As a renowned lecturer, clubwoman, and suffragist, Ida Bowman Becks led the local African American community in the pursuit of equality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gertrude Keith worked for many years to ensure that Kansas City’s disadvantaged residents had access to safe and affordable housing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bernard Powell was a leader in local and national efforts to end racial discrimination and increase the political and economic power of African Americans.
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.
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.