Untold Stories celebrates its fifteenth anniversary with a month of lectures, tours, performances and more!
In celebration of labor history month each May, the Untold Stories series presents programs and talks on both local and national labor history topics. Past programs in the series have featured historian Robin D.G. Kelley, singer Larry Long, author Cheri Register, and walking tours led by local historian Dave Riehle. The series received the 2003 John Sessions Memorial Award from the American Library Association for service to the labor community.
DAVID NOBLE LECTURE SERIES:
“Detroit: Then and Now”
Tuesday, April 9, 6 p.m.
Weisman Art Museum
333 East River Road, Minneapolis
The 19th annual David Noble Lecture, presented by the U of M American Studies Department, features Tiya Miles, professor at the University of Michigan and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant.” Through a reconstruction of early Detroit in the first American decades with a focus on the role of slavery, this presentation considers whether understanding Detroit then can help to shape visionary thinking and action for Detroit now. The event is part of the “Black Studies and American Studies at the Crossroads Lecture Series” and is co-sponsored by the Weisman Art Museum.
Maroon the Implacable: The Writings of Russell M. Shoatz
Sunday, April 14, 7 p.m.
Macalester College, Weyerhaeuser Chapel
1600 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul
Russell Maroon Shoatz is a dedicated community activist, founding member of the Black Unity Council, former member of the Black Panther Party and soldier in the Black Liberation Army. He is serving multiple life sentences as a U.S.-held prisoner of war.
Join co-editor, Quincy Saul, and daughter, Theresa Shoatz, for a discussion of his new book, Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz.
FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION:
“Slavery by Another Name”
Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m.
Rondo Community Outreach Library
461 North Dale Street, Saint Paul
This documentary challenges one of Americans’ most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century. Join TPT producers Catherine Allan and Daniel Bergin for a discussion following the film.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
Wednesday, April 24, 7 p.m.
Highland Park Library, Village View Room
1974 Ford Parkway, Saint Paul
Fifty years ago, the federal government passed the Equal Pay Act, requiring that women be paid the same as men if they’re doing the same job. Thirty years ago, Minnesota went further. The state implemented landmark legislation to erase the pay gap between men and women in the public sector. It succeeded! Our panel talks about how it happened, and why it hasn’t happened more often. Featuring Nina Rothchild, head of the state Department of Employee Relations when the law was implemented; Bonnie Watkins, of the Pay Equity Coalition of Minnesota; and Peter Benner, of AFSCME, which pushed the legislation, then made sure it worked.
Tuesday, April 30, 7 p.m.
Metropolitan State University Library, Ecolab Room
645 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul
Dr. Heather Ann Thompson writes on the history as well as public policy implications of today’s criminal justice system. Her talk will discuss the impact of mass incarceration on America’s cities, its economy, and its very democracy. Thompson is the author of numerous articles on the justice system as well as the book Whose Detroit: Politics, Labor and Race in a Modern American City. She is currently writing the first comprehensive history of the Attica Prison Rebellion of 1971 and its legacy. Sarah Walker, co-chair of the Second Chance Coalition, will serve as a local responder.
Monday, May 6, 7 p.m.
Highland Park Library, Hillcrest Auditorium
1974 Ford Parkway, Saint Paul
Join Bill Green (A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equity in Minnesota) and others as they explore Minnesota’s involvement in the Civil War and the emancipation process.
Thursday, May 16, 7 p.m.
St. Paul Labor Centre
411 Main Street, Saint Paul
Hear stories from historians and veterans about clashes and convergences surrounding race and military engagements: Yuichiro Onishi (Transpacific Antiracism), and Dr. Malinda Lindquist (Race, Social Science, and the Crisis of Manhood, 1890-1970), professors in the African-American and African Studies department at the University of Minnesota; and Melvin Carter, Jr., a Navy veteran of the Vietnam era and founder of “Save Our Sons.”
Steel Rails, Strong Hearts
Sunday, May 19, 2 p.m.
214 Fourth Street East
Join Dave Riehle and historian James Robinson, a scholar of the dining car waiters organizations, for a bus and walking tour of sites and settings associated with the history of African American railroad workers. Tour starts at the renovated Union Depot. Co-sponsored by MnDOT African American Employee Resource Group (AAERG). Please call The Friends at 651-222-3242 to reserve your spot on the bus.
Tuesday, May 21, 3:45 p.m.
Minneapolis Central Library, Doty Board Room
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401
The Minnesota African American Museum (MAAM) presents Lynne Jackson, the great-great granddaughter of Dred and Harriet Scott, and director of The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation. She will discuss the role of the 1857 Supreme Court decision and its effect on the abolition of slavery. A "Meet and Greet" is scheduled for 3:00, with Ms. Jackson's presentation beginning at 3:45 p.m.
The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation’s goal is to promote the commemoration, education and reconciliation of our histories with an eye towards helping to heal the wounds of the past. In 2012, under Lynne Jackson's leadership, the Foundation erected the first statue of Harriet and Dred Scott, designed and created by Harry Weber, which stands at the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, MO. Jackson was born in St. Louis, where she and her husband live with their two children.
Tuesday, May 21, 7 p.m.
270 North Kent Street
Join professional actor and Macalester College Professor Harry Waters for a re-enactment of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1962 speech to the Minneapolis convention of the United Packinghouse Workers, where King drew connections between the labor and civil rights struggles. Music and related readings will complement his performance.
Look back through history, and see previous years' events:
Untold Stories is coordinated by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. Unless listed, all events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit us online at www.thefriends.org or call 651-222-3242. Co-sponsors include Macalester College History Department, Metropolitan State University, Micawber’s Books, Minnesota African American Museum, Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, MnDOT AAERG, Penumbra Theatre, Ramsey County Historical Society, Saint Paul Labor Speakers Club, Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation, Twin Cities Labor History Society, the University of Minnesota Department of American Studies, and the University of Minnesota Labor Education Service. This series is supported by an endowment created with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation, as well as a gift from the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. Some photos courtesy of the Library of Congress and the Minnesota Historical Society.