Learn More About Minneapolis Black History With These Resources

Here are a few things to read, watch, and hear if you're looking to learn more about Minneapolis Black history.


Minnepost: How Near North Came to Be One of Minneapolis Largest Black Communities

  • By 1960, one third of Minneapolis’ African Americans lived in Near North. The Near North community of Minneapolis—made up of the neighborhoods of Harrison, Hawthorne, Jordan, Near North, Sumner-Glenwood, and Willard-Hay—remains a hub of African American Minnesotan life in the twenty-first century. Learn more about the area and how it developed.

Minneopedia: History of “Southside” African American Community

  • From the 1930s to the 1970s, an African American neighborhood flourished on the city’s Southside, between East Thirty-Fourth and Forty-Sixth Streets and from Nicollet Avenue to Chicago Avenue. Read more about how this area of Minneapolis developed and what it looks like today. 

University of Minnesota: Mapping Prejudice

  • This interactive visualization shows the spread of racially-restrictive deeds across Hennepin County during the first half of the twentieth century.

Time: George Floyd’s Death and the History of Race in Minneapolis

  • Learn more about the history of race and racism in Minneapolis, and how racial convenants in particular played a major role.

MPR News: When Flames of Racial Strife Engulfed a Minneapolis Street

  • Fifty years ago, Plymouth Avenue in Minneapolis went up in flames. The racial tensions that led to violent demonstrations around the country in the summer of 1967 spread to the city's north side. Hear from people who were there, and what they had to say about this monumental moment of unrest. 


Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912 

Author: William D. Green
About: The True Story, and the black citizen behind the evolution of racial equality in Minnesota 

Voices of Rondo: Oral Histories of Saint Paul’s Historic Black Community

Author: As Told to Kate Cavett, Forward By David Vassar Taylor 
About: A look at the historic Rondo neighborhood of Saint Paul through the eyes of thirty-three former residents 

Nellie Francis: Fighting for Racial Justice and Women’s Equality in Minnesota

Author: William D. Green
About: The life and work of an African American suffragist and activist devoted to equality and freedom  

Children of Lincoln: White Paternalism and the Limits of Black Opportunity in Minnesota, 1860-1876

Author: William D. Green
About: How white advocates of emancipation abandoned African American causes in the dark days of Reconstruction, told through the stories of four Minnesotans 

A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Minnesota, 1837-1869

Author: William D. Green
About: The untold story of what it meant to be a Black member of early Minnesota society 


Jim Crow of the North

  • Jim Crow of the North takes a look at the roots of racial disparities. Learn about the city’s housing segregation and how it provide clues to the issue of segregation as a whole.

U of M: The Minnesota Paradox

  • A discussion about racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

The Black Liberation Movement (A Panel Discussion)

  • What do we mean when we say “Black Liberation” and the “Black Liberation Movement”? What are the catalysts for these movements historically and how have they been met in Minnesota and in the US? Join distinguished University of St. Thomas professor Dr. Yohuru Williams and a panel of Black history-keepers as they chart the evolution of Black protest in Minnesota and on a national scale, from slavery through today.


Local artist Nur-D releases two albums named 38th and second album named Chicago Avenue 

  • Nur-D said in the most harrowing moments during the unrest following George Floyd's death, he asked himself if he had said all he wanted to say as a musician.

30 Essential Black Minnesota Musicians

  • The Star Tribune along with peers (and admirers) in the Black community put together a list of 30 Black music makers from Minnesota you should know. Listed chronologically, these acts became Minnesota’s ambassadors to the rest of the world, or reshaped things in our state.