Black History is Minnesota History: Celebrate at Minnesota History Center

For immediate release

Release dated: January 25, 2024

Media contacts: Allison Ortiz, 651-259-3051, or Jack Bernstein, 651-259-3058,

Minnesota Historical Society events celebrate in February and beyond

ST. PAUL, Minn (January 25, 2024) – Throughout Minnesota’s history, strong Black communities have touched all corners of the state. As we celebrate Black History Month, the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) aims to create a deeper understanding about Black history in Minnesota. 

The Minnesota History Center is hosting several opportunities to learn about Black history in the month of February and beyond:

Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow, February 3–June 9

This new exhibition explores African Americans’ fight for full citizenship and racial equality in the 50 years after the Civil War. Art, artifacts, and photographs highlight Black resilience and resistance through these transformative decades in American history, while underscoring their relevance today. This exhibition has been organized by the New-York Historical Society.

Black Citizenship Panel Discussion: Minnesota Post-Civil War, February 3, 1 pm–2:30 pm

Celebrate the opening of Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow by joining two local scholars—Drs. William Green and James Robinson—for a program on the history of African Americans in Minnesota during the post-Emancipation era. 

“The McRae All-Stars Story” Community Discussion, February 17, 2 pm–4 pm 

This community discussion dives into the history of the McRae All-Stars, Minnesota's first AAU Basketball team that traveled the country in the 1980s winning tournaments with combined talent from inner city youth in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This event is a part of the Before the Mayflowers Landed series, designed to engage the African American community. 

Franklin: The Legacy of Peanuts’ First Black Character”, March 2, 1 pm–2:30 pm
Join this panel discussion about the historical significance and contemporary legacy of Franklin Armstrong, the first African-American Peanuts character. Speakers include Robb Armstrong, a cartoonist who Charles Schulz named Franklin after; Raymond Persi, the director of the new Apple TV+ special Welcome Home, Franklin; and Melissa Menta of Peanuts Worldwide. 

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs, and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories, and connects people with history.