Celebrating Black History in Saint Paul

Celebrating Black History in Saint Paul

The month of February is observed as Black History Month to celebrate the stories and contributions of Black people throughout history.

Photo of Roy Wilkins, courtesy Roy Wilkins Auditorium

Learn more about Saint Paul organizations honoring the achievements and lives of Black Americans that have shaped our community, this month and throughout the year. 

Black History Month Kick-off by VIBIN' Collective 

Taste of Rondo

Join the VIBIN' Collective at Taste of Rondo on February 1st as they kick-off Black History month with an open mic session that reflects on the challenges, successes and the work still to be done as it relates to the development of the Black community. Come out and treat yourself to a night of Positivity, Reflections and Music along with some fantastic food and drinks. Learn more.

Minnesota Historical Society

Minnesota Historical Society’s Black History, Black Voices seeks to deepen understanding of Black history and the contributions Black Americans have made to Minnesota, centering Black narratives, history, and issues through ongoing programs, content and resources created by members of Minnesota’s Black community. Learn more 

Read more about how African Americans have shaped the state on MNOPEDIA 


Penumbra Theatre

Penumbra Theatre, a 44-year-old legacy black arts organization that was once home to playwright August Wilson, is evolving into the Penumbra Center for Racial Healing. Based in the historically black neighborhood of Rondo in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Penumbra’s mission has long been to nurture black artists, promote racial equity, and inspire creative resiliency. Building upon this history, the Penumbra Center for Racial Healing will offer new artistic offerings, robust equity training services, a wellness center and expanded staff to support the fresh areas of focus. Learn more. 

Ramsey County & City of Saint Paul

City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County are hosting virtual events to celebrate Black History Month with staff. The theme is Recognizing The Black Family and highlights the shared history of many Black people in America, the local businesses that support these communities, the intimate conversations Black parents have with their children and celebrates family traditions. Learn more and view recordings. 

Ramsey County Historical Society

Ramsey County Historical Society has curated past important articles from their magazine, Ramsey County History, that celebrate the contributions that African-Americans have made to our communities. Learn more. 

Rondo Avenue, Inc.

In the 1930s, Rondo Avenue was at the heart of Saint Paul's largest Black neighborhood. The construction of I-94 in the 1960s shattered this tight-knit community, displaced thousands of African-Americans into a racially segregated city and a discriminatory housing market, and erased a now-legendary neighborhood. Rondo Avenue, Inc. is dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of the African-American community of Rondo. Celebrations like Rondo Days and the Jazz Festival bring people together for celebrations of the positive growth and diversity of the beloved Rondo community. Learn more. 

The Rondo Commemorative Plaza at 820 Concordia Avenue includes interactive historical displays with information, images, music and art representative of the old Rondo community before the freeway was built in the early 1960s.

Rondo: Beyond the Pavement, is a student-produced film and podcast presented by Saint Paul Almanac, in partnership with St. Paul Neighborhood Network and High School for Recording Arts, chronicling the history of the Rondo community. Learn more.

Saint Paul Historical

Take a tour of sites of African American Heritage with Saint Paul Historical, curated from “Points of Entry: The African American Heritage Guide to Saint Paul, by CultureBrokers Foundation Inc. Through 16 sites on the tour, learn about people and places like Roy Wilkins, Frederick McGhee, Nellie Griswold Francis and Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, that helped to shape Minnesota's capital city. Learn more.

Taste of Rondo Restaurants/Dining Taste Of Rondo
Minnesota History Center Attractions/Things to Do Minnesota History Center
Penumbra Theatre Attractions/Things to Do Penumbra Theatre