This tour is part of the "Racism, Rent, and Real Estate: Fair Housing Reframed" event series, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. To learn more about other events in the series, click here.
A summer bus tour co-sponsored by Preserve Minneapolis, the Mapping Prejudice Project (at the University of Minnesota Libraries), and the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO).
Many residents of Minneapolis believe that their city has never had any kind of formal segregation. This tour makes visible the structural racism that has undergirded the city’s urban landscape. It also illuminates the community solidarity that developed among African Americans in the face of this white hostility.
Our story begins in Prospect Park in 1909 at the site of a forgotten “race riot” by white residents, who organized to intimidate their African American neighbors. This clash inspired local real estate developers to experiment with racial covenants, which prohibited people who were not white from buying or occupying properties. Over the decades that followed, covenants dovetailed with violence and discriminatory lending practices to reserve huge swaths of the city for the exclusive use of white people. By 1940, the city’s African Americans had been pushed into a couple of small neighborhoods which were knit together by racial solidarity and white hostility.
From Prospect Park, the tour will move through territory that was blanketed by racial covenants. Our destination will be a small enclave in South Minneapolis: the intersection of 38th and 4th Avenue South. This was the heart of the old Southside neighborhood, where African Americans built a thriving community bound together by necessity and collective ambition. Former and current residents will tell us about the institutions and people who made this neighborhood strong.
Join us for a challenging journey that will explore both racism and the resistance that it inspired. Together we will take an unflinching look at the past in Minneapolis.
The tour is led by Tina Burnside, Kirsten Delegard, Cara Letofsky, and Penny Petersen.
Please plan on arriving 15-30 minutes early for this tour. The bus will depart promptly at 10:00 am.
Please note that this tour may be filmed.