RICHFIELD (WCCO) — As part of a Black History Month, Justice Alan Page was at Best Buy Corporate Headquarters in Richfield on Thursday talking about his remarkable life.
For nearly 20 years, Page has served on the Minnesota Supreme Court. He was also a famous Minnesota Viking.
As one of only 30 students of color at Notre Dame in the 1960s, Page lived through the Civil Rights movement in America.
“Growing up as a black child, you understood about being discriminated against. You understood that there were places you couldn’t go and things you couldn’t do, simply because of the color of your skin,” said Page.
As a Minnesota Viking, in 1971, Page was the first defensive player in NFL history to receive the Most Valuable Player award. He was going to law school full-time while playing pro football.
He tells young people today not to let others define them.
“I’m here to tell you, don’t do it. Somebody tells you you’re not qualified, show them why you are,” said Page.
In 1992, Page was an Assistant Attorney General when he decided to be a candidate for the the Supreme Court. He says he faced opposition to his candidacy from people who called him a dumb athlete.
“Implicit, but unstated, was that he’s just a dumb, black athlete. Fortunately, the people of this state didn’t buy it,” said Page. “And I got roughly 62 percent of the vote.”
Page also encourages young people, even those with limited funds, to use technology to learn all they can.