​Shaun King Delivers Message to North Dakota

by C.S. Hagen | January 18th, 2017 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

FARGO - In grade school, Shaun King was the class clown, outgoing and funny. The light-skinned 37-year-old writer and civil rights activist was more concerned with clothes, music, and girls, than racism.

In high school his world fell apart. At first, the attacks came in the form of sticks and stones -- racial slurs, a Gatorade bottle filled with chewing tobacco spit thrown in his face. Fistfights became common; he was chased by white boys in pickup trucks, he said. In March 1995 the tension broke, changing his life forever.

King was attacked by at least a dozen classmates, he said. He suffered severe spinal injuries that took 18 months to heal. His sophomore year in the rural Kentucky school was spent mostly in a hospital bed.

“They were never held accountable,” King said. “It was the culmination of two years of harassment, and those guys never bothered me again. They did what they wanted to do, and I never had another incident.”

Eventually King returned to the same school, but as a changed young man.

“It changed my heart,” King said. “It changed how I saw the world. I became deeply sensitive about people in pain, people in need of justice that I wasn’t aware of until it happened.”

Half black, half white, King went on years later to become a motivational speaker for Atlanta’s juvenile justice system, an ordained pastor and a writer, followed online by more than 1.2 million people. Hundreds attended a speech he gave at Concordia College in Moorhead Monday evening.

Before the speech, King looked the college up in Google Maps. “I thought, wow this is really remote. I had never been to North Dakota or so far west in Minnesota before, and it was a good opportunity for me to challenge people’s thinking.

“I try hard not to just preach to the choir.”

King is also involved with and has written extensively on the Black Lives Matter movement, covering discrimination, police brutality, the prison industrial complex, and social justice issues. He is a senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, and has won numerous awards including the Epoch Humanitarian Award, the Hometown Hero Award from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and was also included in MSNBC’s The Grio Top 100 History Makers.

The Internet is a tool King wished he had as a child. “There weren't a lot of models and examples for me to look at and identify with,” King said. As a biracial child belonging neither to white nor black, he often felt ostracized.

“Kids today, even those who live in the most rural areas of the country, now have the Internet, which gives them a lifeline outside their small world. I would have died for that.”

No longer a pastor, King draws from the 15 years he spent behind the pulpit to deliver his messages. He still believes in organized religion, but is more critical than he was as a pastor.

“I speak about it as someone who is a Christian, from a place of love, not from a place of hate or anger. People regularly confuse…

Read more...

Recently in:

CANNON BALL - Inch by inch, coil by razor-tipped coil, Standing Rock activists near the Dakota Access Pipeline drill pad.During the past week marches launched from the main camp outside of Standing Rock targeted the east side of…

FARGO - In grade school, Shaun King was the class clown, outgoing and funny. The light-skinned 37-year-old writer and civil rights activist was more concerned with clothes, music, and girls, than racism. In high school his world…

Friday, January 20, 8:30- 10 PMThe Centrum (Concordia College), 901 8th St S, MoorheadA Capella Night at Concordia is featuring Six Appeal, a world class vocal ensemble infused with sharp comedic timing and the energy and vitality…

There’s more than one way to agitate the internet, but as of lately the biggest agitator involves Trumplethinskin’s twitter account--ok I apologize.Name calling is probably the wrong way to start the first editorial of the year…

A most unpopular Bible verseI have been listening to religious sermons for almost 78 years since I passed to my “age of reason” at seven, so I have “analyzed” about 4,000 sermons give or take, 20 years worth delivered by…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

Photo by Sabrina HornungWith winter finally beginning to kick in, some people might want to escape to the refuge of memory. Recollections of warmer, sweeter times, of climbing a ladder to pluck fruit from the trees of the family…

This weekend, We Banjo 3 will be performing at the Top Hat Theater in Ulen MN. Combining the sounds of modern folk and traditional Irish music, the band promises an evening of fun and laughter for all ages.We Banjo 3 incorporates…

Master director Chan-wook Park’s diabolically pleasurable “The Handmaiden” delights the eye with its sumptuous costumes, production design, and photography, and also tickles the imagination with its structural gamesmanship.…

The Rourke Art Gallery Museum is pleased to announce two artists, Jeffrey Zachmann and Carl Zachmann. They are holding an exhibition of kinetic sculpture. Jeffrey and Carl collected their childhood memories, adulthood curiosities,…

Theatre

​Art versus family

by Brittney Goodman

Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT) is marking its 70th season with a production of “Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitz (“The Substance of Fire,” “The Slap”). The play was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer…

Humor

What is acceptable comedy?

by HPR Contributor

By Bill LucasYou may wonder about the title. Whenever we hear someone’s opinion I think it is important to know a little about them. We all are offended by many things that are due to our experiences in life. We may be able to…

When Aaron Juhnke first began his hobby of homebrewing with canning jars, he had no way of predicting he would be in the position he finds himself in today. What started as a way to experiment, as well as ensure a regular personal…

In the city of Fargo we’re no strangers to severe winters, and this last week has been especially taxing, with its sub-zero wind chills. The winter season in northern climes is infamous for giving people the “winter blues,”…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

“It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau“It is engraved in my memory that Stalin used the term Russia, and not Soviet Union, which meant that he was not only…