Dear Friends,

During the 1990s, I was department chair and vice provost at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. It has pained me to see my once adopted home become associated with unthinkable brutality and racist hate. But the tragic events that have unfolded in Minnesota—and which continue to unfold, notwithstanding the guilty verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd—are not unique to that state. Nor are they, as some have argued, simply the effects of our current moment during which hateful rhetoric has been allowed to thrive across the country.

At the New-York Historical Society, I have been privileged to work together with colleagues to try to help as many people as possible understand that the roots of what we are witnessing today run deep in our history. It is our hope that these efforts can lead both to an appreciation of our founding ideals of freedom and equality and to the long struggle on the part of African Americans and others for their rightful, equal share of the American dream. At this critical juncture, we offer the virtual tour of an exhibition we mounted in 2018 that's now traveling nationwide. Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow gives a sense of how efforts to create an interracial democracy were contested from the start. The exhibition leaves us with a deeper understanding of where we have been as a nation and why we find ourselves where we are today.

With best wishes,


Louise Mirrer, Ph.D.
President & CEO
New-York Historical Society
Museum & Library

Thursday, April 22, 2021
Creative: Tronvig Group