by Valérie Déus
When I was a kid I had a subscription to Story of America cards. They were these American History flash cards that explained American history . The cards along with my Highlights magazine, were the only mail addressed to me that I received and they are one of my favorite childhood memories.
What I loved the most were that many of the cards that focused on a singular person and their contribution to the world.
Some of people I chose have a direct connection to and to south Minneapolis. I met them here, worked with them and enjoyed their company.
With this project I wanted to illuminate the histories of the everyday Black Minnesotans who have made an impact in the community throughout history so I decided to create these Illuminating History cards.
This is my first collection of Illuminating History cards and I will add more as time goes on.
This collection pays homage to the many people and stories and figures that make up our community.
I hope people enjoy learning about the many contributions of Minnesota Black community members. I hope people share them with their friends and students. I hope people are inspired to contribute their story to the building of the community.
Cards designed by Beth Onward
By Valérie Déus
In the language of our griots
we laugh and our joy brings us together
we cry and sadness brings us together
we love and love and love
we hold on to neighbors
until they become us
until we become family
together under the ashen sky
Ice may grow under the skin
But we belong to time
Tomorrow and yesterday’s story
We seize smoke and lighting
And these names spoken in sadness
swimming in honey
may they never fall far from our mouths
may their stories stay stitched within us