Three key events of the 19th and early 20th centuries helped shape the early history of African-Americans in the Cedar Valley: the Civil War; the influence of the southern Iowa mining community of Buxton; and the Great Migration, which brought many African-Americans here from Mississippi in the middle of a 1912 railroad strike (Kinney, 2004). During the 150-year history living in the Cedar Valley, Iowa, "African-American Iowans have overcome racism and discrimination to establish roots in Iowa and to better the lives of their families, friends and fellow citizens. When social and professional organizations would not allow them to join, they formed their own organizations. They fought for and won the right to eat in Iowa's restaurants, to sleep in Iowa's hotels and college dormitories, and to be given equal opportunities in business and education" (Amy Ruth, 1955). African Americans have contributed to economic development and cultural richness in the Cedar Valley.
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Amy Ruth (Summer, 1955). Coming to Iowa: Opportunities in the Hawkeye State. The Goldfinch 16, No. 4. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa.
Our Heritage: An introduction to 150 years of African-American history in the Cedar Valley, (2000). Waterloo, IA: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.
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