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From Statehood to WWII: Minnesota's Black Past in Photographs


The African American Interpretive Center of Minnesota is planning their first event for 2017. The newly minted organization was created to reflect on the black experience in Minnesota with a focus on this communitys history in the state. The non-profit will present black history with themes related to identity, culture, the arts, and community building with its upcoming exhibitions and events.

The inaugural exhibition, titled From Statehood to WWII: Minnesotas Black Past in Photographs, is set to run from April 1st to April 5th at Artista Bottega in Lowertown Saint Paul. 20 photographic prints, ranging from the mid-1800s to 1945, will be featured at the gallery. The exhibition offers the viewer an introduction to the social, economic, and cultural development of early black Minnesotans. Familiar figures, like George Bonga, appear alongside unknown figures whose stories have been lost to us, with the exhibition aiming to demonstrate a wide range of black experiences in the state.

The opening reception, April 1st starting at 7 PM, will include an introduction to the new non-profit and insight into the making of the exhibition. Discussion among patrons will be encouraged.
Vegan cupcakes and wine will be served.

Surveys for the upcoming exhibition show interest from both native Minnesotans and transplants who are curious about the role that African Americans played in shaping the state of Minnesota. One survey taker commented, I would rate my interest in this exhibition as a 10 on a 1-10 scale. There is so much black history that is not normally represented in Minnesota and I am curious to learn about the community’s impact and their everyday lives. I cant wait to learn the stories behind the photos.

AAICM hopes to draw people from all walks of life in Minnesota to reflect on a forgotten past. The center is aiming to harness a grassroots effort to grow interest and support. To learn how you can get involved with AAICM please refer to their website www.aaicmn.org.

About AAICM: The African American Interpretive Center of Minnesota (AAICM) strives to create a space in which black history is celebrated and shared.