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OBAMA SIGNS FARM BILL

Michigan Lawmakers look on as President Barack Obama signs the Agriculture Act of 2014into legislation Feb. 7 on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing. Obama said the $956 billion farm bill “lifts up our rural communities and gives more Americans a shot at opportunity in the years ahead.” ...

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DILLA DAY 2014

If you listened to hip hop or R&B any time from the mid 90s through the first decade of the new millennium, chances are you’re familiar with James Dewitt Yancey, known as J Dilla or Jay Dee. J Dilla came from a musical family — his mother was an opera singer and his dad a jazz bassist. He was one of the founding members of Slum Village. The music he produced influenced a generation of artists including A Tr ...

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Defending PSL champion Martin Luther King High, PSL runner-up Cass Tech and playoff contender Mumford all won their matches in the first round of the Detroit Public School League Playoffs Feb. 5. The Crusaders (11-1) routed the West Side Academy 79-13, the Lady Technicians (12-3) clobbered Central 53-1, while the Mustangs (12-3) kept their hopes for PSL crown alive with a 59-29 rout of East English Village. ...

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Pershing, Cass Tech, Osborn advance

Cass Tech, Osborn and defending PSL Champion Pershing had to pull out all the stops to get their first round victories in the Detroit Public School League Playoffs, Feb. 7. Pershing (14-2) turned back Western International 69-61; Cass Tech (11-4) rallied past King 61-51, while Osborn (14-3) overpowered Cody 59-63. “Our guys came together and helped Justin (Tillman) with the rebounding,” said Pershing assist ...

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Think spring!

The weather we have been experiencing in Detroit has been downright frigid. Snow and ice is covering everything. These months have been hard — leaving us indoors due to the extreme cold and hazardous roadways. This is a prime opportunity to think of warmer, greener days! Spring — when the robins return and the crocuses bloom — is a time to look forward to and envision what those balmier days of our future w ...

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Celebrating MLK Week at NYU

It gave me a lot to think about. On Feb. 6, I participated in New York University’s 9th annual celebration of MLK Week. The theme of this year’s celebration, organized by a 25-person committee led by Monroe France, NYU’s vice-president of diversity, was “The Power of Courage, Passion, Purpose, Perseverance.” About 75 percent of those seated in the big auditorium were young people of color. ...

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Multimedia artist expands with ‘Suddle Creations’

A true artist must complement their thorough knowledge of their craft while adapting to new ways of creating with the ever-changing technology of the day. Urban artist Nivek Monet, owner of the art gallery Suddle Creations, is a prime example of being able to evolve as an artist. Born and raised on Detroit’s east side, Monet learned how to draw at the age of six. “I remember sitting down drawing with my gra ...

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Spike Lee wants your music

Spike Lee is busy finishing up his latest movie, “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus,” financed entirely through the online crowdfunding website kickstater.com. According to a Feb. 10 Kickstarter project email, he is crowd sourcing music for the soundtrack as well. Lee is currently accepting “submissions for only R&B and rap songs by independent/unsigned artists,” says the email. “The music is inconsequential to the s ...

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Local press publishes imprisoned man’s book of haiku

James Fuson has been in prison for two decades. At the tender age of 17, not yet old enough to buy cigarettes, he was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. “Prison is not for the naïve,” he writes, “and … a kid … is not ready for it. One of two things will happen to that kid: He will either break and become part of the machine or get tough and grow into a stronger individual. Either way… ...

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Ethnic Heritage Ensemble to perform at N’Namdi Gallery

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble returns to Detroit for another live performance on Feb. 28. The Chicago-based ensemble combines contemporary African American musical styles with traditional African instrumentation and rhythms. Percussionist/composer/band leader Kahil El’Zabar, saxophonist Ernest Khabeer Dawkins and trumpet-player Corey Wilkes make up the group. The show will take place at the N’Namdi Center fo ...

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