ROCHESTER, Minn. – An author and professor who has spent decades researching Minnesota history spoke in Rochester Thursday night. Bill Green teaches at Augsburg College and recently wrote a book called “Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota.”
Green spoke to a crowd at the Rochester Art Center about what he discovered while researching the state’s history of race relations. He also touched on parallels between the past and some of the burning issues in our country today, like relations between African-Americans and the police, the issue of housing, even the Black Lives Matters movement and how it compares to the role early activists played in pushing forward the Civil Rights agenda.
“How difficult it was for them to be able to establish a platform without creating too much alienation,” Green explains. “So it’s this balancing act that the early organizers of Civil Rights faced and I think it’s similar to the Black Lives Matter.”
The event was put on by Augsburg College and the Rochester Diversity Council.
The Minnesota Book Awards honored Green and “Degrees of Freedom” with the 2016 Hognander Minnesota History Award.