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Walter Scott Sr.
*Walter Scott. was born on this date in 1929. He was a Black author, historian, and self-publisher.
Walter R. Scott Sr. was born in Greenville Mississippi the son of George and Cozy Grossley Scott. His father was also related to Baseball’s George Scott of the Kansas City Royals. As a young boy, he moved to Chicago with his family. Some of his schoolmates were Eddie Harris and Johnny Griffin. After graduating from DuSable high school, his mother died.
In 1949, Scott moved to Minneapolis, where his uncle began preaching at St. James AME Church. Shortly after moving to Minneapolis, he became a night watchman at Northwestern Bell and eventually was promoted to become the first Black human resources personnel manager at the company. He later worked for the Metropolitan Airport Commission before retiring in 1995. Beginning in the 1950s over a period of three decades, Scott did extensive research on the history and culture of the twin cities.
He wrote and self-published three original volumes entitled The Centennial Edition of the Minneapolis Beacon (1956), Minneapolis Negro Profile (1968), and Minnesota’s Black Community (1976--). The three-volume Trilogy features pictorial resumes of the African American community in the Twin Cities during the 20th century American Civil Rights era.
Scott was a member of the Nacirema Club. He was also part of a group of 4 Black news publishers, with Cecil Newman, (MPLS. Spokesman) Mary Kyle (Twin Cities Courier), and Jeanne Cooper of the Twin Cities Observer. Walter R. Scott Sr. died in 2001. In 2018, his family collaborated with the Minnesota Historical Society to re-publish the three volumes. Under the title of The Scott Collection. This volume brings back into print these editions of African American life and history in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The original photos and profiles are supplemented with introductory essays by Scott’s oldest son, Anthony Scott, his daughter Dr. Chaunda Scott, and William Green professor, Augsburg College. They are working with the Harold Washington Library in Chicago for reprinting the first book. In 2016, Minnesota’s Black Community Project was formed to create a follow-up volume to Scott’s work entitled Minnesota’s Black Community in the 21st Century. This volume was released in May of 2020 by the Minnesota Historical Society.