Reflect on this exhibition’s title. What types of stories do you think might be told? What words come to mind when you consider these experiences?
In partnership with The African American Interpretive Center of Minnesota (AAICM), the M is proud to present Outer Experiences: Black Life in Rural and Suburban Minnesota, on display in the M’s window galleries on Robert and 4th Streets, opened Thursday, February 25, 2021.
The exhibition, curated by AAICM Executive Director JoJo Bell, explores the experience of being Black outside of the Twin Cities. Drawing from AAICM’s archives and oral history project, it features photographs by Chris McDuffie alongside excerpts from interviews with Black Minnesotans who had formative experiences in rural or suburban parts of the state. Outer Experiences amplifies the voices of Black Minnesotans and the underrepresented histories that connect them to their homes. The photographs and interviews explore the narrators’ family histories, their lives in small-town Minnesota, and their experiences of living on the margins of Black and white society.
Themes of self-discovery, belonging, and W.E.B. Du Bois’ Double Consciousness are captured in narrator words and photography by Chris McDuffie.
The AAICM’s oral history project was made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society. Outer Experiences: Black Life in Rural and Suburban Minnesota is generously sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.