Touring the Northside

The mission and vision at Patrick Henry High (PHHS) is to build mutually beneficial relationships with families, community members and business partners to best meet the needs of their scholars. One effort to achieve this goal occurred on November 3 when staff participated on a historical, geographic, and cultural bus tour of North Minneapolis. The tour was titled “There’s No Place Like Home” and was led by local historian and archivist Susan Breedlove, a NOMI homie since 1969.

Breedlove has led numerous bus tours throughout two decades. This particular venture focused on individuals and agencies which are empowering youth and have invested and given back to the Northside over the years. Stops were made with presentations by Juxtaposition Arts, Inc. Davu Seru, Communications Staff; North Community YMCA, LaVele Warfield, Custodial Supervisor; and Cookie Cart, Shandella Darring, Senior Operations Manager, and PHHS student employees Josh McCullough, Kayh Thompson, and Solomon Montgomery.

The Northside has a long tradition of “growing its own” community leaders. The contributions of several of these were detailed throughout the tour including: founders of Breaking Bread Café and Appetite for Change, Friedman’s, Prince, Floyd B. Olson, J.D. Rivers, Marcus Owens of NEON, Michael Wynne of Emerge, Eloise Butler, Deanna and Roger Cummings, Roger Brodi, Herb Swanson, Nellie Stone Johnson, Charles Caldwell, the Casserly sisters, Harry “Spike” Moss, Efrem Smith, KMOJ Staff, Carl Eller, W. Harry Davis, Milda Hokken, Navontay Wilson (H.W. Men’s Room), and James Rice.

“For me the most interesting and impactful part of the tour was seeing the organizations of the Northside and how they are working to help our students succeed and thrive,”   said new PHHS teacher Rebecca Nixon.

“To value a community is to know a community. The Northside has a rich history that has allowed many young people to prosper. This is oftentimes unspoken of; our goal was to bring it out in hopes that our staff would find a genuine connection to our students and our community. I live a lifetime philosophy that no one should go through life without giving back what has been given to them,” said PHHS Principal Yusuf Abdullah.

As the tour ended staff were reminded of the saying and responsibility “Once a Northsider, always a Northsider” — a great quote from Joe Minjares, actor, playwright, entrepreneur, who grew up in North Minneapolis

In May, Ms Breedlove will lead the annual Henry Community Education (HCE) Historical Tour of North Minneapolis. Every tour has a different focus covering the cultural, historical and geographic aspects of the Northside that make this a vital part of Minneapolis. Find out more about the next tour when the Minneapolis Community Education Spring Catalog comes out in March, or visit For info contact Kevin at HCE at 612-668-1922.