Rotarian Bishop Richard Howell shared personal story for Black History Month with Middle School students

 
When his parents moved to Lowry and Pierce he became the first – and that year and for his tenure 1964 to 1967, the only – black student to integrate Northeast Junior High, now Northeast Middle School (NEMS).  An April 1967 article in the Minneapolis Tribune lists Howell as secretary of the Shiloh Temple Church Sunday School, saying, “He guessed he wanted to be a Bible teacher when he grows up.” He now leads that very church, Shiloh Temple International Ministries, in North Minneapolis. 
 
Howell’s career at Northeast included being president of the student council in his last year there, and giving the announcements and intramural sports reports “in a puckish speaking style of which his mother doesn’t entirely approve,” the Tribune article said. Attending an all-white school was not so smooth at first, and never totally so. While his father thought it “wonderful” to be integrating a school, Richard Jr. said, re-living the stares of people who had never seen a black person up close, “I did not want to be black. I was lost, drowning in white supremacy.  I was so messed up. I wanted to be like John, Paul, George and Ringo, I combed my hair down like theirs and it bounced back up. I was told as a black person you’ve gotta be twice as good, three times as good. I had a self-identity crisis.” Against this backdrop, Howell told how his time at the junior high school evolved. Howell fondly remembered Jerry Bisek, his choir teacher, Hallie Brickner for English and History, Gerald Roehning the principal, and Ms. Scholl. The Edel Scholl Memorial Garden was dedicated on Arbor Day, 1967, and young Richard unveiled the plaque that is still there.
In January 1968, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at their house. “Here’s where I found out what love was. We got letters from white people saying we are sorry (that anyone would do this), please don’t leave the neighborhood.”
 
“The most beautiful thing about you,” Howell told the students, predominantly students of color, “you don’t have to let negativity be your monster. Make your dreams through education.”

Bishop Howell gave legitimacy to that statement by who he has become today and the work he has done as one of the early Presidents of the North Minneapolis Rotary Club founded in 2013. 
 
Content excerpted from story by Margo Ashmore, courtesy of Northeaster Newspaper, March 2017
 
 
 
When his parents moved to Lowry and Pierce he became the first – and that year and for his tenure 1964 to 1967, the only – black student to integrate Northeast Junior High, now Northeast Middle School (NEMS).  An April 1967 article in the Minneapolis Tribune lists Howell as secretary of the Shiloh Temple Church Sunday School, saying, “He guessed he wanted to be a Bible teacher when he grows up.” He now leads that very church, Shiloh Temple International Ministries, in North Minneapolis. 
 
Howell’s career at Northeast included being president of the student council in his last year there, and giving the announcements and intramural sports reports “in a puckish speaking style of which his mother doesn’t entirely approve,” the Tribune article said. Attending an all-white school was not so smooth at first, and never totally so. While his father thought it “wonderful” to be integrating a school, Richard Jr. said, re-living the stares of people who had never seen a black person up close, “I did not want to be black. I was lost, drowning in white supremacy.  I was so messed up. I wanted to be like John, Paul, George and Ringo, I combed my hair down like theirs and it bounced back up. I was told as a black person you’ve gotta be twice as good, three times as good. I had a self-identity crisis.” Against this backdrop, Howell told how his time at the junior high school evolved. Howell fondly remembered Jerry Bisek, his choir teacher, Hallie Brickner for English and History, Gerald Roehning the principal, and Ms. Scholl. The Edel Scholl Memorial Garden was dedicated on Arbor Day, 1967, and young Richard unveiled the plaque that is still there.
In January 1968, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at their house. “Here’s where I found out what love was. We got letters from white people saying we are sorry (that anyone would do this), please don’t leave the neighborhood.”
 
“The most beautiful thing about you,” Howell told the students, predominantly students of color, “you don’t have to let negativity be your monster. Make your dreams through education.”

Bishop Howell gave legitimacy to that statement by who he has become today and the work he has done as one of the early Presidents of the North Minneapolis Rotary Club founded in 2013.
 
Content excerpted from story by Margo Ashmore, courtesy of Northeaster Newspaper, March 2017