One of Kansas City’s best-known Black businessmen, G. Lawrence Blankinship Sr. was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1913 and moved to Kansas City as a teenager.
Andrew "Skip" Carter’s fascination with radio started early. Raised in Savannah, Georgia, he built his first radio set at age 14.
By the time Chester Franklin arrived in Kansas City in 1913, he was well experienced in the newspaper business.
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 daughter of a house painter and a domestic worker, Inez Kaiser learned the value of hard work at a young age and made herself into a nationally known business leader.
As the founder and operator of Mrs. Meek’s Mortuary — recognizable for its pink limousines and building facade — Fannie L. Meek was a trailblazer, one of the few women of her time to go into the funeral business.
Realizing that Black drivers were as swept up as anyone in the automobile craze of the 1920s, Homer B. Roberts became one of the first nation’s first African American car dealers.
Henry Warren Sewing founded the Douglass State Bank, the first bank owned and operated by African Americans in the Midwest.
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.
Described as barreling through life blind to failure, Bailus M. Tate Jr. worked his way up from shoveling coal in the basement of Kansas City Power and Light, retiring 33 years later as the utility giant’s vice president of human resources.