On July 16, a forgotten story from Minneapolis’ race history will be dramatically retold.
In July 1931, Arthur Lee, his wife Edith, and their daughter Mary moved into their newly-purchased home at 4600 Columbus Ave. in south Minneapolis. They were among the first African-American families to purchase a home south of 38th St.
Sadly, approximately 3,000 white residents from the neighborhood and the city held racial demonstrations against the Lee family for several nights that July, to try to force the family out of their home. Some of the mob threw stones at the house, defaced the home with black paint, and shouted threats at the family. Supported by friends, co-workers, and attorney Lena Olive Smith, the family was able to live in the home for more than a year.
Eighty years later, the recounting of the Lee family experiences will begin with a procession from Field Community School down East 46th Street, with a dramatic retelling of the Lee family story and dedication of a commemorative sculpture at 4600 Columbus Avenue. Those gathered will continue on to McRae Park for closing. The total walking distance is 0.4 miles, or six city blocks. All are welcome to attend.
This event is being organized by a multiracial group of volunteers who want Minneapolis to be a place where everyone is welcome to make a home, and where racism is definitely NOT welcome.
The grandson of Arthur and Edith Lee will be present at the event. For more information, go to www.julysixteenth.org.
The Lee Family Commemorative Event
Saturday, July 16, 2011 • 6:45pm – 8:00pm
• 6:45pm – Gather at Field Elementary School playground, 4645 – 4th Ave South, Minneapolis
• Silent procession on 46th street from 4th Ave. to Columbus Ave.
• Continue walking east to McRae Park (46th St. & Chicago Ave.).
Total walking distance = 0.4 mi = 6 short blocks.
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Jim Bush, Arthur Lee Committee Chair, 612-599-8943 firstname.lastname@example.org
Betty Tisel, Publicity Chair, 612-824-5820 email@example.com