The University of Montana has debuted a new online historical timeline that documents the history of African Americans in Montana relating to state law and the criminal justice system. The timeline, which includes entries from 1864 to 2018, includes archival photos, interpretive commentary and hundreds of individuals and events. The timeline also includes discussions of lynching, racial and gender dynamics at the Deer Lodge penitentiary, the racial attitudes of longtime prison warden Frank Conley, the influence of Booker T. Washington in Montana, and Black-run newspapers in Montana.
The timeline was produced by Julia Sherman, a graduate of the University of Montana’s African American studies program. The timeline was designed to assist students, teachers and the general public in learning the history of African Americans in Montana.