Vikings Hall of Fame defensive tackle Alan Page, who retired from the Minnesota Supreme Court when he turned 70 in 2015, has chronicled the experiences of African Americans by collecting artifacts from centuries ago, as well as some more recent reminders of unfortunate and unenlightened policies of the Jim Crow era.
The collection includes a slave-made brick that was used in the original construction of the White House, a collar that once chained a lady, signage once used in Alabama to promote segregation and a painting of a swimming pool in Pasadena, California, that was segregated in 1944.
Justice Page previously explained the importance of reminders, even if they are accompanied by painful thoughts and memories, in an interview with WCCO’s Mark Rosen:
“There is a rich history or contributions that African Americans have made to this country. There is a depressing history, some of the things that happened to African Americans. Both of those are important to see and remember one for its beauty and the other for its horror so that we can never forget what we as a nation did to a class of people. If we forget that, it is likely we will repeat it, so [my wife] Diane and I think it’s important that we preserve some of that history, and the beautiful things are just things that one takes a lot of joy in being able to celebrate that.”