R. Augustine Skinner

R. Augustine Skinner was a long-time leader of the Minneapolis branch of the NAACP. During WWI, he protested the exclusion of African American women in South Carolina factories in the belief that contributing to the war effort would demonstrate patriotism and promote issues of civil rights. His fight for African American employment proved effective when he organized a letter-writing campaign to members of Congress in 1917, which led to support from Minnesota Republican Congresspeople Knute Nelson, Clarence B. Miller, and Harold Knutson. He demonstrated the power of the African American vote.

Skinner was elected President of the Minneapolis NAACP in 1941 and was Chairman of the Citizens’ Committee during the crisis over segregated student housing at the University of Minnesota. Though President Coffey promised Skinner that the University would integrate the International House in 1942, the President’s staff was soon working to undermine the integration of all other student housing on campus.

Time Period1930s