Website highlights life, music of J.W. “Blind” Boone

The house at 10 N. Fourth St., once the home of J.W. “Blind” Boone is slated for complete restoration. The outside has been renovated, but much remains to be done and a $500,000 fund-raising campaign has been kicked off.

To highlight the work of Boone, 1864-1927, the J.W. “Blind” Boone Heritage Foundation Board has launched a new website where you can learn about Boone’s life and his music. On the site, you can even hear the music of Blind Boone.

What’s truly amazing is here is a person that at the time was not allowed to live where he wanted, go where he wanted at times or eat where he’d like because he was Africa American. Today, the list of people on the board is impressive, people working to help restore the home of a person who despite prejudice and afflictions, including being blind, used the slogan, “Merit, Not Sympathy, Wins.”

Those working to restore his home include:

  • Dr. Clyde Ruffin, Chair, Professor and Chair, The Department of Theater, University of Missouri and pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church;
  • Lucille Salerno, director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at MU;
  • Susan Altomari, Music Specialist, Lee Expressive Arts School;
  • Mary Still, Representative, District 025, Missouri House of Representatives;
  • Barbara Horrell, Associate Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri (retired);
  • Paula Roper, Social Science Librarian, University of Missouri;
  • Celestine Hayes, Music Specialist,  Ridgeway Elementary School;
  • Bill Thompson, City of Columbia;
  • Jack Batterson, Library Information Specialist, MU Libraries;
  • Bill Clark, columnist, Columbia Daily Tribune;
  • Mike Shaw, Charter Board Member, Blind Boone Park Renovation Group; President of Johnson County Historical Society;
  • Greg Olson, Curator of Exhibits and Special Events, Missouri State Archives.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike Shaw says:

    I have fixed some other mistakes on that website, but missed this. I apologize, the mistake is certainly with the website and it will get corrected.

  2. Mike Shaw says:

    The correct name of this group is the JW “Blind” Boone Heritage Foundation, not the Community Center Board.

    1. diannaobrien says:

      This is what they call themselves on this page.
      Thanks for the note and I look forward to any corrections. Dianna

      1. Mike Shaw says:

        The website was created with some bad information from outside of the Foundation Board. Dr. Ruffin asked if a member of the Board would become administrator and I began doing that about a month ago. Still catching up with some of the errors and it seems that I missed the most obvious one.

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