Black and white photograph of William T. Francis, ca. 1904.

William T. Francis

William T. Francis, ca. 1904.

Francis, William T. (1869–1929)

William T. Francis, Minnesota’s first African American diplomat, served as U.S. Minister and Consul to Liberia, West Africa, from 1927 until his death. He investigated and reported on Liberian government complicity in the forced labor of Liberian men and died in Monrovia of yellow fever on July 15, 1929.

Eugene Uphoff

Eugene Uphoff, one of the Freedom Riders from Minnesota, photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Freedom Rider Robert Baum photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Robert Baum

Freedom Rider Robert Baum photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Freedom Rider Marvin Davidoff photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Marvin Davidoff

Freedom Rider Marvin Davidoff photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Freedom Rider David Morton photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

David Morton

Freedom Rider David Morton photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Freedom Rider Claire O’Connor photographed after her arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Claire O’Connor

Freedom Rider Claire O’Connor photographed after her arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Zev Aelony photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Zev Aelony

Zev Aelony photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Black and white photograph of the Minnesota Freedom Riders on July 26, 1961.

Minnesota Freedom Riders

The Minnesota Freedom Riders on July 26, 1961, after their return to Minnesota. Pictured are (left to right) Marvin Davidov, Zev Aelony, David Morton, Eugene Uphoff (with guitar), Claire O'Connor, and Robert Baum. Photographed by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Minnesota Freedom Riders

The Freedom Rides of 1961 began with thirteen riders traveling on two buses through the South. Their goal was to end race segregation in interstate bus travel. The Rides grew to over fifty journeys and other actions, and attracted 436 Riders; six of them were from Minnesota.

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