St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church has played a central role in Duluth’s African American community for over 125 years. While other black organizations have dissolved or moved to the Twin Cities, St. Mark’s has been a mainstay.
Marcenia Lyle (Toni "Tomboy") Stone broke both gender and racial barriers by becoming the first female professional baseball player in the Negro Major League. During her career, she played with a variety of men's teams before making history when she joined the Indianapolis Clowns, a Negro Major League Team.
Flyer, with photo, advertising a Communist Party-sponsored event, 1946. Nellie Stone Johnson was the featured speaker at the 22nd Anniversary Lenin Memorial Meeting to raise money for striking union workers.
Nellie Stone Johnson (far right) with NAACP leaders, including Anthony Cassius (far left); publisher Milton G. Williams (third from left); and Howard Bennett, later appointed Minnesota’s first black judge (second from right), 1954.
Nellie Stone Johnson was an African American union and civil rights leader whose career spanned the class-conscious politics of the 1930s and the liberal reforms of the Minnesota DFL Party. She believed unions and education were paths to economic security for African Americans, including women. Her self-reliant personality and pragmatic politics sustained her long and active life.