Skip to main content
Hidden Stories: Montana's Black Past

Hidden Stories: Montana's Black Past


Hidden Stories conveys Black Montanans' stories and experiences over two centuries.

 "Hidden Stories:  Montana’s Black Past"

In Spring 1865, eleven-year-old Clarissa Powell stepped from the steamboat Lily Martin near Fort Benton Montana, and learned she was free.  Like other formerly enslaved people, she navigated a new reality in an unfamiliar place.  For over two centuries, Black Montanans have played an important part in shaping the state’s cultural landscape.  Hidden Stories:  Montana’s Black Past chronicles how and why many African Americans came to Montana, as well as the events and policies that influenced their experiences.  Documenting individual and family stories over the course of two centuries, the film also provides insight to Black communities’ resiliency in the state today.  Hidden Stories helps us better understand the past we have in common, and helps us to become more connected to the place that we call Montana and to the humans of every community and generation who call it home.