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Archive for June, 2020

African American History in Minnesota

Monday, June 15th, 2020


On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officers murdered George Floyd on the streets of South Minneapolis. The events of that evening and the weeks since have shone a spotlight on the systemic racism and institutionalized violence that has permeated Minnesota for more than 150 years, going back to the pre-statehood era. The history of Minnesota is replete with examples of oppression and discrimination directed against its African American citizens, but African American history in the state is also a history of perseverance, creativity, and leadership by Black Minnesotans. MNHS Press is proud to offer a selection of books and articles that explore and illuminate African American history in our state.



African Americans in Minnesota, by David V. Taylor

Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota, edited by Alexs Pate, Pamela Fletcher, and J. Otis Powell‽

A Choice of Weapons, by Gordon Parks

The Days of Rondo, by Evelyn Fairbanks

Diesel Heart: An Autobiography, by Melvin Whitfield Carter Jr.

Double Exposure: Images of Black Minnesota in the 1940s, photography by John Glanton

Dred and Harriet Scott: A Family’s Struggle for Freedom, by Gwenyth Swain

Fredrick L. McGhee: A Life on the Color Line, 1861-1912, by Paul D. Nelson

The Girls Are Coming, by Peggie Carlson

A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, edited by Sun Yung Shin

The Lynchings in Duluth, by Michael Fedo

Minnesota’s Black Community in the 21st Century, edited by Anthony R. Scott, Dr. Chaunda L. Scott, and Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield III

A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Early Minnesota, by William D. Green

The Scott Collection: Minnesota’s Black Community in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, by Walter R. Scott Sr.

Sights, Sounds, Soul: The Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis, photography by Charles Chamblis, text by Davu Seru

Slavery’s Reach: Southern Slaveholders in the North Star State, by Christopher Lehman

They Played for the Love of the Game: Untold Stories of Black Baseball in Minnesota, by Frank M. White


African Americans in Minnesota

Southside African American Community, Minneapolis

African Americans (Spotlight)

African American Civil Liberties (Spotlight)

Racism, Police, and Civil Unrest (Spotlight)


“Minnesota’s Long Road to Black Suffrage 1849-1868,” by William D. Green

“The Perils of Peace: Frederick Douglass, Winona, and Civil Rights in Minnesota after the Civil War,” by Wayne Ganaway

“Black Cloud: The Struggles of St. Cloud’s African American Community, 1880-1920,” by Christopher Lehman

“Loyalty Within Racism: The Segregated Sixteenth Battalion of the Minnesota Home Guard During World War I,” By Peter J. DeCarlo

“Labor, Politics, and African American Identity in Minneapolis, 1930-1950,” by Jennifer A. Delton

“Roy Wilkins in Minnesota: Remembering a Civil Rights Hero,” by Lisa Heinrich