Photo from minneapolis mob outside Lee house, 1931, published in the Crisis

“A Right to Establish a Home”

Published August 22, 2014 by Kirsten Delegard

Some of you might recall that in July I wrote about the Lee family and their efforts to make a home in an all-white neighborhood in South Minneapolis. A new exhibit that explores this subject–examining the violent reaction of the community–opens tonight, at Rapson Hall, on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota.

“A Right to Establish a Home” is the work of University of Minnesota professor Greg Donofrio and his students. The exhibit looks beyond the chilling mob vigil–which divided the city in the summer of 1931–to look at the broader context of race and housing in Minneapolis, racism in Minnesota, and the individuals and organizations that defended the Lees, including the NAACP and the distinguished attorney Lena Olive Smith. For more background about what went into this exhibit, read this article.

If you can’t make it to the opening reception, the exhibit will be up until early January. Check it out. This is one of the most critical–and ugliest–episodes in the history of the city.