Black Migration and the Fight for Community Space in Iowa

Feb 26, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Conference Room A Council Bluffs Public Library


Presented by Dwain Coleman – Department of History, University of Iowa

In 1839 the first territorial government of Iowa passed a series of laws that denied black residents citizenship rights like the right to vote, testify in court, act as jurors, or participate in the state militia. In addition to these restrictions, the legislature passed “An Act to Regulate Blacks and Mulattoes.” The act was intended to restrict and prevent the migration of black people to the state. Black Iowans fought back against these laws and created vibrant communities by building community networks, working with white allies to petition state lawmakers, appealing to the courts in their fight for freedom, and utilizing black military service.

The African American Museum of Iowa’s 2018-2019 exhibit, “Driven By Hope,” features stories of African American migration to Iowa from the end of the Civil War to the Great Depression.

This event is FREE and open to the public.