Minnesota is more than a thousand miles away from hip hop’s mainstays on either coast. Yet, Complex listed Minneapolis as one of the 15 best cities for hip hop fans in the United States, and Mic named the Twin Cities the “greatest hip-hop scene you’ve never heard of.”
Despite the geographical pull to mimic other regions, Twin Cities hip hop has managed to trademark its own experimental sound, humble aesthetic (most artists opt for toned down and muted attire), and, of course, the white supremacy that comes with our state’s infamous Minnesota Nice.
“The majority of the main faces that you see are white, leaving us [hip hop artists of color] to be in the minority while we’re the majority and the birth of the culture,” said local artist and activist Maria Isa. “Minnesota, as diverse as our cities are, it’s still very Minnesota nice, Minnesota safe and Minnesota white.”
Netsanet Negussie is an emerging young artist exploring social justice and racial equity themes through the lens of her camera. On the streets of Minneapolis, Negussie has found compelling subjects that depict impactful, human narratives not seen in the day-to-day media coverage of the city. She shared her art, her inspirations and her process with the Daily Planet. Continue Reading
In October, Macalester College hosted a Million Artist Movement “Power Gathering” themed around Asian American resistance and solidarity. That event was a part of the larger and ongoing convenings across racial and ethnic groups called by MAM. Following the event and inspired by the conversation, The Twin Cities Daily Planet published a story in December discussing the different intersections between Black and Asian American history and art. However, the original story left out a key voice in the conversation: the young artists who are shaping the future of how these intersections manifest. As a continuation of the previous article, Andrea Plaid reached out to Macalester dance students Sophia Hill and Niara Williams about their experiences as Asian American and Black American (respectively) students and artists, and how those experiences intersect. Continue Reading
The Daily Planet’s 2015 was a time of pivoting and changing to a new direction. In our renewed mission to amplify and connect marginalized voices, we are excited to see the following stories resonated with you as much as they did with us. All stories below were chosen based on social media or website analytics to determine the most-viewed and/or most-talked-about content. But even if you take away the metrics, these stories were the ones that dug a little deeper, brought more context and empowered the communities that we serve.
Thanks for a great year. We can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.
The Twin Cities Daily Planet hosted a panel of scholars at the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul on Sunday, Dec. 13, to discuss how white supremacy has manifested in Minnesota throughout the years. White supremacy has long been in Minnesota, and it doesn’t wear a Ku Klux Klan hood or Neo-Nazi badge. Continue Reading
Along the Green Line, just east of Victoria Street and University Avenue, stands a seemingly abandoned storefront with dark windows and a locked door. But to Denise Mwasyeba, a 25-year Frogtown resident and former chair of the Frogtown Neighborhood Association (FNA) board of directors, it’s the perfect chance to turn the forgotten, historical Victoria theater into a newly renovated center that represents a diverse community greatly evolving from its roots. Continue Reading
When asked what is the mission of the Million Artist Movement (MAM), which calls itself the “artistic arm of Black Lives Matter,” Sandy Augustin said “We want to artfully dismantle white supremacy.” Agustin co-organized and facilitated the Power Gathering: Asian American Resistance and Solidarity at Macalester College back in October in collaboration with the Givens Foundation. That event was a part of the larger and ongoing convenings across racial and ethnic groups called by MAM. Continue Reading
As protesters aligned with Black Lives Matter-Minneapolis (BLM-Minneapolis) took to the streets over the past few weeks, the now-familiar message was clear: Clark did not deserve to meet his untimely death on a North Minneapolis sidewalk by a bullet in his head. His death, another tally in a string of fatal encounters between unarmed black men and law enforcement agencies across the country, was another notch in the need to address the issue of discriminatory police practices and for reform. The formulaic response to yet another police killing also meant a backlash against the narrative of who the real victim was in this fatal encounter. Continue Reading
I caught the final reading for the 2014 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers recipients early in September, as this year’s fellows – Susanne Aspley, Susan Power, Shannon Gibney and Josh Ostergaard for creative prose and Kelly Barnhill for children’s literature – have begun to hold readings as fellows as part of the Loft’s McKnight series.
Two facts stood out to me about the 2014 fellows: they – Carolyn Williams-Noren, Danez Smith, Sierra DeMulder, and Sun Yung Shin – were all poets, and they all were marginalized voices, if not in terms of gender, then by race or sexual orientation or multiple intersections. Continue Reading
“I learned about Palestine through stories, like a fairy tale,” one of the interviewees reminisced in the live-action-and-mixed-animation documentary, “The Wanted 18,” about a Palestinian town’s quest for self-determination at the beginning of the intifada and the absurd lengths the Israeli government and military went through to stop it, featured at Mizna’s 10th annual Arab Film Fest (AFF) at the St. Anthony Main Theatre earlier this month. Continue Reading
Minnesota Nice is the transplants’ nice way of calling born-and-reared-here Minnesotans passive-aggressive. For those of us who’ve lived in other places, such indirectness is baffling at best, and emotionally abusive at worst. In other words, it’s not nice at all. Continue Reading