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Sep 01st

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Racist Dutch tradition comes under fire

Racist Dutch tradition comes under fireNov. 19 (GIN) – When Santa Claus comes to town in Amsterdam, it's not a cluster of elves leaping around the robust figure in red waving at cheering children and adults.

The dancing figures are "Black Petes" – white Netherlanders in blackface wearing Afro wigs. Servants of St. Nick, they are variously Black Pete playing music or singing; Black Pete on horseback; Black Pete on stilts and Black Pete climbing up the façade of department stores or cavorting atop six-story buildings.
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The Black Press and Black Church: Reclaiming our roots and our voice

The Black Press and Black Church: Reclaiming our roots and our voiceAs we look at the state of Black America, we see that if ever there was a need for us to have a "come to Jesus" moment; it’s now.

For those who are either too young to know or too complacent to remember, all one would have to do is perform a little historical research to learn how the Black church and the Black press were the two primary catalysts undergirding the Civil Rights struggle and how they both led the way in fighting for the rights of African-Americans across this country.
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Minnesota has nation's 3rd highest cost of child care

Minnesota has nation's 3rd highest cost of child careThe cost of child care continues to increase faster than income, and a new analysis also shows that parents in Minnesota pay among the highest rates in the nation. The average annual cost for care for an infant in Minnesota is nearly $14,000, and for a four-year-old it's more than $10,000.
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Sen. Franken's staff to hold office hours in North Minneapolis November 20

On Wednesday, November 20, U.S. Sen. Al Franken's constituent service staff will be at Turning Point, 1500 Golden Valley Road in North Minneapolis to meet with area residents who need assistance with a variety of federal agencies.
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Religious groups call for changes in payday lending laws in 2014

Religious groups call for changes in payday lending laws in 2014Predatory payday lending interest rates 391% and higher create cycle of debt

The Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) called for an end to predatory payday loan practices at the capitol last week. Its report, Payday Lending in Minnesota, recommended changes needed to the state's payday lending practices.
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November arrives in MN, along with cuts to SNAP

November arrives in MN, along with cuts to SNAPReductions in food assistance impact nearly 540,000 statewide

The month of November has arrived in Minnesota, and along with it, an automatic reduction in funding for many families in the state who struggle to put food on the table. During the recession, there was a temporary increase in SNAP or food stamp benefits, but Colleen Moriarty, executive director of Hunger Solutions Minnesota, declared that that stimulus program is now officially over.
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Obama on defensive over healthcare glitches

Obama on defensive over healthcare glitchesWASHINGTON (NNPA) – Under unrelenting attacks –including from Democratic supporters – President Obama and White House officials continue to struggle as they try to blunt criticism that that President Obama stretched the truth in describing coverage options for consumers who already had health insurance before the roll out of healthcare.gov and the individual mandate policy of the Affordable Care Act.
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12 Years a Slave reflections: American slavery as close as three generations

12 Years a Slave reflections: American slavery as close as three generationsI saw 12 Years a Slave for the 2nd time Saturday. When I came home, the family photograph on the dining room mantle caught my eye. I was 4 years old in this 1951 photo. I sat at the feet of Big Mama, our grandmother, Martha Nall. To my right were my cousins Bernard, his twin brother, Burnele, and their brother Robert. To my left were my sister Kathleen, cousin William, and Bernard, Burnele and Robert’s older brother, Lonnie. Lonnie is seated in front of his dad, Mr. Powell, the patriarch of our extended family. We were in the Powell house, a huge brownstone, that was also home for my grandmother and grandfather and aunts who lived with them in the building’s 2nd story apartment. My sister and new baby brother Raymond Lee, and our mom and dad lived in the three room efficiency on the third floor.
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Amirah Coney seeks to put her stamp on the fashion world

 Amirah Coney seeks to put her stamp on the fashion worldAmirah Coney, 16, is a student at St. Paul Central High School. 

Coney is a member of SHE, a student group at her high school that advocates for, and promotes female empowerment. The engaged teenager is highly focused on her academics – her favorite subject is science and she also loves to learn about African-American history. One of her career goals is to be a coroner because of her interest in forensic science. Coney is also a teacher’s assistant to an accelerated pre-calculus teacher. She has a strong passion for track and field and plans to join St. Paul Central’s track team.
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Dr. Josie Johnson honored by Temple Israel

Dr. Josie Johnson honored by Temple IsraelUpon the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Dr. Josie Johnson has been honored with the prestigious Rabbi Max A. Shapiro Tzadik Award at Temple Israel in Minneapolis for her lifetime commitment to the struggle for civil rights and social justice.
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Relief slowly makes its way to typhoon-battered Philippines

Relief slowly makes its way to typhoon-battered PhilippinesDOHA, Qatar, Nov 13 2013 (Al Jazeera) - Relief operations in typhoon-devastated parts of the Philippines picked up pace Wednesday, but still only minimal amounts of water, food and medical supplies were making it to increasingly desperate survivors in the hardest-hit places.
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