Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN)

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Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN

One of the United States largest metropolitans, nickname the “Twin Cities”, the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas are some of the most diverse communities in the country and are constantly growing.

As stated above, the community of the St Paul and Minneapolis ghetto and urban neighborhoods is very diverse with African Americans, Mexicans and Latinos, Asians, Africans, Arabs and other ethnicities.

To begin, the black community grew as people from places like Chicago, California, and other Midwest and Southern cities moved and relocated into the Twin Cities region for better opportunities and/or environments.

But originally, unlike many other Midwest cities, the great migration of southern African Americans moving north into the Midwest, East Coast and West Coast did not affect the Twin Cities.

In the beginning, St Paul was the location of the largest African American community in Minnesota, but during the early 1900s the population shifted more towards nearby Minneapolis.

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The original black communities of the city of Minneapolis were in areas like the Near North Side centered around Freemont Avenue or on the South Side in the area of Portland and E. 38th.

By the 1960s and 1970s, the black and urban community of North Minneapolis expanded towards Penn Avenue and stretched as far as Dowling Avenue.

St. Paul’s black community was known to be located on the West Side around what was once Rondo Avenue, mostly between University and Selby streets, from Dale to Rice streets.

Unfortunately, the Rondo community was destroyed by the building and construction of Interstate 94, which was built in the heart of the once prominent black community of Rondo.

Similar to Minneapolis, the black population of St. Paul grew around the 1960s and 1970s, leading to the community to grow and expand into other neighborhoods of St. Paul.

Outside of places like Selby Avenue on the West Side, there are locations of black communities in St. Paul’s North End and East Side.

In present day Minnesota, the black community is slowing moving further away from the inner city, like in North Minneapolis people are relocating to areas like Brooklyn Park, for a number of reasons, a rise in rent and gentrification or the opportunity to live in a less active environment.

Minnesota’s Latino community is mostly made up of Mexicans and other nationalities of Central America.

What began in the early 1900s, in neighborhoods like the West Side Flats of St. Paul, grew into being one of the largest ethnic groups the metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The majority of the Latino community is mostly located in South Minneapolis, especially around Lake Street, and in area officially known as the “West Side Flats” south of downtown St. Paul and north of E. Annapolis Street, while others are scattered throughout North Minneapolis or St. Paul’s East Side.

The Asian community is mostly made up of refugees, immigrants, or descendants of Southeast Asia.

The Asian community is mostly located in the inner city of St. Paul and in sections of North Minneapolis.

Similar to other racial groups of Minnesota and the Twin Cities, Asians have been in the state since the early 1900s.

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In every city there is another side of the community, the streets, and the Twin Cities have no exception.

With a diverse community and multiple racial groups the streets of Minnesota have been known to have a number of gangs from the Gangster Disciples to the Latin Kings and other Mexican gangs to a number of Asian gangs.

While the streets of the Twin Cities were at its most active during the 1990s, many of the neighborhoods have calmed down and the cities have been seeing much less gang activity than the 90s.

minneapolis ghetto

Unlike many cities, gangs in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul do not have much of an impact on the city, while many blocks and/or cliques are more of a factor and play a larger role in the streets.

The main North Minneapolis communities are from Glenwood to pass Dowling Avenue into the 40 number streets and in South Minneapolis, the smaller and less active of the two, the urban community is mostly around Nicolet, Portland, and Lake streets.

In the city of St. Paul there are areas like Selby Side, LTG (LowerTown), Mt. Airy, Frogtown, and specific sections of the North End and East Side.

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*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.

Check out more on the communities and streets of Minnesota

Minnesota Latino History: Kolnick, Jeff. “Minnesotanos: Latino Journey in Minnesota”. MNOpedia. 26 March 2016. http://www.mnopedia.org/minnesotanos-latino-journeys-minnesota

Minnesota African-American History: Taylor, David Vassar. African Americans in Minnesota. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2002.

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