Clarence Miller memory map

Stories from the map

Explore the human side of structural racism in Minneapolis and how covenants shaped the lives of the cities residents.

Edmund Boulevard

Edmund Boulevard--which extends for 14 blocks along the Mississippi River-- is one of the loveliest streets in Minneapolis. But the natural beauty of the street obscures some ugly history.

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“The Manly Art of Self-Defense”: Emanuel Cohen and the battle against anti-Semitism in Minneapolis

In 1919, the Minnesota State Legislature struck the first blow against bias in real estate transactions with a law that banned religious discrimination in property sales. Local attorney Emanuel Cohen has been credited with this legislative watershed, which was an important first step against injustice. But what were the limitations of this victory?

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Moses and Mary Burkes make a home near Lake Harriet

In 1900, Moses and Mary Burkes bought a little piece of land in the Minneapolis neighborhood now known as Fulton. The area near Lake Harriet was a logical place for a family in search of security and economic independence to put down roots. Over the next decade the Burkes built a little homestead. But they found they could not hold on to their dream.

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Evelyn's Addition

Evelyn Scott’s 1933 West High yearbook photo. This portrait was published two years after her father’s death and two years before her family lost their land in Southwest Minneapolis. She chose this quote to accompany her image: “A girl with a smile is a girl worthwhile.” Image courtesy the Hennepin County Yearbook Collection, Hennepin County Library.

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James Tapley Wardlaw

James Tapley Wardlaw arrived in Minneapolis in 1944. The young sociologist had an education, a job and social connections. But he could not find a home.

Minneapolis was in the grips of an epic housing crisis. But Wardlaw's predicament was not due to a "scarcity of supply" nor a lack of income. It was institutional racism that kept him from finding a place to put down roots.

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