Man in wheelchair, Lake Street Minneapolis. Photo by emerging artist Netsanet Negussie, 2015.

Netsanet Negussie: Telling stories in one of the nation’s fastest gentrifying cities

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

Living with HIV before Charlie Sheen’s disclosure

As someone who has lived with HIV for more than 15 years, I decided to do my #livingwithhiv Twitter session again because of Charlie Sheen and his recent disclosure. His doing so brought out all of the ignorance and judgment people have around HIV, namely his drug use and his sexual life. Continue Reading

Asian American protesters support Black Lives Matter in a Nov. 24 march in Minneapolis.

When Asian American politics and Black Lives Matter met at Macalester

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

Sagirah Shahid and Michelle Baroody

Navigating the world – and home – through film at Minnesota film festivals

“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

Black Fair - White Privilege

“Minnesota Nice” and Minnesota’s Racism

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

Amoke Kubat

Amoké Kubat stages healing in racial divide between black and white women

“I’m at a point in my life where I have forged a place where I can write, and I’m writing things out that maybe I’m still trying to make sense of,” Amoké Kubat says as we spent an early autumn afternoon talking about her new piece, “Angry Black Woman and Well-Intentioned White Woman.” The work-in-progress debuts tonight at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave South in Minneapolis, at 7 p.m. followed by a Q & A and reception. Continue Reading

Duchess Harris

Whose work gets to be considered activism?

Photos by Kayla Steinberg
It would be easy to say from interviewing Duchess Harris that her wisdom comes from her nearly 30 years as a scholar and professor, teaching about the mechanics and dynamics of how race and racism works, particularly on how they infuse the laws that govern the nation, this state and our lives. Easy, yes—but not quite correct. Harris knows what she knows because she occupies an uneasier position: activist-scholar. She’s that professor who believes what she and her colleagues posit, preach and produce in peer-reviewed journals, conferences and books needs to be available to the rest of us outside of academia. Her teaching and her civic involvement in local politics is how she helps bend the arc toward justice. Continue Reading