The Way Community Center

1913 Plymouth Avenue North

Where Prince learned about the African-American freedom struggle from Northside musicians and community leaders

The Way was a Northside community center established in the aftermath of the urban unrest of 1966  resulting from racial and economic inequalities. In its wake, city leaders came together to create a space in the neighborhood devoted to cultivating racial pride among African-American youths. Music was a focus, and the center even had a house band, The Family (which included Sonny Thompson, a mentor to Prince who joined Prince’s band The New Power Generation in the 1990s). The building sported practice spaces that attracted musicians who would later be famous: Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, André Cymone, and Prince. The current building on the site—the Fourth Precinct headquarters of the Minneapolis Police—was the site of Black Lives Matter protests over the 2015 police killing of Jamar Clark, an African American man.

Images

The band Cohesion performing outside The Way, 1970s

The band Cohesion performing outside The Way, 1970s

The band Cohesion performing outside The Way, 1970s. Music was central to the programming at The Way. | Source: Charles Chamblis, Twin Cities African American community photograph collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN. | Creator: Charles Chamblis View File Details Page

The Way Community Center, 1913 Plymouth Avenue North, late 1960s

The Way Community Center, 1913 Plymouth Avenue North, late 1960s

The Way Community Center, 1913 Plymouth Avenue North, late 1960s. The Way was a community center established by residents of the Northside in the aftermath of the urban unrest of 1966. The Fourth Precinct headquarters for the Minneapolis Police Department now occupies the lot. | Source: Photo credit Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN. View File Details Page

National Guard soldiers and city residents on Plymouth Avenue, North Minneapolis, July 1967

National Guard soldiers and city residents on Plymouth Avenue, North Minneapolis, July 1967

National Guard soldiers and city residents on Plymouth Avenue, North Minneapolis, July 1967. | Source: Photo credit: Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN. View File Details Page

Street Address:

1913 Plymouth Avenue North [map]

Cite this Page:

Kirsten Delegard, Michael Lansing and Kristen Zschomler, “The Way Community Center,” Augsburg Digi-Tours, accessed March 22, 2019, http://digitours.augsburg.edu/items/show/29.

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