A while back, while I was searching for material for the memoir I was preparing, I ran across an article I had written for The Kansas City Call, the Black weekly newspaper, at the request of the late Miss Lucile Bluford, managing editor.
Fletcher Daniels led a distinguished life of public service as a postal worker, civil rights leader, school board member, and legislator.
Educator Eugene Eubanks championed equal opportunities for Black students and fought to desegregate Kansas City, Missouri, public schools. Raised in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Eubanks showed an early interest in and aptitude for mathematics.
Human rights activist Alvin Sykes devoted his life to helping those wronged by the U.S. justice system. In 1981, he sought justice for Steve Harvey, a Black musician who was beaten to death at Penn Valley Park in a racially motivated attack. Sykes rose to national prominence in the early 2000s when he took up the Emmett Till case.
Roy Wilkins led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1955 to 1977 and today is recognized as a giant of the civil rights struggle.
Rosemary Smith Lowe broke color barriers in a segregated city, forged Black political power, raised up neighborhoods and, even in her 70s, stood as a fulcrum of peace between police and angry youths.
Crosthwaite was one of the first African American social workers in Kansas City and spent decades working to improve health care for the local Black community.
For more than two decades in the Missouri State Legislature as a Democratic representative, Mary Groves Bland was an advocate for the rights of minorities and a champion of equality and social justice.
Bluford served as editor of The Kansas City Call for nearly 50 years and played an important role in the major civil rights battles of the 20th century.
Sixteen years before the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education ended legal segregation in schools, Lloyd Gaines fought a court battle to attend the University of Missouri.