Kansas City Partners Team Up for Black History Month Project

Local groups are partnering on a special edition of an annual local Black history project in conjunction with Missouri’s bicentennial. 

Kansas City’s Local Investment Commission (LINC), the Kansas City Public Library, the Black Archives of Mid-America, and the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center are releasing a compilation of 73 biographies of Black Kansas Citians who helped shape the community through education, activism, entrepreneurship, and many other ways.

The new publication spotlights individuals featured in commemorative booklets over the past 11 years, adding new honorees and remarks by current Black leaders in Kansas City.

In their short essays, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick, and Black Archives Executive Director Dr. Carmaletta Williams reflect on their own experiences and make connections to the historical figures featured in the book. A new poem from Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center Executive Director Glenn North, and an essay from activist Justice Horn are also featured in the booklet.

“For the past 12 years, Kansas City Black History has celebrated the contributions of African Americans who have made an indelible imprint on our community,” said Jeremy Drouin, manager of Missouri Valley Special Collections. “As we come to terms with racial inequity and injustice as a community and country, there are many lessons to be learned from the people spotlighted within these pages.

Historians with the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections are working with the Kansas City Social Studies Consortium to create a lesson plan for educators hoping to incorporate the booklet in their classroom. Creation of the lesson plans is made possible through a Community Discussion Grant from Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

This publication chronicles Black educators, activists, entrepreneurs, entertainers, and athletes without whom there would be no Kansas City as it is known today.

“This book is being published at a time when our community comes to grips with enduring patterns of racial injustice, and it coincides with the bicentennial of Missouri statehood in 1821 — an event that was itself, in part, a concession to the supreme racial injustice of slavery,” the project’s introduction reads.

In his introduction, Lucas imagines a child like he once was, with a new library card, discovering these stories and growing up to understand “we are constantly creating new history.”

Williams calls the names of history in an essay praising a city that has flourished because of these and other Black Kansas Citians who “sat up, sat in, kicked down doors, and broke through glass ceilings.”

Kendrick writes of the league’s founders’ own Declaration of Independence that not only unleashed the daring business of baseball but the wider power of Black enterprise.

And Justice Horn, a young community leader and social justice activist, writes of how Kansas City’s socially active youth “are our father’s wildest dreams and must continue to lift others.”

There is no rest, he says, “we must be smarter, stronger, and better than ever.”

The booklet can be downloaded now at kcblackhistory.org, and throughout the year, additional digital content will be added to the site.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Mass vaccination event scheduled for North KC

    9 hours ago
    by

    The Cerner campus in North Kansas City will be the site of a region-wide mass vaccination event on Wednesday, March […]


    KCU medical students administer vaccines

    19 hours ago
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Students from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU)’s Northeast Kansas City and Joplin, Mo., […]


    Lincoln alumni work to preserve legacy

    19 hours ago
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The iconic “castle on the hill,” at 22nd and Woodland Avenue, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy one […]


    KC CARE distributes vaccines, looks forward to expanding mobile services

    19 hours ago
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor A year after COVID-19 made its way through the community, KC CARE Health Center has adjusted […]


    Community arts organization looking for funding

    19 hours ago
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant Whether it’s music wafting through warm summer air, murals chalked on the sidewalk or colorful additions […]


    Hope Bus brings transportation to unhoused community

    19 hours ago
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant A new way of travel for the houseless community has hit the streets of Kansas City. […]


    Two dead after alleged rolling gun battle ends in fiery crash

    March 1st, 2021
    by

    At approximately 5 p.m. this afternoon, Kansas City, Mo., police officers were called to the area of Anderson and Norton […]


    Ribbon Cut at new Fresh Market at Indep/Prospect

    February 28th, 2021
    by

    The ribbon was cut at The Avenues newest grocery store, the new Fresh Market El Mercado Fresco at 2620 Independence […]


  • Northeast groups host meet and greet with new City Manager

    February 26th, 2021
    by

    Residents of Northeast had the opportunity to meet Kansas City’s new city manager Brian Platt in a virtual event hosted […]


    Fresh Market donates $30,000 in food to Northeast organizations

    February 25th, 2021
    by

    By Abby Hoover and Nikki Lansford Fresh Market – Mercado Fresco, the newest addition to the Independence Avenue business community, […]


    Stray bullet from overnight gun battle causes gas leak at Indep/Benton Blvds.

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Independence Avenue is closed at Benton Boulevard this morning. Sources say that a rolling gun battle that occurred overnight in […]


    Kansas City T-Bones rebranded to honor historic Negro League Kansas City Monarchs

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant One of Kansas City’s most noteworthy sports teams is heading to the field once more. President […]


    MAKING OUR MUSEUM

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Sponsored ContentNortheast News Over the next seven months, The Northeast News and the Kansas City Museum are collaborating on a […]


    ‘Bobbi Jo: Under the Influence’ now streaming

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Last week, the long anticipated documentary on the life story of Healing House founder Bobbi Jo […]


    Storytelling on the Streetcar: Celebrating Black Culture

    February 23rd, 2021
    by

    On Friday, February 26 at 7 p.m., Kansas City is virtually invited to join KC Streetcar’s Third Annual Black History […]


    City provides options for warrants, fines

    February 22nd, 2021
    by

    The Kansas City Municipal Court and City Prosecutor’s Office are working together to host #ResolveIt, a special campaign from now through […]


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.