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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Minnesota black history project

Repository: Minnesota Historical Society. Minnesota History Center

Collection Description (Extant): In 1974 the Minnesota Historical Society received a grant to collect materials germane to the history of blacks in Minnesota. During two summers the staff of the Minnesota Black History Project, under the direction of David V. Taylor, collected records of organizations, institutions, clubs and churches, as well as personal papers, genealogies and photographs. [See Minnesota Black History Project Materials.] They also interviewed members of the black community.

Thirty-two interviews with Black men and women, who discuss their family backgrounds, social and cultural activities, political organizations and involvement, and various Black communities in Minnesota.

For biographical information see individual description sheets in the oral history notebooks.

Access Copy Note: Five of those interviewed discussed the Duluth lynchings and its effects on themselves and on their communities. Audio excerpts from those interviews (and transcripts) are available at

Copies of some interview transcripts are also at the University of Minnesota--Duluth's Northeast Minnesota Historical Center:

Collection URL: External Link

Date(s): 1970-1975

Digital Status: Partial

Existing IDs: OH43

Extent: 17 sound cassettes (60 min. each), 24 sound cassettes (90 min. each), transcripts (30 v., 28 cm.)

Language: English

Related Archival Items: See "Minnesota Black History Project materials, 1902-1983," a 4 cu. ft. collection that contains materials relating to Black Studies programs at various Minnesota colleges and universities; churches in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Duluth; Black cultural and community organizations; political conventions and elections; and St. Paul and Minneapolis municipal agencies for human rights, housing and redevelopment, and model cities programs. Also included are newspaper articles and some personal papers providing information on individuals in the Minnesota Black community.
Another component of the collection is the David V. Taylor papers, which include Taylor's histories of the Fifth Maintenance Battalion in Vietnam in which he served during 1969 and 1970; files he created on student, faculty, department, and community issues as an instructor in the Black Studies Department at the University of Nebraska, Omaha (1971-1973); several articles written by Taylor on Black history topics; his file on Twin Cities Black community issues and events; and miscellaneous materials from the Minnesota Black History Project. A finding aid is available at

See also "Random Access," a videotaped 1975 interview with Taylor about the Minnesota Black History Project. Minnesota Historical Society Videotape Call #: 43.

See also Bloomington Human Relations Council Records, 1964-68: Minutes, membership lists, fact sheets, newsletters, correspondence, and related materials of a community organization formed by citizens of a Minneapolis suburb in 1964 to work against racial discrimination, especially with regard to local housing, schools, and employment. Finding aid online at

Interviewees: John L. Banks, Fred Bell, Lillian Bell, Sidonia Black, Ione Brown, Florence H. Daniels, Carrie L. Dozier, Adina A. Gibbs, S. Edward Hall, William Helm, Nellie S. Johnson, Norman P. Lyght, James R. Lynn, William F. Maupins Jr., Stephen L. Maxwell, Louis Moore Sr., Ethel R. Nance, Eva B. Neal, Edward Nichols, Frederick D. Parker, Alphonse Reff, Mattie Rhodes, Almetra Robinson, Grace Ross, Maceo Simmons, Tom Sligh, Charles and Geraldine Stalling, Maxine Taylor, Zorra Thomas, Anita Tucker, Polletta Webster, Margaret Wilkins, Boyd A. Wright Sr.

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American arts
African American churches--Minnesota
African American political activists
African American veterans
African American women--Societies and clubs
African Americans--Civil rights--Minnesota
American Civil Liberties Union
Black studies
Civil rights movements--Minnesota
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Steel industry and trade
Urban renewal--Minnesota


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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