I'm attending the North Dakota Human Rights Conference this afternoon. Listening to James Loewen, author of Lies MY Teacher Told Me and Sundown Towns. This afternoon he is talking about how to do local research, and specifically how to ask "what written and unwritten laws did your hometown devise and practice to discriminate based on race and sexual orientation."
Loewen identified the period 1890-1940 as the nadir of race relations in America. He then showed us that North Dakota had more counties in 1930 without African Americans than it did in 1890. He gave us other data points to show that the pattern was pervasive, as was racism in America. Great resources on his home page.
He also identified the Montana Indian Education for all Act, which seems like progressive education for K-12 but not embraced by colleges and universities in Montana, according to this article.