Silent Film Focused on African American Northern Families and Community Life in South Minneapolis Kicks off Five-Part Event Series

For immediate release

Release dated: November 2, 2023

MNHS media contacts: Nick Jungheim, 651-259-3060, or Allison Ortiz, 651-259-3051, 

First “Before The Mayflowers Landed” series screening event set for November 18 at the Minnesota History Center 

ST. PAUL, Minn (Nov. 2, 2023) – Starting on November 18, the Minnesota Historical Society, The Frances E. Thompson Digital Library for Family Research, and Cynthcarm Communications will be hosting a series of five powerful films and community discussion events. This unique showcase of Twin Cities-related stories is specifically designed to engage with the African American community. All ages are invited to attend this exclusive series themed “Before the Mayflowers Landed.” 

To kick off this dynamic series, guests are invited to the Minnesota History Center for a free film screening experience as Independent Journalist Ralph L. Crowder III shares The Lost Negroes of North America, a silent film experience featuring extremely unique 8mm film footage captured in South Minneapolis between 1944 - 1955. During this decade following World War II, African Americans made significant accomplishments in their collective wealth that gave birth to many overlooked contributions in education, family, cultural and social institutions, business, and home ownership.

This free film will be accompanied by a live band, DJ, poets, and a music soundtrack performed by Kevin Washington, Truth Maze, and Jamela Pettiford. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from the film's creator at a panel discussion following the screening. 


“The Lost Negroes of North America:” A Silent Film Experience


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Private Reception From 1–2 pm, Screening + Panel Discussion From 2–4 pm 


Minnesota History Center (3M Auditorium)

345 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102


Free, registration is strongly encouraged

This special event will begin with a private reception at 1 pm, followed by the film screening and a panel discussion. The screening is free, but registration is strongly encouraged. For additional event information, please visit the MNHS website. Reserve your spot here.

The next screening in this series, Before Black Lives Mattered, The Kids Marched for Educational Freedom. The Hopkins High School Student Walkout: Education No Discrimination, will take place on December 30. Keep an eye on our website and all MNHS social media channels for updates on registration and upcoming series updates. 

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact Jack Bernstein at

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves, and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs, and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories, and connects people with history.