Application period extended for new African American Heritage Work Group

May 14, 2024

The City is recruiting members for a newly formed African American Heritage Work Group. This body will serve as an advisory board to the City Council on efforts to document and honor African American history. Community members who are knowledgeable on the topic of African American heritage are encouraged to apply by May 31.

Up to 15 community members will be included in the work group: 13 to be appointed by council members and two by the mayor. The work group will advise on the selection of 25 properties associated with Black history in the city to be surveyed for inclusion in a Minneapolis African American Historic and Cultural Context Study. At least three properties will eventually be nominated by the City for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

“We look forward to working with community members to recognize and uplift important people, places, and events related to African American heritage,” said Senior City Planner Erin Que. “It is essential to include community voices in the telling of our city’s history. This project will help us better acknowledge the history of African Americans in Minneapolis and cultural diversity of our community.”

The African American Heritage Work Group will meet approximately every one to two months between July 2024 and June 2025. The meetings will be organized by City staff and will be open to the public. The group will be asked to suggest relevant research materials; advise on the properties to be surveyed for the context study; review draft reports; and make recommendations about next steps. After the work group concludes, staff will report to City Council on the group’s activities and recommendations.

Minneapolis’ historic preservation program began in 1972. Since then, the City Council has designated more than 200 individual landmarks and historic districts that reflect various aspects of the City’s heritage. Yet our efforts still need to address a broader representation of our community. About 20% of residents identify as Black or African American. However, our historic preservation listings primarily represent the architectural and historical contributions of white Minneapolitans.

For more information about the African American Historic and Cultural Context Study, visit the City website.


This project is being supported in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.