The Adventures of Flashman: Memoirs of a Photojournalist 1977-2016

Honoring Dred Scott’s fight for freedom

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(Photo by Flashman)

“The Adventures of Flashman” is a photographic exhibition with written commentary selected from the accumulated works of one of St. Paul Rondo’s adopted sons, Gayle “Flashman” Anderson. Spanning the years 1977 to the present with an emphasis on life at the close of the last century, it chronicles events, people and life through photos and stories.

Gayle Anderson migrated to the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota in 1965 after being raised and educated in southeast Kansas. After several years of corporate life, he worked for the City of St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department before following his true passion for photography and writing in 1977.

Gayle "Flashman" Anderson
Gayle “Flashman” Anderson

For the nearly 40 years since, he has been engaged in a lifelong pursuit of interesting images and telling the stories associated with them. During the coming months, as part of a grant from the organization “Roots of Rondo,” excerpts from his project and exhibit will appear in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.

In this photo, Seitu Jones (far left) at Fort Snelling discusses a plaque commemorating the history of Dred and Harriet Scott, namesakes of one of the Supreme Court’s most infamous decisions and a precursor to the Civil War. Scott and Harriet met and married while at the fort, and Scott sued for his family’s freedom from slavery after living as a free man while in Minnesota.

The landmark case and its effect on American history spurred Jones to pursue the plaque denoting Scott’s connection to Minnesota. Subsequent efforts by the City of Bloomington and other historians such as Frank White have resulted in the renaming of the baseball fields at Fort Snelling in Scott’s name and in ceremonies by the City honoring his fight for freedom.

This ceremony in the early ’90s was one of the early efforts to honor Scott’s Minnesota legacy.