After serving in World War II, John Glanton returned home to Minnesota and began taking his camera around the streets, parks, clubs, restaurants, and private homes of Minneapolis, capturing the sights and scenes of everyday life for African Americans in the city. The images--from intimate portraits to public gatherings--reveal a dynamic and diverse community at a time when the nation was entering the postwar boom but before the civil rights movement had taken root. Glanton's photos offer a rare look into the lives and lifestyles of families and individuals often left out of histories of Minnesota's past, showing people at work and play, young and old, happy and sad. The images highlight black-owned businesses of the day, the music and club scene, and weddings and other family occasions to depict the experiences of African American people as presented through the lens of an African American photographer.
Long forgotten in the garage of a family member, the photo negatives were recently rediscovered and digitized. A selection of 200 of the more than 800 images are featured here, along with commentary that further illuminates the lives and experiences of African Americans in postwar Minnesota.