Following the death of George Floyd, KARE 11 reporter Boyd Huppert put the event in perspective for those who were shocked that such a thing could happen in Minnesota, noting that on June 15, 1920, a mob in Duluth lynched three young black circus workers. One of Huppert’s sources was Bill Green, professor of history at Augsburg University.
Speaking about a graphic photo of the lynching, Green encouraged Minnesotans to look at the picture. He commented on how the smiles on the faces of the white men who participated in the lynching impacted him. “It’s almost like they were sportsmen who’d gone off and fished; this is their catch,” he said. He believes that the current moment “is an opportunity for us to prove ourselves.”
Green is author of two books on race and civil rights in Minnesota, “A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Early Minnesota” and “Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912.”