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Outside In: African American History in Iowa 1838-2000

Project coordinator: Dr. Hal Chase, professor of African American studies at Des Moines Area Community College

Editor: Dr. Bill Silag - Editor-in-Chief

A book, detailing the history of African Americans in Iowa, written by thirty-six authors who volunteered countless hours of original reporting, from documents, oral histories and newspaper clippings, detailing the history of African Americans in Iowa. It is a public history about the lives of ordinary Iowans, many who became extraordinary by overcoming obstacles from poor race relations in a state with a black population a little over two percent for decades.

This book is the result of a 6 year project which raised more than $300,000 from private contributors and corporations, and was granted a $90,000 appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to fund the effort published by the State Historical Society of Iowa.

Outside In depicts the struggle of black and white Iowans to establish equal rights; the pursuit of individual opportunity in Iowa's economy; and the creation of coherent communities and inclusive culture.

Inspiration for the book came from a 1996 exhibit of African-American culture on Des Moines' Center Street at the Iowa State Historical Society.

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