Community Connection: The Life and Impact of Ethel Ray Nance
Ethel Ray Nance was born in Duluth in 1899 to an African American father and a Swedish mother and went on to become heavily involved in the civil rights movement. April 13th is now being recognized by the City of Duluth as Ethel Ray Nance Day.
"I didn't actually know anything about Ethel Ray Nance until I met her great-grand daughter," says Paula Gudmundson who connected with author Karen Nance through ties with the Nordic Center of Duluth. Karen Nance was working on a book about her family which led her to Duluth where Ethel Ray Nance began her storied history involving the NAACP, the state legislature, and law enforcement. "That story really struck me because of my own mixed-race heritage," says Gudmundson. "I thought... how do I not know anything about this person."
"It's really exciting that her life will be celebrated," says Gudmundson, "and more and more people in Duluth can learn more about their own history."