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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.
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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.  
Bernard Powell was a leader in local and national efforts to end racial discrimination and increase the political and economic power of African Americans. 
Corinthian Clay Nutter was a teacher who fought to expand educational opportunities for her students. She was born in Forney, Texas. Her family relocated frequently as her parents sought work, and Nutter had to drop out of school at age 14.
Holmes was the pastor at Paseo Baptist Church for 46 years and used his role in the community to advocate for better conditions for local African Americans.
Thomas dedicated his life to education and public service. Born in Kansas City, Kansas, he graduated from Sumner High School and later earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago.
Florynce Rae Kennedy was a civil rights attorney and feminist activist. Her controversial tactics and provocative tone drew criticism but also helped publicize national debates on abortion, racism in the media, women’s equality, and consumer protection.
Gertrude Keith worked for many years to ensure that Kansas City’s disadvantaged residents had access to safe and affordable housing.
Harold Holliday Sr. was a lawyer and legislator who devoted his career to civil rights activism. Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 1918, he moved with his family two years later to Kansas City and lived there most of his life.
Herman and Dorothy Johnson achieved success in numerous endeavors while contributing to institutions and causes that strengthened the social and economic interests of the African American community.
Peterson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and as a child moved with his family to Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from Central High School in 1964 and attended Arkansas A&M College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
As a renowned lecturer, clubwoman, and suffragist, Ida Bowman Becks led the local African American community in the pursuit of equality.
An inspiring teacher and passionate communicator, Josephine Silone Yates devoted her life to fighting racial prejudice.
Journalist and civil rights advocate Lena Rivers Smith was one of the first African American women to work as a television news reporter in the Midwest.
The Jordans worked throughout their careers to expand the influence of African American voters and to increase the number of Black candidates for political office.
Leona Pouncey Thurman was the first African American woman to practice law in Kansas City. Born in Russellville, Arkansas, Thurman became interested in the legal profession after moving to Kansas City in 1931 and working as secretary for attorney James D. Pouncey.
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.
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. 
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.
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.