Bernard Powell was a leader in local and national efforts to end racial discrimination and increase the political and economic power of African Americans.
Bruce R. Watkins was an entrepreneur, public official, and community leader. Born Bruce Riley in Parkville, Missouri, Watkins was adopted by his mother’s second husband, Theron B. Watkins, co-founder of Watkins Brothers Funeral Home.
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.
As a renowned lecturer, clubwoman, and suffragist, Ida Bowman Becks led the local African American community in the pursuit of equality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Physician, hospital administrator, newspaper publisher, and civil servant William J. Thompkins helped found General Hospital No. 2 in Kansas City, the first U.S. hospital staffed entirely by African Americans.