We are honored to have been a contributor to the Saint Paul African American Historic and Cultural Context. The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) recently recognized this document with an Award of Excellence. The project was a highly collaborative effort with many people from the following various organizations:
- Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASANDC)
- 106 Group
- Historic Saint Paul
- City of Saint Paul
The Saint Paul African American Historic and Cultural Context is a study of the historical development of the African American community in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It provides a framework for the evaluation and preservation of key historic, architectural, archaeological, engineering, and cultural sites. An advisory group and series of community workshops guided the process, contributing extensive community dialogue and input. This is the first cultural context study focused on a non-European cultural group in Saint Paul. The report offers a foundation for the preservation of African American historic sites and provides tools to help promote African American cultural heritage and heritage tourism in Saint Paul.
The Context describes the history of Saint Paul’s African American community and its development between 1837 and 1975. It addresses topics pertaining to the African American experience in the community, including migration, religious institutions, business and industry, arts and culture, education, politics, journalism, and significant leaders and events. The Context provides a history of significant time periods, identifies threats to resources, includes historical photographs of significant historical figures or events, and describes additional research needs.
This cultural context study was completed in 2017 and has been made available to cultural, civic, and economic development organizations, and community residents working to draw visitors interested in the city’s African American cultural heritage, as well as those with responsibility for preservation of the city’s and state’s historic resources. In February of 2018, the Context was adopted by the City of Saint Paul’s Heritage Preservation Commission, recognized as a foundational planning document “to preserve [Saint Paul’s] architecturally and culturally diverse historic and cultural resources” as identified in the Historic Preservation Plan chapter of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
The AASLH award is one of fifty national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the award was made at a special banquet during the 2019 AASLH Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, on Friday, August 30. We are honored to be a part of this recognition of work.
For more information please read our African American Context: A Case Study