African American History in Minnesota

The following MNHS Press publications seek to deepen our understanding of Black history and the contributions Black Americans have made to Minnesota. These books center Black narratives, history, and issues from a variety of perspectives, as told by members of Minnesota’s Black community.
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Forthcoming May 2021

George Floyd, Racism, and the Progressive Illusion

Edited by Walter R. Jacobs, Wendy Thompson Taiwo, and Amy August

Reflections on the murder of George Floyd and the uprisings that followed and on racism in Minnesota, as told by former and current residents of the state.

Slavery's Reach 
Southern Slaveholders in the North Star State

By Christopher P. Lehman

A set of mutually beneficial relationships between southern slaveholders and Minnesotans kept the men and women whose labor generated the wealth enslaved. Through careful research in obscure records, censuses, newspapers, and archival collections, Christopher Lehman has brought to light this hidden history of northern complicity in building slaveholder wealth.

A Good Time for the Truth
Race in Minnesota

Edited by Sun Yung Shin

Essays that challenge, discomfort, disorient, galvanize, and inspire all of us to evolve now, for our shared future.

Minnesota's Black Community in the 21st Century

By Anthony R. Scott, Dr. Chaunda L. Scott, and Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield III
Foreword by Mahmoud El-Kati

An inspiring celebration of the accomplishments of African American professionals in Minnesota, highlighting the contributions of individuals and organizations in a wide range of fields.

The Scott Collection
Minnesota's Black Community in the '50s, '60s, and '70s

By Walter R. Scott Sr.
Introduction by Anthony R. Scott
Preface by Chaunda L. Scott
Foreword by Dr. William D. Green

A fascinating documentary look at the African American community of the mid-twentieth century, brought back into print.

Double Exposure
Images of Black Minnesota in the 1940s

Photography by John Glanton

A rare and intimate look at Minnesota's African American community in postwar America through the lens of a pioneering black photographer.

They Played for the Love of the Game
Untold Stories of Black Baseball in Minnesota

By Frank M. White
Foreword by Dave Winfield

A tale of unsung heroes and forgotten stars who battled discrimination and other hardships to play the game they loved, told by the son of one such legend of Minnesota black baseball.

Sights, Sounds, Soul
The Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis

Photography by Charles Chamblis, Text by Davu Seru

A photographic celebration of musicians, artists, and everyday scenes from the Twin Cities African American community of the 1970s and ’80s by a renowned local photographer.

Diesel Heart
An Autobiography

By Melvin Whitfield Carter Jr.

Full of humor, toughness, hard work, and surprising vulnerability, this book shows the bitter weight of racism and the power of principled resistance.

A Choice of Weapons

By Gordon Parks, Foreword by Wing Young Huie

“Gordon Parks’s spectacular rise from poverty, personal hardships, and outright racism is astounding and inspiring.”—from the foreword by Wing Young Huie

The Days of Rondo

By Evelyn Fairbanks

Evelyn Fairbanks lived along Rondo Avenue-the heart of St. Paul's largest black community-from the 1930s through the 1950s. Her memoir tells warm and human stories recalling those years in a vibrant community that vanished with the coming of the freeways in the 1960s.

African Americans in Minnesota
The People of Minnesota Series

By David V. Taylor, Foreword by Bill Holm

The story of African Americans' profound influence on the history and culture of Minnesota.

Blues Vision
African American Writing from Minnesota

Edited by Alexs Pate, Pamela Fletcher, & J. Otis Powell‽

A surprising and compelling anthology that reveals complex realities—beautiful, infuriating, painful, and uplifting—as described by African American writers in Minnesota over the past century.

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