Rondo children visit a farm in Cherry Grove, MN

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Rondo children visit a farm in Cherry Grove, MN




In 1948, eight young students from St. James Church participated in a two-week farm visit with a family in Cherry Grove, MN. The trip was sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Churches. This photograph was originally posted in the St. Paul Dispatch, a local newspaper.


St. Paul Dispatch, Lost Twin Cities by Larry Millett


Minnesota Historical Society


1992 (published)


Anderson, Marvin


newspaper clipping
black-and-white photograph


Still Image

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IN THE LATE 1940S and into the 1950s, the Minnesota Council of Churches and a group called the Committee on Race Relations sponsored a program that sent city kids to the countryside to experience a taste of farm life.  A good many of the city kids were black, while the farms were in parts of rural Minnesota and Wisconsin that were 100 percent white, or close to it.  The visits must have been eye-opening for both groups.

In 1948 a Dispatch photographer took this picture of eight youngsters at the St. Paul bus depot as they returned from their sojourn in the country, and what a handsome group they are.  The star of the picture is the little guy in front, identified as Archie Anderson (his brother Roger, in an identical shirt, is to his right).  Hands on hips, hat tilted at a jaunty angle, Archie looks ready to take on the world.

It was, of course, still a largely segregated world for these kids in 1948.  Their home addresses in St. Paul tell the story.  All of the youngsters lived in or near the old Rondo neighborhood, where the city's small but vibrant black community had been concentrated for decades.  But even though de facto segregation was still a powerful reality in St. Paul and other northern cities in the late 1940s, change was coming.  In fact, just a day after this photograph appeared in the Dispatch, President Harry Truman signed a historic executive order barring segregation in the U.S. military.

The program that sent inner-city kids from St. Paul to rural areas continued into the 1950s.  In 1951 Pioneer Press photographer D. C. Dornberg took a series of pictures of mostly black kids from St. Paul enjoying their visit to the farm.  Headlined [. . .]
Fredricka Reasby
Marcella Small
Glen Smith
Tommy Carroll
Bob H[?]
Marurel Duke


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