Historical Significance of the E. 38th St. Corridor and South-Central Minneapolis

Learn more about the buildings and landmarks in the East 38th Street community and their importance to black history.

Streets honor southside community activists and leaders

The corner of 38th Street and 4th Avenue was the old stomping grounds for many influential African American business owners, community activists and civil leaders in Minneapolis.

In tribute, remembrance and awareness of the great contributions to the Southside Community and the City of Minneapolis by Launa Q. Newman and Clarissa Rogers Walker, we have named two streets in their honor.

Learn more about their contributions in a resolution honoring Clarissa Rogers Walker and Launa Q. Newman.

Read the honorary resolution

See the coverage in local news

Launa Q. Newman and Clarissa Walker honored with their own streets (Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder)

Street commemorated for Clarissa Rogers Walker at 3rd Avenue South between 36th Street and 42nd Street

Clarissa Rogers Walker Way is located on 3rd Avenue South between 36th Street and 42nd Street.

Clarissa Rogers Walker served her community for 39 years as a leader, social worker, and activist at Sabathani Community Center.

Street commemorated for Launa Q. Newman at 4th Avenue South between 36th Street and 42nd Street

Launa Q. Newman Way is located on 4th Avenue South between 36th Street and 42nd Street.

Launa Q. Newman, wife of Cecil Newman the founder of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, served as president and CEO of the oldest community newspaper in Minnesota for 30 years after her late husband passed in 1976.

Black History and its Influence on the East 38th St. Community

A group gathers for the 38th Street Walking Tour.

In 2016, former Council Member Elizabeth Glidden in partnership with leaders from local community institutions organized an E. 38th Street walking tour to visit sites of important significance to learn about how the area’s local history was deeply influence by black culture and history as told by community leaders.

Learn more from our East 38th St. Area interactive story map

Download the walking tour guide

Jim Crow of the North documentary

Promotional poster for Jim Crow of the North documentary on TPT.

The “Jim Crow of the North” documentary, produced by Daniel Bergin, explores the history and impact of racist real estate covenants in the Minneapolis area. Jim Crow of the North charts the progression of racist policies and practices from the advent of restrictive covenants after the turn of the last century to their final elimination in the late 1960s.

Watch the full documentary on TPT  


Historic places in South-Central Minneapolis

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder Building

The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder building, 1958

The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder building is an important part of South Minneapolis' African American heritage and identity. It's located at 4th Avenue South and 38th Street East—a central location for the African American community.

It began in 1934, at a time of legalized oppression, segregation, and widespread racism. The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder became the only African American newspaper in Minnesota. The building still houses the longest running family-owned African American newspaper in the state.

Learn more about the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder Building

Tilsenbilt Homes Historic District

The Tilsenbilt Homes Historic District consists of 28 modest single-family homes located along 4th Ave S and 5th Ave S between 39th St E and 47th S E.

The Tilsenbilt Homes Historic District consists of 28 modest single-family homes located along 4th Avenue South and 5th Avenue South between 39th Street East and 47th Street East and spans across the Bryant, Field and, Regina Neighborhoods.

The homes were built as part of the first privately developed interracial housing project in Minneapolis, and one of the first housing projects in the country to offer FHA-insured mortgages to buyers of all races.

The district is significant for its association with housing segregation and Minneapolis’ Civil Rights history, as well as its association with realtor Archie Givens, Sr. and builder Edward Tilsen. Tilsenbilt Homes has been passed down through four generations of the Tilsen family and continues to build homes in Minnesota.

Learn more about Tilsenbilt Homes Historic District.

Arthur and Edith Lee House

Arthur and Edith Lee House on National Register of Historic Places. A quote is inscribed on the sculpture in yard: Nobody asked me to move out when I was in France fighting in mud and water for this country. I came out here to make this house my home. I have a right to establish a home. – Arthur Lee July 16, 1931

In 1931, a young African-American couple, Arthur and Edith Lee, purchased 4600 Columbus Ave S. It was a home in a predominantly white neighborhood. On July 16, 1931, racial taunts and small demonstrations outside their home escalated into an unruly mob of 4,000 people.

Arthur Lee, a WWI veteran, an NAACP member and U.S Postal worker, was determined to stay. He said he had a "right to establish a home" in the neighborhood of his choosing.

Many came to the family's defense, including the local and national chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the influential lawyer Lena Olive Smith. The Lee family remained in the house until fall 1933, when they moved elsewhere in Minneapolis.

Learn more about the Arthur and Edith Lee House

See National Parks Service Arthur and Edith Lee historic registry