Duluth NAACP Marks 100th Anniversary

Updated: February 21, 2020 10:42 PM

The NAACP celebrated 100 years of growth and progress in Duluth Friday night through their Freedom Fund Dinner.


“The theme is 'The Life, the Work, the Fight,' so a lot of it is reflecting on the experiences of our people—the black community and just all communities of color and celebrating the liberation we’ve had over the years, but also working towards a more equitable society, a more just society and a society that is free of discrimination,” Daniel Oyinloye, film curator said.

At the event—people past and present—were honored for their contributions to the NAACP and to the larger community.

Artwork inspired by the black experience was also displayed. The pieces were created by UMD Graphic Design students who worked under the direction of Terresa Moses. Moses has curated the art exhibition four years in a row.

“My favorite part is them being able to look at an experience that's not like theirs and then be able to think—how as a designer am I going to be able to visualize a community of people or experiences of people or an event, so I really love that idea that we can come to the classroom and have some critical conversations about race or things that have to do with the black experience,” Moses said.

Additionally, a film inspired by generational conversations about race was showcased at the event. This film was made in Duluth.

“The idea is, it was an intergenerational conversation bringing young people, middle aged folks and then elders together to have difficult conversations around our community, our perspectives, our conflicts and more importantly, how we perceive our experiences in this space—having Duluth be a backdrop to that conversation,” Oyinloye, curator of the film said.

In addition to commemorating 100 years, the event aimed to raise money for the NAACP and celebrate Black History Month.

"I hope people take away that the black experience especially in Duluth isn't just about the 1920 lynching, but that the black experience has a lot of different, nuanced layers within it and I want folks to understand a community of people who I think's history doesn't get told, especially in mass media, especially here in this city and so I want folks to understand that there is depth to us as black people and we are here in Duluth, so join our organization to help us fight racism," Moses said.

“I believe that one of the greatest assets of the United States is diversity so I believe to be able to live in a space like this, there’s got to be systems that adhere to that idea that diversity is important and that everyone’s way of life should be valued,” Oyinloye said.

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