Lesson Activity (III)


  • Displaced white violence print map and newspaper archives

Class Activity

Group Work and Presentations

  • Divide students into groups to review sections of the map. Explain that they will be responsible for finding the details of their section and sharing them with the class so that everyone can answer the big questions (Who lived here? Where do they live now? Why).  Have the groups examine the map sections to answer the following prompts:
    • Summarize the events/history detailed in the section (2-3 sentences)
    • Who has the land at the beginning of this section, and how does it change?
    • WHAT are the mechanisms creating this change in control over land
      How and why does it change?



Section/Group 1
(Indigenous removal / dispossession)

From the map start up to “On the Lake”

Section overview: White settlers dispossessed native peoples of their land through land treaties. Often coercive and ultimately broken, these treaties pushed indigenous people onto smaller reservations away from many of the sacred sites of their ancestors. In this section of the map, students watch a visualization of native land treaties in Minnesota and read about the important role land acquisition played for white settlers during the period of westward expansion.

Important Takeaways:

1) Land inhabited by the Dakota and Ojibwe (spanning across the area now known as Minnesota) was systematically taken from them through a series of treaties.

2) Native land was reserved for white people through violence and through legal forms of displacement (de facto and de jure segregation)


Section/Group 2
(Urban development)

“On the Lake” up to “Racial Segregation”

Section overview: The area around Minneapolis’ chain of lakes was developing in the late 19th and early 20th-centuries. The area was a hot-bed for what we may now characterize as “proto-gentrification,” meaning that desirable amenities were popping up all throughout the area. However, at the time, there were few established mechanisms of segregation in northern cities, so the early days of the lakes district were relatively integrated. Accessibility on public transit (the streetcar system) and relative affordability of land (universally at that time) made property ownership attainable for black families looking to establish a home.

Important Takeaways:

1) Southwest Minneapolis was an integrated space in the early 20th-century

2) There was no difference in the home making patterns and quality of homes created by white and black residents.

Section/Group 3
(Black Displacement)

“Racial Segregation” through “Pushed Out”
*longest/most dense section

Section overview: black families were pushed out of southwest Minneapolis. First through violence, threats and social pressure. Then, through legal mechanisms: the racial covenant.

Important Takeaways:

1) Black families experienced direct pressure in the form of violence to leave their homes.

2) Residents of color were the direct target of racial covenants, which excluded them from buying property.

Follow with a class discussion.



The Mapping Prejudice Curriculum Copyright © by Marguerite Mills. All Rights Reserved.

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