Illuminating Histories

Illuminating Histories
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

Illuminating Legacies
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