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Duluth African-American Oral History Project

Identifier: U6213

Content Description

The African American Oral History Project was initiated by the Clayton, Jackson, McGhie Memorial Committee to aid in the documentation of the history of Duluth’s African American community. In some ways this project is an extension of the oral history project conducted by David Vassar Taylor in the early 1970s. The funding came from a Legacy Grant from the Minnesota Historical Society. The African American Oral History Project includes interviews designed to document particular aspects of Duluth’s history and/or important local institutions, such as the Institute for Afro-American Awareness, the local branch of NAACP, St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal, Calvary Baptist Church and the Juneteenth Celebration committee, as well as document African American life more generally. The interviews were conducted between November 2016 and February 2017.

Taken as a group, these interviews were conducted in order to document the many aspects of life in Duluth, particularly as experienced by African Americans. Business people, educators, laborers, commercial seamen, fire fighters, military veterans, civil employees, community activists and other civic leaders of various kinds, as well as regular folks, were interviewed. Some interviews are brief, lasting 60 minutes or less; others are more extensive, lasting up to three or more hours. The interviewees talk about their parents, their upbringing (often outside Duluth), their experiences in school, their careers, and their achievements. They discuss everyday life as well as the big events in the history they lived. The interviewees offer their own perspective on events, and while there are many areas of agreement, there are events that they each remember in their own ways.

The collection consists of digital files containing 12 audio interviews, transcripts for the interviews, biographies of interviewees, and other supporting materials.


  • November 2016 - February 2017



.167 Linear Feet (Transcripts)

99.7 Gigabytes (Recordings)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.
Guide to Duluth African-American Oral History Project
Shana Aue
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526