Plus …Activists celebrate after plans to demolish Roof Depot in Minneapolis put on hold.
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Activists celebrate after plans to demolish Roof Depot in Minneapolis put on hold
The demolition of a Minneapolis-owned building is on hold while a legal battle continues.
Under a temporary restraining order issued Friday, city crews cannot demolish the Roof Depot building. Thatorder came as part of an ongoing lawsuit that’s been in court since 2020. Friday’s decision came after the court denied a temporary injunction requested by opponents of the demolition.
Activists and community members in the East Phillips neighborhood celebrated the news of the injunction during a block party Sunday.
The community celebration at Cedar Field Park included food and music, and donations were collected for residents. Activists are also raising the money they need to cover the $10,000 bond they have to pay the city for the cost of delaying the demolition.
Catch Up Quick
⚠️ Federal environmental authorities have ordered a temporary halt in the shipment of contaminated waste from the site of a fiery train derailment earlier this month in eastern Ohio near the Pennsylvania state line.
📝 The Star Tribune announced Sunday it will no longer run “Dilbert” comics, joining a long list of news publications dropping the comic, after the strip’s creator faces controversy for racist remarks.
🏫 A new Dakota language dictionary recently launched in Minnesota represents a historic effort to preserve and revitalize the language by making it easier for young people to learn.
The story of Fire Station No. 24, Minneapolis’ all-Black brigade
It took a lawsuit and a federal order in 1971 to open up jobs to minorities in the Minneapolis Fire Department. But as far back as 135 years ago, there were black men working as Minneapolis Firefighters and serving in leadership roles.
The old firehouse is tucked into the corner of 45th and Hiawatha. And right now the building doesn’t show the immense history that exists in its walls. Built in 1907, this building was Fire Station #24, where every firefighter was African American. When #24 was built and the men were assigned there, it was an act of segregation.
There are a few pictures and names that are known. There’s Archie Spence, Oscar Clark, James Cannon and Lafayette Mason. John Cheatham was the leader there. Born in 1855, he came to Minneapolis as a freed slave. Hired in 1888, he became a fire captain by 1899. He was likely the first African American hired by the department, but most definitely among the earliest black men hired. This research provided by the Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery.
A 1906 newspaper article details the controversy over segregating the men and how some people in the neighborhood opposed having an all-black brigade at the location of Fire Station #24. But a petition signed by 60 white women in the neighborhood supported the men being in that location. Judge Lange says they were known for being excellent at their jobs, relying on horses to get them where they needed to go.
Today, Minneapolis has a black fire chief, Bryan Tyner, who was promoted to that position in 2020. He is the second black fire chief in the city of Minneapolis.
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