Debra Keefer Ramage

Debra Keefer Ramage began writing freelance for Southside Pride in 2012, shortly after returning from a 13-year sojourn in England. She covers progressive politics, education, co-ops and neighborhoods. In 2017 she started doing Southside Pride’s restaurant review column, The Dish.


The secret language of lovers

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE How did clandestine lovers communicate in the days before email, cell phones and Skype? Well, not surprisingly, it wasn’t easy. And just like today, when even encryption will fail if you don’t use it right, sometimes things didn’t work out so well. Take Romeo and Juliet,…

Continue reading

resistance persistence: Resist even more

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE There was a flurry of interesting and useful events in December, but I was not able to squeeze a resistance persistence article into the paper to tell you of them. The one that still sticks with me was put on by an organization called No More…

Continue reading

Do you want slavery with that chocolate?

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE I’m going to assume you don’t. For the past two or three years, I have been on a quixotic quest to raise awareness about the incredible prevalence of child slave labor in the production of chocolate, and the enormous “conspiracy of silence” that leaves otherwise conscientious…

Continue reading

Books by local authors make great gifts

COMPILED BY ELAINE KLAASSEN According to treehuggers.com, “Icelanders have a beautiful tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. This custom is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is the reason for the Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” when the…

Continue reading

Becoming the Kindly Ghost

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Maybe it’s because of the ghosts in “A Christmas Carol,” or maybe it’s my majority Irish heritage, or maybe it’s just the natural feeling that comes around with all the sacred holidays, the longing for light’s returning, the pull of reuniting with family, but I can’t…

Continue reading

Metro-wide Holiday Guide—from the goofy to the ethereal

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE We have a stunning lineup of interesting things to do or alternative ways to shop or give for the 2018 holiday season. In order to have enough space for all, not all details are given for all events. For well-known events and venues, almost no details;…

Continue reading

Resist, relief, persist

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE The most nail-biting local race was Keith Ellison’s last-minute, quixotic run for Minnesota attorney general. He had an absolute safe seat in Congress, one of the safest, and was deputy chair of the DNC, a leader in the Progressive Caucus, and sponsor of the House version…

Continue reading

Audacity and dizziness the day after the 2018 midterms

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Although it was not quite the blue wave hoped for nationwide, it sure felt like it in South Minneapolis last night. Nationally, there was a mixture of the bitter and the sweet, for Democrats and progressives alike. So what can we say about the immediate future?…

Continue reading

Fear and loathing in the last week before the 2018 midterms

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Writing this with eight days before the elections, I know that you will probably be reading it after they are over. I am not going out on any limbs, and I can’t find it in my heart to plug events in the first half of November…

Continue reading

THE DISH: Southside soul, delights of the U.S. South

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE I grew up in a suburb of Atlanta, Ga., and then at age 17 set up as an independent young woman in a neighborhood as close to downtown Atlanta as possible. (Atlanta famously had and still has almost no residential downtown.) I have always loved food—cooking…

Continue reading

Who shall rule this American nation?

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE The above is the title and call line of a political ballad of 1866 written by then popular but now largely forgotten composer and lyricist Henry Clay Work. You may be familiar with one or two of his better-received works, either 1865’s triumphant martial air “Marching…

Continue reading

Some interesting things to check out on East 42nd Street

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Mexican-American culture is osmosing through South Minneapolis for sure, and it’s in glorious evidence along 42nd Street. Just up the hill from El Colegio, a publicly supported charter high school “rooted in the Latinx experience,” there are two small businesses across the street from each other…

Continue reading

Wrapping Up September with another convention, and events ahead in October, November

resistance persistence BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE There have been a few victories in the resistance in the past month. Before the arraignment hearing (Sept. 27) came around for the group of immigrant rights protestors known as #ICEbreakers18, the court dismissed all the charges on Sept. 9. That was one victory.…

Continue reading

Comings and goings at the Midtown Global Market

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Midtown Global Market is coming into its 14th year of existence. There are a few businesses that were there at the very start and are still there. Pham’s Deli is one of them. Although I have been going to MGM for shopping or a quick meal…

Continue reading

resistance persistence: Recap of August, new September events

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Do you realize what an insane month August was? Locally, we had merely days before the statewide party and non-partisan primaries, an allegation against a major DFL candidate—Keith Ellison, currently 5th District Congressperson, but running for Minnesota attorney general—of domestic violence. Ellison won his primary, and…

Continue reading