Insight News

Sep 02nd

I am worthy: Art inspires abuse awareness

I am worthy: Art inspires abuse awarenessAbuse can be many things: physical, verbal, sexual, or even self-inflicted. Through each struggle between the powerful and the powerless, comes the will to overcome such atrocities. 

There are many words and feelings to describe the inner and outer pain associated with abuse; books, poems, and films have been dedicated to building awareness of these struggles. Gretchen Dreisbach, a Minneapolis-based visual artist, has dedicated her works to this movement.  Her work reflects her own experiences of abuse and have the intent to educate and inspire all.

2011 Minnesota Black Music Awards salutes Alexander O’Neal

2011 Minnesota Black Music Awards salutes Alexander O’NealThe 20th MBMA Awards on July 15th at the Pantages Theatre will benefit the Northside relief efforts. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to support the survivors of the tragic tornados that occurred in May. Program founder and producers Pete and Kim Rhodes said, “The 2011 MBMA program is honored to join the community to support the Northside community relief efforts and celebrate the 31st anniversary of the artist’s music and contributions to our arts, culture and diversity of the twin cities music community”.

The awards will salute one of R&B music most versatile singers Alexander O’Neal. Other recognition will be presented to Rhymesayers Entertainment, Next, The Bennett Family (Marie Graham, Ann Nesby, Jamecia and Paris Bennett), Bobby Lyle and Irv Williams. Additional awards will be presented to art industry and community leaders.

Bedlam Theatre and Mixed Blood Theatre present a new play sparked by the stories of recent Minnesota immigrants

Bedlam Theatre and Mixed Blood Theatre present a new play sparked by the stories of recent Minnesota immigrants For more than 100 years, immigrants to Minnesota have called Cedar Riverside their first home.  Ku soo Dhawaada Xaafadeena (Welcome to Our Neighborhood), an original play created by, for, about and with the people of Cedar Riverside, in collaboration with playwright David Grant, sheds light on the experiences of the thousands of East African immigrants who now call Minnesota home. 

Inspired by dozens of personal narratives, which were collected during a series of community story circles organized by Bedlam and Mixed Blood Theatres, the engaging drama weaves together a tapestry of fictionalized stories that will be performed by the Voices of Cedar Riverside Ensemble of emerging East African youth and young adult actors.  Ku soo Dhawaada Xaafadeena (Welcome to Our Neighborhood), directed by Bedlam’s John Bueche, will be presented for two weekends:  July 23-24 at 7:00pm in conjunction with East African community celebrations, and July 28-31 at 7:00pm.  All performances take place at the Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis. 

The End of Anger: A New Generation’s Take on Race and Rage

The End of Anger: A New Generation’s Take on Race and Rage“The End of Anger is an exploration of why it is that many Black are feeling optimistic these days… [This] is a book about success—about a particularly privileged, even indulged, group of African-Americans whose experiences in many respects are far from the norm… In January 2009, on the eve of President Barack Obama’s inauguration, a CNN poll found that 69% of Black agreed that Martin Luther King’s vision had been fulfilled… The election of an African-American president was a Rubicon to be crossed… No longer are there any excuses for denying Black anything or for Black denying themselves the opportunity to aim as high as they wish.” -- Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. 1-10)
What a difference a generation makes! When Ellis Cose first conducted a study of Black graduates of elite academic institutions back in 1994, he encountered a set of relatively-prospering folks who were nonetheless frustrated about the obstacles they encountered as they endeavored to ascend the corporate ladder.

Kam's Kapsules: Movie previews that make choosing a film fun

For movies opening July 1, 2011


Larry Crowne (PG-13 for brief profanity and sexuality) Tom Hanks stars in the title role of this romantic romp as a victim of downsizing who develops a crush on his jaded speech professor (Julia Roberts) when he enrolls at a community college to brush up on his job skills. Supporting cast includes Pam Grier, Wilmer Valderrama, Taraji P. Henson, Cedric the Entertainer, George Takei and Nia Vardalos. 

Monte Carlo (PG for mild epithets) Road comedy about three young tourists (Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy) who are disappointed during their vacation in Paris until they are suddenly whisked away for a glamorous international adventure when one of them is mistaken for a British heiress. With Andie MacDowell, Cory Monteith, Pierre Boulanger and Catherin Tate.

Kinshasa serves as setting for Congo gangsta flick

Kinshasa serves as setting for Congo gangsta flick Drugs may be the contraband of choice in most modern, American crime capers, but this African adventure revolves around a present-day black market in petroleum. The picture’s protagonist is Riva (Patsha Bay), a petty thief who has commandeered a truckload of gasoline across the Angolan border into the Congo with plans to resell it in his hometown of Kinshasa where the populace is in the grips of an oil shortage.
The trouble is that he isn’t quite ready to rise to his calling as a crook, for he soon becomes beguiled by Nora (Manie Malone), the red-headed, gun moll of a local mobster (Diplome Amekindra). And while he allows himself to be led around by the loins, he soon lands on the radar of her jealous boyfriend as well as a policewoman (Marlene Longange) and an angry Angolan crime boss (Hoji Fortuna) determined to recover his pilfered petrol.

Faith and the environment

Faith and the environmentIn his book Green Deen, author Ibrahim Abdul-Matin combines his unique background as an environmental advocate and as a Muslim. Congressman Keith Ellison wrote the foreword and describes cross paths with Abdul-Matin at a conference and reflects on the importance of the environment in his own career.

Abdul-Matin draws on the Arabic work for way or path—deen—highlighting the books focus on Islamic inspirations to address green issues. He proposes that the environmental movement has room for the spiritually-inclined and that all communities will benefit from some of the ideas proposed from an Islamic perspective.

It is important to note that Abdul-Matin does not aim to proselytize non-Muslim readers. The intended audience of the book is the budding environmental activist, fitting into categories of the seasoned, out-of-practice, or home-based. His writing speaks to the benefit of Muslim and non-Muslim audiences. His book brings a siloed conversation into the mainstream. He references important articles of the Muslim faith as a foundation for protecting the environment.
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