"Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow" exhibit to open in St. Paul Saturday

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota History Center's newest exhibit hopes to show Black Americans' fight for racial equity and full citizenship in the years following the Civil War.

Opening Saturday, the display comes on loan from the New York Historical Society. It features artifacts like a portrait of Dred Scott, a replica of the 13th Amendment, and other artifacts from the era.

"There's power in objects. The things that people handled and were part of people's lives," said Museum Manager Annie Johnson. "Even though some of the artifacts in the exhibit hold painful history, it's important history to tell, to collect and to share."

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To celebrate the exhibit opening Saturday, a group of local scholars – Dr. William Green, Dr. James Robinson and Dr. Duchess Harris — will host a program on Minnesota's Jim Crow history.

"Coming to this exhibit and being able to understand how Black Americans and Black Minnesotans experienced citizenship, in Minnesota, the South, the North, that actually allows us to create really interesting conversations amongst ourselves about what citizenship means to people," said MNHS historian Dr. Chantel Rodriguez.

The exhibit will remain on display until June 9.

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