Founder and director Roxanne Givens celebrated the dedication and grand opening of the Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center (MAAM) this past weekend. Givens, her cofounders, and 200 guests all gathered at the Coe Mansion, just south of Downtown Minneapolis.
Givens’s dream of opening a museum celebrating the black community finally came true. The museum’s goal is to educate and enlighten all people about the contributions of African Americans in Minnesota and the Midwest. The founders were inspired to showcase all the efforts and accomplishments made by the black community in Minnesota over the last 200 years.
Three interactive and participant-friendly exhibits cover the first floor of the Coe Mansion: Minnesota North Star Pioneers, Africa Folktales, and Black Baseball. Two additional exhibits will launch on the remaining two stories of the mansion: Black Settlers in Minnesota and Blacks and Native Americans in Minnesota. The Black Baseball exhibit teaches guests about the history of Negro baseball in Minnesota and its role in the Civil Rights Movement. For more history on that subject in particular, check out Swinging for the Fences: Black Baseball in Minnesota.
In addition to interactive exhibits inside the museum, the MAAM also has “Trunk It” traveling exhibits featuring trained actors who travel to elementary and middle schools. The museum believes in reaching out to the community and teaching children in every way possible. Its staff partners with Minneapolis schools and hosts field trips and workshops.
This new museum will serve to educate and tell Minnesota’s story from a different perspective. Head down to the Minnesota African American Museum to learn more about Minnesota and those who helped build it.