked the other way when our black youth shoot and kill on a daily basis. Agendas are very important in Black culture (but that’s for another story about the new Vikings and TCF Stadium).

Edina; over this weekend in the Twin Cities there has been multiple assaults, domestic violence, robberies, and shootings…this is just a snapshot of what happens within the city borders of any given weekday or weekend. The people that now protest, more specifically the leaders of those protests I attest want you to fold and bow-down to outrageous demands while people who look like them in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are suffering from high (double-digit) unemployment, homelessness, health disparities and a number of political knots that have kept residents in a Petri dish of poverty that lends itself to community leaders (people that look like me and others), to have a huge sample-rate of every disparity possible to gain access to funding. But if you look down the rabbit hole, you can see that while some things remain the same, nothing really changes for Black Minnesotans in this static circumstance – despite Pathway to Prosperity grants from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and exaggerations from local agencies that promise game changing events but deliver half-truths and always are inches from the goal post.

Let me be very clear, racism does exist in Edina, but also in Minneapolis, St. Paul and on a global level. Your city has become victim to a mechanism that forces white-guilt to fund meaningless adventures in Tom Foolery dependent on Jim Crow politics and need to keep “Minnesota Nice” in full working order. The real chaos happens when agent provocateurs (BLM/NAACP) organizers who in some cases have some grandiose agendas of fame, money and cable-network television coverage lose track of the mission of Civil Rights and what Black Minnesotans really need in favor of $5000.00 speaking fees, travel and hotel rooms to talk about how they managed the north Minneapolis Fourth Precinct shutdown and how race is at the center of all disparities. Do we have to mention all of the forgotten who have been killed or had their civil rights violated by law enforcement in the Twin Cities?  I know, that’s old, and the new-new is better fodder than the old-old – but still someone died and a group who say they want hope and change looks more like they want the change-$$.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves. We will not come together in a big circle and sing Kumbaya, neither will some Black community stakeholders allow these community organizer, or Witch Doctors to continue this stratification of Blackness with nothing to undergird it with.  The City of Edina could teach many in the Black community about wealth, real estate and community building – but hey, that doesn’t get on television or in the newspapers until the groundbreaking ceremonies, plus is seems too right. My best advice to Edina city leaders is talk to different Black people, like the ones that live in and work in Edina – ask them what to do. The stories will be worlds apart because one group wants to build, while the other wants Black Chaos.

Why Kerry Jo for Minneapolis School Board makes sense

The people in Minneapolis Public Schools District 2 must vote for Kerry Jo if there is to be any change in the Minneapolis Public School system.

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

Minneapolis, Minn. -Kerry Jo Felder is running in District Two (2) for the Minneapolis Public School Board (website). Kerry Jo and I have almost never seen eye-to-eye on any topic in the community, politics or economic development, but this is one of the many reasons why Kerry Jo makes the perfect candidate for the Minneapolis Public School Boards governing body.

Kerry Jo is a MPS parent. She believes the district belongs to its parents and students, Kerry Jo has worked hard to lift up voices to create solutions that address local disparities and will create schools we are proud to call our own. What this means is Kerry Jo is willing to bring a new voice and new deal for the Urban Mom and families who have been put-off by the process of educational engagement while their children, mostly children of color continue to be drop outs, not graduating from high school and suspended at an early age, sometime kindergarten.

Kerry Jo Felder eats, breathes, and sleeps the betterment of Northside public school students. A graduate of the Summatech program at North High, her passion for this work began alongside a large coalition of alumni that saved North High from the brink of closure in 2010. Since then, Kerry Jo has worked tirelessly in her professional and personal lives to advocate the re-opening of schools (North High and Franklin Middle School), create strong feeder pathways and implement high-quality curriculum models like Summatech and IB, advance efforts to increase diversity amongst MPS staff, and promote full-service community schools.

Kerry Jo is an MPS parent that believes the district belongs to its parents and students. A longtime convener of parents, students, grassroots community groups, unions, and MPS faculty and administrators- Kerry Jo possesses the experience and know-how to navigate systems and inspire

With so much prosperity in Minnesota, why are boys and babies still being killed?

“I’ve lived in north Minneapolis all my life. I’ve never worked on the new football field; neither have any of my friends…we’re all broke.” ~Robert Johnson, resident of north Minneapolis

By Don Allen with data provided by Matt Johnson (The System Scientist)

It was one of the biggest announcements after the completion of the U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home to the 5-0 Minnesota Vikings…and fittingly so. It seems a public relations campaign launched with an impressive list of talking heads announced to the mainstream and community of color that the new, beautiful and sleek home of the Minnesota Vikings was now people-of-color friendly because the during the construction phase, the prime, sub and other contractors had met the state hiring goal of 32 percent.  The data shows hundreds-of-thousands of hours worked by minorities with only one misstep: If you do the math, the Vikings U.S. Bank had more hours worked than black people in the Twin Cities…of course nobody’s talking about that.

WCCO, KARE-11, MyFox9 and KSTP put their best white-female anchors in a tight shoot close up to tell the mainstream of their viewers, there is nothing to worry about – the black people got work on the stadium…matter of fact, the over one billion-dollar monster met all goals in contract compliance. Since allegedly some of our self-appointed leaders cut deals, the missing jobs are not a break room nor water cooler fodder. Hell, the elected black officials know it’s a lie – but hey, they’re use to cover ups in the black community (any new babies born out there?).

The challenge becomes evident when you search by zip code to see if any of the areas in the “promise land” became abnormal from the goals met at the stadium (if any), or was this just a feel-good public relations campaign to misdirect attention from two black community leaders who both have food establishments inside of TCF and U.S. Bank stadium (more on that later).

So let’s look at the facts. Now let’s refocus and look at the real story; the nefarious story the Star Tribune will not publish. It’s okay to post selfies of you participating in a protest, but now it’s time for you to use your computer to look up the data tables.

In some instances, the unemployment rate was as high as 40 percent in some of the neighborhoods within the 55411 zip code where the population was majority “black” in 2013* according to city-data.com. (*Best available current data.) Although the 55401 and 55405 are only partially in the 5th Ward, whereas the 55411 resides completely in the 5th Ward, the data in this table can still provide us with some inference and intuition between the respective zip codes. In other words, the 55401 and 55405 zip codes reside in multiple wards.

As data illustrates, there was a clear distinction between the three zip codes. Whereas the 55401 and the 55405 expressed an unemployment percentage comparable to the General Minneapolis System (GMS) in 2013, which started off at 5.2 percent early in 2013 and decreased to 4.3 percent late in the year as table illustrate, the 55411 system experienced an unemployment reality three to four times higher than its neighbor zip codes. Clearly from these two pieces of data and the simple systems’ behaviors that represent them, a person in the 5th Ward, depending on where they lived, more than likely experienced a much different reality compared to other residents of the 5th Ward. Why might this be?

You see, if – and I mean “if” the U.S. Bank stadium met its goals, how was the unemployment rate in some areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul near or over 40 percent?

This brings into focus many things including the killing of babies and boys. If there were viable tracts of opportunities in the Twin Cities for under-and-unemployed people – both black and white (all colors), there would not be so many shootings…this is common sense that a five-year old can understand.


OMG, the Minnesota Black History Museum Building is for SALE!

Video produced by Don Allen – Internet Marketing Social Media Concepts 

Related story:

The Daughter of A Man Born A Slave Just Opened The First National Black History Museum – The past isn’t even past. (09/24/2016 04:29 pm ET) Huffington Post

By Don Allen, Publisher

Some of you thought this was nothing but smoke and mirrors; that Our Black News had no reason to ask board chair person Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds, curator Roxanne Givens, or executive director Lissa Jones what happened to the money?

To refresh your memory, this here is a detailed breakout of money donated, granted and received by the Minnesota African American History Museum:

They received a total of over $3 million; yes, reading is fundamental. Here are the facts: The fact that negotiations are taking so long reflects the museum’s problems. The museum took a $1.2 million loan from FNB, $1 million from the state of MN, $1.5 million in bonds from the City of Minneapolis, $500,000 from five Minnesota corporations, and $300,000 from other sources. And the museum still can’t open (Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, 2014).

Now the building is for sale? What happened?


Trump challenges — can Democrats respond?

Ronald A. Edwards - The Minneapolis Story(dot)com.

Ronald A. Edwards – The Minneapolis Story(dot)com.

By Ronald A. Edwards – The Minneapolis Story and Guest Columnist

Donald Trump spoke truth when he asked Blacks in Milwaukee, Friday, August 19, 2016, what has the Democratic Party done for Blacks, and then appealed to the Black vote by asking, “What the hell have you got to lose?” These are great questions offering a challenge to Black America. The answer to “lose” for both sides is the same: the decisions of the new nominees for the Supreme Court.

This is not new. Blacks have been appealing for ending obstacles to prosperity opportunities for far longer than Donald Trump. Yet Trump is correct when he implies we should not vote for any party that leaves us in the back of the bus.

During the six days from when he asked his questions and this column was submitted, Hilary Clinton and liberal Democrats have been slow to provide a response to Trump’s very interesting reflections, especially about key realities regarding inner-city Black communities:  second-class schools and teachers, second-class jobs and higher unemployment among 17-34 year old Black men, second-class housing and economic neighborhood development, and second-class efforts dealing with higher incarceration rates for crime and gun violence in our neighborhoods.


It appears as if Donald Trump is reflecting on this dynamic in our history while Democrats deny it.


Donald Trump echoes what has long been known and long eloquently expressed, before, during, and since the Jim Crow period, although too many chose to ignore it. Trump echoes what Black historians and community and civil rights activists have long said. In 1932, enlightened Negroes were saying the same thing to the Republican Party regarding Black America’s support for Franklin Delano Roosevelt as Donald Trump is doing regarding Democrats in 2016.

Those who research history archives regarding the first third of the 20th century discover that by 1901, both the Democrats and Republicans had sold out the African American and the African American future in the United States of America, a sell out that continues in the 21st century, regardless of who is president.

President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, was so comfortable abandoning the Negro that in 1914, he segregated, by executive order, the entire city of Washington, D.C., the supposed city that was to be a beacon on the hill shining its light of freedom, liberty, and justice. It appears as if Donald Trump is reflecting on this dynamic in our history while Democrats deny it.

Too often Black reflections are not accepted until the same facts are seen as relevant only when a White person makes them. What Donald Trump said must not be dismissed. The Harlem Renaissance and driving forces for deep discussions and calls to arms became a movement that would not be denied, even as the country moved into the Great Depression.

The discussions of the early 1920s through the late 1930s created a challenging mindset expressed by African Americans after doing battle for this country and for democracy during World War II. It is important, regardless of who said it in White America that Donald Trump merely echoed what was said by African Americans at the end of the First World War, at the end of the Second World War, and at the end of the uprisings and conflicts of the 1960s.

We welcome The Donald to the painful and sad history of Black America, as the sons and daughters of the African see far too little change and improvement, irrespective of the election of Barack Obama, and the tireless and committed commitment to provide for better opportunities and access for the sons and daughters of the African.

Again, thank you, Donald Trump, for supporting what Blacks have been saying since 1863. A lesson for everyone: know your history — and vote.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books, and archives, go towww.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

Exclusive: The media, MN governor, education commissioner owe former school board member apology

Rather than focusing on Grant Nichols, we (concerned citizens of Columbia Heights) should ask: Is the person who the Mayor is giving the city of peace award is allegedly linked to terrorists?

By Don Allen – Investigative Reporter

Columbia Heights, Minn. – The City Pages wrote: Is Grant Nichols too big a moron for the Columbia Heights school board; the politically-bias public radio giant MPR aired: Columbia Heights school board member to quit over Muslim comments; and the good ole Star Tribune published: Columbia Heights school board member will quit over anti-Muslim comments.

Grant Nichols had his 15-minutes of fame when comments about the alleged hygiene of Somali immigrants were surreptitiously posted to his Facebook account by someone that had picked up his cellphone while he was elsewhere.  Of course the mainstream rags and the lazy Twin Cities reporting corps were all over this; a white guy from Columbia Heights; A Republican from Minnesota; and a member of the CH school board talking about a segment of the population that is growing in the small city just north of Minneapolis. The unfortunate thing for Nichols is that he was a member of the board voted in and trusted by the residents of CH…and that was too much – even for some of his right-leaning lackadaisical colleagues on the school board.

After the comments, not posted by Nichols went viral, the CH school board organized a “student-led” school walkout. Some attest the walkout was not student-led but politically driven by the CH administration pending governor Mark Dayton’s September 18 visit with Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius to publically condemn Nichols and shame him into resigning.  (Read: Dayton praises the Columbia Heights walkout, calls on board member to resign)

The problem with the governor and the commissioner’s contempt of Nichols prior to investigation is that both officials believed what they heard on the radio, read in the newspaper and saw on television. Of course Dayton and the commission never inquired about the failure of Columbia Heights School board to provide policy that would make sure more than functional illiterates graduated and not one left-leaning news agency bothered to look into the cities faulty processes of commerce, awards and equity – something that will change when a new mayor and city council is elected in November.  Of course by now everyone has heard about the graduation riot at the Columbia Heights 2016 graduation – but the governor nor his segregates comment on that – Nichols wasn’t involved… (Read: Dozens of police officers have swarmed Columbia Heights in what is believed to be a huge fight between high schoolers)

Below, Our Black News, who talked with Grant Nichols have uncovered documented and certified information that Mr. Grant Nichols did not make the social media post.  I’m no lawyer, but it looks like tortuous interference to me.

Below is the evidence provided to Our Black News that puts Grant Nichols free-and-clear of any wrongdoing other than having a Facebook account and leaving his cell phone unattended (Note: the last name of the perpetrator has been redacted). 

The continued battle by Michael Keefe for Justice

By Mr. Ronald A. Edwards – The Minneapolis Story

We have just learned from sources in Washington, D.C., that the Department of Justice will open an investigation into the matter of Michael Keefe and move against the city of Minneapolis with indictments of criminal charges against current and former Minneapolis officials. The stunning aspect of this ten year old case is that what we write here is not a “scoop” in the traditional sense of that term, as we have just found out. What is stunning is that the Star Tribune and the major city newspapers in St. Paul, Rochester, and Duluth, have all known about this since May 2016, and yet, due to their involvement and potential indictment, have remained silent.

This comes as an outgrowth of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee investigation, compelled by constitutional law due to the violation of constitutional rights and violation of equal protection of Minneapolis citizens. They referred it to the Department of Justice that sent it to the FBI to investigate.

We await eagerly to see how this case unfolds and to what level the press will now finally cover it, and to what degree with they be honest about their involvement in the cover ups regarding this case and in the violation of constitutional rights of fellow officers and citizens.

Stay tuned.

Over 20,000 words on the Keefe case since 2007, in our our archives of columns, blog entries, and solution papers. Order The Minneapolis Story and A Seat for Everyone, at Beacon on the Hill Press.


• August 29, 2007 Column: A profile in courage and integrity—the saga of Lt. Michael Keefe

• May 18, 2011 Column: Stanek, Keefe, Delmonico, Arneson: four who strive to make a difference

• May 30, 2012 Column: Tensions within the MPD revealed in the case of Lt. Michael Keefe.

• April, 24, 2014: The continuing battle of Sgt. Michael Keefe, and the disappearance of Black police officers from the MPD

• June, 4, 2014: Keefe file now open to the public. Sgt. Michael Keefe waits his day in court

• June, 18, 2014: The Keefe Report has been released into the open. Yet “they” continue to try to bury what can no longer be buried

• May, 21, 2015: Keefe case thrown out by 8th Circuit eight years after filed.

Blog entry:

• December 14, 2007, Five Black Officers Sue the City for Discrimination, as the Twin Towers of Minneapolis’ Nullification and Reversal Begin to Finally Crumble.

“Solution” Papers:

• November 22, 2011: DISPARITY/COMPLIANCE STUDIES: Minneapolis Practices Disparity And Purposefully And Actively Avoids Compliance. 20 columns, going back to 2005.

• July 14, 2008: Ending the City’s and MPD’s COVER-UP OF DISCRIMINATION will help to end the Discrimination in the Minneapolis Police Department

Written Monday, August 29, 2016
Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 2:15 am
Hyperlinked, August 30, 2016, 10:55 a.m.

Black Minnesotans: Is Unity a Weakness?

By Don Allen, Publisher 

Unity is not a social cabal. (photo: Family Quotes | ... Love Family Wisdom Quote - Fair Use)

Unity is not a social cabal. (photo: Family Quotes | … Love Family Wisdom Quote – Fair Use)

I’ve been to the East Coast, West Coast, down south and Canada. The black communities I engaged with wanted me to see the unique and intentional diversity, collaborations and success they had when working as a solid collaborative. Despite of looking in from the outside, I was able to see the most marginalized blacks in those communities who were thought of as radical, non-filtered, Republicans and unpredictable have a position within the community that believe it or not, was the main driver in getting things done on behalf of the community. After careful observation of these others, I reflected on Minnesota’s black community; it’s leadership, businesses, politicians and stakeholders. It seemed like something is been missing from the social and political construct. If Black Minnesotans working together in unity is a weakness, then how does that reflect what the mainstream sees in everyday news about black people and the generational gaps from education to wealth?

In James E. Blackwell’s (1975) “The Black Community: Diversity and Unity,” he writes about his journal, “The black community is defined as a diversified set of interrelated structures and aggregates of people who are held together by the forces of racism.” One could argue that with the evolution of Jim Crow; lynching to the miseducation of black youth (and adults), the black community is trapped inside of significant construct that puts barriers up against unity, collaborations and success when black Minnesotans come together, or in this case, if they come together.

Black Minnesotans have been looked at in the eye by local and state political leaders and told that “glory was coming from that-there mountain top” to save the cold Negro of Minnesota and his counterparts that make up the lower one-third of the community. However, when “glory fell,” it did not touch the treetops of black Minnesotans in need of a reset for high expectations.

Devoted Black author and speaker, Dr. Umar Johnson explains in simple clarity what’s happening to black people and how the system works:

“We are systematically denied access to wealth. We can’t build that hospital they built, we can’t open up 10 supermarkets, I can’t get ten gas stations in three-weeks because you’re going to routinely deny me access to wealth. Because if I finance your empowerment, that disrupts my system of extermination and genocide. You cannot kill a people who you are financially empowering. So we are kept without access to wealth. America has a policy where you do not empower black people for their own benefit.”

Dr. Johnson goes on to explain, “The Chinese, Arab, East Indian — They come to America. They can walk into any bank and get a loan. Not all of them, but many of them. In fact, some of them don’t even have to go to Wells Fargo, Chase Bank, or Bank of America and get a loan and I’m just using this to make the point. They show up in America with a line of credit from their native country. They come into the ghetto and open 10 stores, five-supermarkets, three-hotels. Blacks folks are still struggling. And then people look at us and say: You know why you’re still struggling? Because you’re lazy.”

Both James E. Blackwell and Dr. Umar Johnson seem to explain that you cannot be what you do not see; this means if Black Minnesotans cannot see how it’s done, it cannot be obtained because the people (generationally) who should have shown the way have opted to be cloaked (black community specific).  Furthermore, there are hidden constructs within the black community, especially in Minnesota that prevent unity, collaboration and success simply because the outer-designed-complex needs separation to operate inside the Black Minnesotan construct.

To answer the question if unity is a weakness in Minnesota’s black community, we need to look and recognizable those in the hierarchy of the Twin Cities black social clusters who most suffer insufferably from having individual agendas, silo thinking, lack of trust and the all too common vagueness about what it is they are doing, or achieve. Central negatives are discouraged from engaging these groups and are marginalized, excluded and considered non-helpful to black Minnesotans.

In short, unity should never be a weakness; but some make it so.

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