- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minneapolis home is being added to the National Register of Historic Places this month in recognition of its significance to the area’s black history.

The modest craftsman house that once belonged to Arthur and Edith Lee was the site of a showdown, the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/WG84ZG ) reported.

The couple and their 6-year-old daughter were the first black family to move into the all-white neighborhood in 1931. Mobs frequently surrounded the home in hopes of intimidating and forcing them out.

Arthur Lee’s fellow World War I veterans and postal workers joined forces to protect the couple. Police also protected the home for more than a year.

After two years of animosity, the Lees moved a mile north to a historically black neighborhood, and the clash faded from memory.

The story resurfaced in 2001 after publication of research about the local NAACP leader who represented the Lees, sparking an effort to preserve the home and its history. It has inspired an award-winning history project, puppet show, exhibit and memorial marker.

Pearl Lindstrom, a 92-year-old widow, has lived in the house 46th and Columbus for decades. She said she’s glad the home will finally obtain historic status.

Among the people who worked to secure the house’s historic designation are Greg Donofrio and his University of Minnesota students. They conducted research and interviews for their upcoming exhibit, “A Right to Establish a Home.”

“This question of how racism has changed, if it has, is a very important question, and this exhibit allows us to talk about that,” Donofrio said.

The Lees’ story has also prompted city officials to look into establishing of other historic black landmarks.


Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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