W. Harry Davis
by W. Harry Davis
Edited by Lori Sturdevant
Dimensions: 9" x 10", 136 pages, 55 photographs
Based on OVERCOMING: The Autobiography of W. Harry Davis, this book for young readers (age 10 and older) is the story of civil rights in Minnesota. Telling his story in his own words, Davis describes the hardships of his growing-up years, the youth boxing program that brought him to local prominence, and his role in breaking down racial barriers in politics and in the city’s public schools.
“Drivers see only pavement when they cruise past the junction of Olson Memorial Highway and Interstate 94 in north Minneapolis today [writes Davis]. I knew that spot when it was the wild corner of Sixth and Lyndale Avenues North. It was the one place in otherwise quiet Minneapolis where people could come to gamble, get drunk, and do other things that were outlawed during the 1920s. Some people called it the Hellhole. I called it home.”
Harry Davis probably received more awards for civic service in his lifetime than any other Minnesotan. In 2003 the Minneapolis School system named an elementary school in Davis’s old neighborhood for him: the W. Harry Davis Academy.