Savor Black Minnesota history: 12 notable landmarks

Alan Cordova/Flickr The Roy Wilkins Memorial is located the Minnesota State Capitol, 12th St. in St Paul.

‘Spiral for Justice’ honors civil rights activist

On the Minnesota Capitol Mall of Memorials and Monuments, there is a monument to the life of Roy Wilkins, who spent 46 years as leader of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People

Roy Wilkins was a civil rights activist from the 1930s to the 1970s. He was born in Kansas City on August 30, 1901. He fled fearing he might be lynched after refusing to yield on a sidewalk to a White man.

When he was four years old, his mother died from tuberculosis. He and his siblings were raised by an aunt and uncle in the Rondo Neighborhood of St. Paul. Wilkins graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1923 with a degree in sociology.

The memorial entitled “Spiral for Justice” consists of 46 elements to represent his 46 years with the NAACP. It was created by sculptor Curtis Patterson and dedicated in November 1995. CNH Architects recently restored the memorial, completing work on existing granite and pavers, bronze monument walls and obelisks, and refinishing the teak benches.

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