Black and white photograph of WIlliam Monroe Trotter, 1922.

William Monroe Trotter

William Monroe Trotter, 1922. Trotter was an early and energetic opponent of Booker T.Washington's and a persistent voice of protest who had trouble making and keeping alliances. He participated in the founding of the Niagara Movement and the NAACP.

T. Thomas Fortune, 1902.

T. Thomas Fortune

T. Thomas Fortune, 1902. Fortune, a former slave, became a well-respected newspaperman and author. Among the reporters he employed was Ida B. Wells-Barnett.

Black and white photograph of House of Hope Presbyterian Church, 1886.

House of Hope Presbyterian Church

Photograph (1886) of the original House of Hope Presbyterian Church at Fifth and Exchange Streets in downtown St. Paul. The church later moved to 797 Summit Avenue, where it operates today. This is where the musical performances and some of the speeches of the 1902 meeting were held.

Black and white photograph of members of the Afro-American Council, in session at St. Paul

Members of the Afro-American Council, in session at St. Paul

National Afro-American Council meeting, St. Paul, 1902. Booker T. Washington stands in the front row, hat in hand; McGhee stands two rows behind him. To Washington's left, Bishop Alexander Walters, then Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Over Walter's right shoulder, T. Thomas Fortune; over his left. W.E.B. Du Bois. Emmett Scott is behind Wells-Barnett.

National Afro-American Council Meeting of 1902

In July 1902 St. Paul hosted the most important African-American political event of the year: the annual meeting of the National Afro-American Council (NAAC). St. Paul lawyer Fredrick McGhee organized it and hoped that it would produce a more united and effective national civil rights organization. The opposite occurred.

Color image of the Lena Olive Smith House, 1991.

Lena Olive Smith House

The Lena Olive Smith House, 1991.

Photograph of Smith and a client at the Olive Hair Store, 1913.

Lena Olive Smith and client at Olive Hair Store, Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis

Smith owned the Olive Hair Store, before becoming an attorney, 1913.

Black and white photograph of Lena O. Smith, first female African American lawyer in Minnesota, undated.

Lena O. Smith

Lena O. Smith, first female African American lawyer in Minnesota, undated.

Smith, Lena Olive (1885–1966)

Lena Olive Smith was a prominent civil rights lawyer and activist during the 1920s and 1930s. She made major contributions toward securing civil rights for minorities in the Twin Cities. Smith began fighting for the rights of others when she became the first African American woman licensed to practice law in Minnesota in 1921. She was the only African American woman to practice law in the state until 1945.

Charity-ball announcement featuring the proposed new facility for the Crispus Attucks home. The Appeal, November 11, 1911.

Do you wish to help build this?

Charity-ball announcement featuring the proposed new facility for the Crispus Attucks home. St. Paul Appeal, November 11, 1911.

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