Bill Green discusses the history of civil rights in Minnesota, appears on KIMT television

kimt_2014Augsburg College Professor of History Bill Green spoke to a crowd at the Rochester Art Center about what he learned while researching Minnesota’s history of race relations. Green is the author of the award-winning book, “Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota.”

KIMT-TV covered the event and interviewed Green, who described similarities and differences between the challenges faced by organizers of the state’s early Civil Rights movement and those involved with the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement.

Bill Green lends historical perspective to Black Lives Matter media coverage

Summer 2016 Pinterest6

What does it mean to matter?  What does it look like to matter?

With the Black Lives Matter movement, questions of racial equity have ignited important—and difficult—conversations in communities and courtrooms, on political campaign trails, and at college campuses.

Augsburg College Professor William “Bill” Green studies and writes about Minnesota history and law. He teaches U.S. Civil Rights subject matter, and he recently has been called upon to share his expertise on these topics to assist media outlets covering Black Lives Matter news in the Twin Cities.

Green was quoted in a Minnesota Public Radio article that examined the roles non-black activists play in furthering the Black Lives Matter movement’s agenda.

In the article, “Allies on the front lines: Black Lives Matter’s non-black activists,” Green used the history of the Civil Rights movement to analyze current demonstrations and protests. He also discussed the ways “protest fatigue” could impact the movement’s progression.

On August 5, Green also appeared on Twin Cities Public Television’s “Almanac” program where he provided a comparison between contemporary protests or demonstrations and those occurring decades — perhaps even centuries — earlier. Green explained that the tactic of making a public display can be useful when a group is seeking to meet a particular goal.

“The trick with the demonstrations, of course, is somehow helping society turn the corner so that … a community doesn’t feel the need to resort to desperate measures,” he said.

The interview with cohosts Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola is available on the TPT website and begins at the 31:55 minute mark.

Green’s comprehensive knowledge of Minnesota history has been cultivated over decades, and his latest book, “Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912” chronicles conditions for African-Americans in Minnesota in the half-century following the Civil War. The publication picks up where his previous book, “A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Minnesota, 1837-1869,” left off. Green spoke with MinnPost about the publication, describing his interest in state history.

“The history [of Minnesota] is amazing, particularly when you look at who was here before statehood and how they interacted with each other,” he said. “I found that we were lacking a good accounting of the black people who were part of that history. Most of them didn’t leave a written record, which looks like they had nothing to say, but of course they did. They were part of this experience.”

The Minnesota Book Awards honored Green and “Degrees of Freedom” with the 2016 Hognander Minnesota History Award.

Bill Green lends historical perspective to MPR News article

bill_green
Bill Green

Augsburg College Professor William “Bill” Green studies and writes about Minnesota history and law. He recently was quoted in a Minnesota Public Radio article that examined the roles non-black activists play in furthering the Black Lives Matter movement’s agenda.

In the article, Green called on the history of the U.S. Civil Rights movement to analyze current demonstrations and protests. He also discussed the ways “protest fatigue” could impact the movement’s progression.

Read, “Allies on the front lines: Black Lives Matter’s non-black activists” on the MPR News site.

Bill Green answers WCCO ‘Good Question’

History Professor Bill Green spoke with WCCO-TV about why Minnesotans are quick to defend their state’s image.

A recent Washington Post article identified Red Lake County, Minn., as the “absolute worst place to live in America,” and Minnesotans immediately sought to set the record straight. In the news station’s Good Question segment, Green explained that part of the reason why Minnesotans reacted strongly to the article is because of the major investment they make in ensuring that the state offers a favorable quality of life.

“We work hard to have good government, we work hard to create a society that attempts to include everyone,” he said. “We work hard to invest resources into making this place look beautiful.”

Watch “Good Question: Why Are Minnesotans So Proud Of Their State?” to learn more.

New book by Bill Green earns Pioneer Press nod

logo-smallThe Pioneer Press featured “Degrees of Freedom,” a new book by Professor of History William “Bill” Green, shortly after its release from University of Minnesota Press. In the book, Green “draws a picture of black experience in a northern state and the nature of black discontent and action within a predominantly white society, revealing little-known historical characters among the black men and women who moved to Minnesota following passage of the 15th Amendment,” according to veteran journalist Mary Ann Grossmann.

Visit the Pioneer Press website to learn more.

Sabo Symposium: Funding for Minnesota education

sabosymposiumBy Jenny Pinther ’15 with Wendi Wheeler ’06

The spring 2012 Sabo Center Symposium featured two Minnesota task force members in a discussion about how to spend $100 million on racial integration programs in the metro area public schools. Peter A. Swenson and Scott Thomas were the co-chairs of the task force who spoke at Augsburg’s Sabo Symposium.

Their discussion was moderated by educational leaders Bill Green, Augsburg professor of history who also served on the task force, and Nan Skelton, director emerita of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship. Continue reading “Sabo Symposium: Funding for Minnesota education”

Back in the classroom

bill_greenBefore the semester began, history professor Bill Green spent some time last week getting re-acquainted with his Memorial Hall office. After a four-year absence, he noticed how the ivy now covers his window. He enjoyed the familiar feel of his chair and discovered a book he had been searching for sitting on his bookshelf.

In January 2006, Green was asked to step in as interim superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools to begin to restore stability in the district at a difficult time. The interim position turned into a permanent one, which he held until June 30 of this year. Continue reading “Back in the classroom”