Black History, Black Voices

Black History, Black Voices seeks to deepen understanding of Black history and the contributions Black Americans have made to Minnesota. This initiative centers Black narratives, history, and issues through ongoing programs, content, and resources created by members of Minnesota’s Black community.

Past Events

Moderator

Dr. Yohuru Williams, professor, University of St. Thomas

Dr. Yohuru Williams is the Distinguished University Chair and Professor of History and the founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Williams has appeared on a number of local and national radio and tv programs on ABC, CNN, CSPAN, and NPR and is the author of, most recently, Rethinking the Black Freedom Movement. He also hosts the History Channel’s Web show Sound Smart.

 

Panelists

Leslie E. Redmond, past president of the NAACP, Mpls chapter

Leslie E. Redmond is a public speaker and civil rights advocate who founded Don’t Complain, Activate. Leslie received her BA in political science and minor in African studies from Barry University. She is a licensed attorney who received her JD/MBA from the University of St. Thomas who previously served as president of Minneapolis NAACP.

Edrin C. Williams, lead pastor, Sanctuary Covenant Church

Edrin is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he studied African American studies and US history, and holds a master of divinity degree in preaching and communication from Bethel Seminary.

Adair Mosley, president and CEO, Pillsbury United Communities

Adair was selected for the Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program, and received the Local Legend Award from the General Mills Foundation for the embodiment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision and legacy. He attended the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan’s Executive Leadership Institute and earned a certificate in human centered design at Stanford’s d.school.

Acting on Dr. King’s Call

This program aired on Mon, Jan 18, 2021
Watch on Facebook and YouTube.

“There are some things in our society, some things in our world, to which we should never be adjusted.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

What did this quote mean during Dr. King’s life and what does it mean now? Explore how Black Minnesotans have refused to normalize injustice and inequality and are responding today with action, innovation, and persistence.

Resources to explore

Program related resources

MNopedia articles focusing on Dr. King and the civil rights movement:

Moderator

Dr. Yohuru Williams, professor, University of St. Thomas

 

Dr. Yohuru Williams is the Distinguished University Chair and Professor of History and the founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Williams has appeared on a number of local and national radio and tv programs on ABC, CNN, CSPAN, and NPR and is the author of, most recently, Rethinking the Black Freedom Movement. He also hosts the History Channel’s Web show Sound Smart.

 

Panelists

Mercedes Henderson Clark, HBCU graduate; COO for D.E.L.O.R.E.S. WORKS, Inc.

 

Mercedes Henderson Clark is a pediatric education-based occupational therapy graduate consultant. Mercedes also serves as the chief operations officer for D.E.L.O.R.E.S. WORKS, Incorporated (DW), a non-profit organization with a mission of supporting children striving to reach their academic potential. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Hampton University, a master of arts in health administration from Hofstra University, and a master of arts in occupational therapy from St. Catherine University.

Justin Tanner, HBCU graduate, formerly in the Obama Administration

 

Justin Tanner is a government relations professional. Before joining the private sector, Justin served as the executive director of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, a White House appointee in the Obama Administration, and a policy aide to former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Justin received a bachelor of business administration degree from Howard University and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Keisha Murray, HBCU graduate, General Mills

 

Keisha Murray is a finance professional at General Mills. Keisha is passionate about uplifting the next generation of brilliant minds, and spends time mentoring, educating, and exposing youth to the opportunities ahead of them. Keisha is a leader within the Black Champions Network at General Mills and graduated from Xavier University in New Orleans.

HBCU Legacy of Leadership

This program aired on Tue, Jan 19, 2021
Watch on Facebook and YouTube.

From Dr. King to Kamala Harris, Historically Black Colleges and Universities produce Black American leaders and legends who advance our society. Explore the origin story of HBCUs, how they are critical to the health of our communities, and how local civil rights leaders like Roy Wilkins and Marvel Cook advocated for HBCUs in the North.

Resources to explore

MNopedia articles focusing on higher education:

Moderator

Dr. Yohuru Williams, professor, University of St. Thomas

 

Dr. Yohuru Williams is the Distinguished University Chair and Professor of History and the founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Williams has appeared on a number of local and national radio and tv programs on ABC, CNN, CSPAN, and NPR and is the author of, most recently, Rethinking the Black Freedom Movement. He also hosts the History Channel’s Web show Sound Smart.

 

Panelists

Gaye Adams Massey, CEO, YWCA of St Paul

 

Gaye Adams Massey is the Chief Executive Officer of YWCA St. Paul, which promotes racial justice through education and advocacy, and provides supportive housing to homeless families and individuals, career pathways and workforce readiness training, youth employment and empowerment programs, and operates a health & fitness center.

Sondra Samuels, president & CEO, Northside Achievement Zone

 

Sondra Samuels is the president and CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), a collaborative of over 30 partner nonprofits and schools. Sondra serves on the Leadership team of Generation Next, Community Advisory Board of the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute, and the boards of Center for the Study of Social Policy and Health Partners. She received her bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, and an MBA from Clark-Atlanta University, two Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Staying in the Fight

This program aired on Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 4:30 – 5:30 pm | Free
Watch on Facebook and YouTube.

Representative John Lewis, a civil rights activist who fought alongside Dr. King, called on all Americans to get in the fight and stay in the fight. Hear influential Black leaders discuss their groundbreaking work: delivering innovative solutions all the while challenging activists and allies alike to get in and stay in the fight for racial equity.

Resources to explore

MNopedia articles focusing on community and resilience:

Continuing the conversation

Black history playlist on YouTube

MNopedia articles

MNopedia is a free digital encyclopedia produced by Minnesota Historical Society staff, volunteers, and commissioned writers. Its more than 1,000 entries cover people, places, events, things, and buildings in the state, including many related to African American history. The following entries, written by Black writers, show the range of topics and time periods represented.