Black history news coverage





  • Sept. 23, 2019 — Local civil rights pilgrimage teaches visitors about the black community. Source: Columbia Missourian. Summary: A walk to six black churches or sites included a reenactment of Annie Fisher by Verna Laboy. The churches included Russell Chapel, St. Luke United Methodist Church, Second Missionary Baptist Church, St. Paul AME Church and Fifth Street Christian Church.
  • Sept. 4, 2019 — Local civil rights pilgrimage to showcase historic black churches. Source: Columbia Missourian. Source Barbra Horrell is quoted as saying Sunday morning is the most segregated time and that’s why she and Don Day of Broadway Christian Church developed a Sept. 23 event to tour five churches and the Annie Fisher site on the African-American Heritage Trail.
  • July 2019 — Bringing a Home to Life — Columbia Business Times. Summary: The home of the musician J.W. “Blind” Boone is a historic site and a venue that can be rented.
  • May 20, 2019 — Racial disparity declines slightly, according to Columbia’s 2018 traffic stop data. Source: Columbia Missourian. Summary: “Of 16,707 drivers pulled over last year, 29.13 percent were black; the disparity index for black drivers was 2.29, down from 3.28 in 2017.”
  • April 26, 2019 — An author retraces James T. Scott’s life, ending the silence about her family’s link to his death. Part 1. Columbia Missourian. Summary: Pat Roberts, now deceased, wrote a book about James T. Scott after she learned her aunt was the girl who accused him of attempting to rape her. This accusation by Regina Almstedt, 14, at the time, led to Scott’s murder by lynching. Roberts’ family had never discussed Scott’s murder in 1923. Roberts learned of the family connection from a 2003 series in the Columbia Missourian related to the lynching. The name of the book is “A lynching in Little Dixie: The Life and Death of James T. Scott.”
  • April 27, 2019 — Lifting the cloud, a detailed history of the Scott lynching. Part 2. Columbia Missourian. Summary: This part outlines why the family never discussed the lynching death of James T. Scott, why the author wrote the book, outlines what Columbia groups have done to mark and/or commemorate Scott’s death.
  • April 27, 2019 — In the 1990s, a play chronicled James T. Scott’s lynching for local, national audiences. Columbia Missourian. Summary: Eric Wilson and Clyde Ruffin wrote a play, “Strands,” in 1991. The play premiered in Columbia, and went on to win the 1992 Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and was performed as part of the American College Theatre Festival in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
  • April 30, 2019 — Guest Commentary: Columbia only goes through the motions of racial reconciliation. Columbia Missourian. Summary: Author Traci Wilson-Kleekamp states the article and book were insufficient and that the article, book and 2003 series did not property address the harm to Gertrude Carter Scott, Scott’s widow. Wilson-Kleekamp’s commentary calls on the city of Columbia, the University of Missouri and the School of Medicine, where James T. Scott was employed, to do more to highlight Scott’s life. The piece also notes the Columbia Public School should have a curriculum that honors black contributions to the community.
  • April 20, 2019 — Center unveils historic photo collection. Source: Columbia Daily Tribune. Summary: Immigrants. A mother. A Reconstruction-period soldier. These images are among the historic photographs on display in the exhibit “Faces Found: Boone County Portraits 1886-1940,” at the Boone County History and Culture Center.
  • April 14, 2019 — Rude Awakenings: Invisible chains hang on our iconic columns. Source: Columbia Daily Tribune. Summary: An article noting the African-American history that goes unnoticed. For example, the columns left standing in the Quadrangle of the University of Missouri are from a building built in 1839, most likely using enslaved labor. The article notes that in 1830 nearly a quarter of the Boone County population were slaves. The article calls for making sure the history of blacks is not ignored during the bicentennial celebrations.
  • April 12, 2019 — Boone bicentennial plans moving ahead. Source: Columbia Daily Tribune. Summary: Reporting on plans developed for celebrating Boone County’s 200th anniversary. Those plans include having a mural created with input from various Boone County towns. For example, Hallsville residents want representations of Native Americans from the Osage Tribe and a 1963 explosion included. Boone County was created in 1820. The mural will hang in the Boone County History and Culture Center.
  • April 7, 2019 — New trail to open in celebration of Columbia’s black history. Source: Summary: An African-American Heritage Trail with 21 historic markers was approved by Columbia’s City Council on April 1. 2019. The 2-mile trail will include 30 sites including Sharp End.
  • April 3, 2019 — The park is slated for bicentennial expansion. Source: Summary: The plan for the park expansion designed to mark the May 2021 CoMo200 bicentennial was approved by The Downtown Leadership Council. The plan will go for approval to the Columbia City Council on May 6, 2019.
  • April 2, 2019 — Route for African-American Heritage Trail approved, will add more historical markers. Source: Columbia Missourian. Summary: A walking trail marking African-American history was OK’d by Columbia City Council on Monday, April 1, 2019. The two-mile trail follows city sidewalks, part of the MKT trail and a portion of Columbia Cemetery. The trail has eight markers now with another 13 to go.
  • African American Heritage Trail route. Source: Columbia Missourian.
  • March 19, 2019 — University of Missouri police officer fired for blackface photo. Source: Columbia Daily Tribune. Summary: MU police officer Marcus Collins fired for wearing blackface in a photo provided by an anonymous source. Race Matters, Friends lauds MU firing the employee for racism.
  • Feb. 24, 2019 — Columbia College hosts second-annual Black Business Expo. Source: Columbia Missourian. Photo gallery of Black Business Expo held at Columbia College.
  • Feb. 23, 2019 — Second annual Black Expo fosters business relationships. Source: Columbia Missourian. Summary: Black Expo included business from across mid-Missouri as well as St. Louis and Kansas City.
  • Feb. 23, 2019 — Mid-Missouri black entrepreneurs showcase their businesses Source: KOMU. Summary: Columbia College held a Black Business Expo on Feb. 23 featuring more than 30 black-owned businesses.
  • Feb. 16, 2019 — The Missouri Crisis at 200: Kinder Institute kicks off bicentennial commemoration. Source: Columbia Missourian. Summary: A weekend conference looking at Missouri’s history and its importance to the U.S. The event focused especially on slavery, yet the event drew “an almost entirely white audience,” the article notes. The article included information on the case of Winny, who petitioned for her freedom at the same time Missouri was becoming a state. Winny or Winney, her name is spelled both ways in a primary source the transcript of Winny’s lawsuit. She won her case in the Missouri Supreme Court, the article notes, on the grounds that her owners had taken her to live in territories where slavery was banned, establishing the precedent of “one free, always free.”
  • Winter 2019 — Marking 50 Years. PDF copy. Source: MIZZOU magazine. Summary: The Legion of Black Collegians is celebrating 50 years. The article notes mile markers such as the launch of the LBC, the first formal student organization focused on the black student population, 1969 the creation of the Black Studies Program, the 1974 successful advocation for the removal of Confederate Rock from campus, the 1990 sit-in to get Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday recognized as a holiday, 2013 change of the Black Studies Program into the Black Studies Department, LBC students and others form Concerned Student 1950 to demand policy changes to shift the culture at MU, 2018 the UM System pledges $8.5 million for the Missouri Compact for Inclusive Excellence, and in 2018, MU dedicates building or spaces to Lucile Bluford, George C. Brooks and Gus T. Ridgel. Note: The copy of this article is republished here with permission from MIZZOU magazine.


  • Nov. 18, 2018 — The Sit-in at the Minute Inn: A Columbia native and the civil rights protest that shaped him. Source: Vox magazine, written by Lauren Puckett, images by Jason Vance. Summary: Jim Nunnelly looks back on the sit-in in 1960 in Columbia’s Minute Inn. Prior to this civil rights push, African Americans were not allowed to sit down inside the Minute Inn restaurant. Nunnelly was thrown out of the restaurant by owner Hubert Odell Blakemore. Today, the Minute Inn has changed ownership and become the Broadway Diner. The article includes a civil rights timeline.
  • Oct. 23, 2018 — MU recognizes civil rights trailblazers at residence hall dedication. Source: KBIA. Summary: MU named a residence hall after African American trailblazers George C. Brooks and Lucile Bluford and atrium for Gus T. Ridgel. Bluford was denied admission to MU’s School of Journalism graduate program, in the 1940s. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1989. Brooks was MU’s first African American administrator; he was the financial aid director for 17 years. Ridgel was the first African-American student at MU to earn a graduate degree.
  • Oct. 19, 2018 — Photo Gallery: MU dedicates Bluford Hall. Source: Columbia Missourian. Photo coverage of the dedication of the MU buildings for African Americans Lucile Bluford, George C. Brooks and Gus T. Ridgel.
  • Sept. 19, 2018 — Fourth and fifth markers commemorating Columbia African-American history unveiled. Source: Columbia Missourian, written by Clare Roth. Summary: The Sharp End Heritage Committee dedicated two more markers on the African American Heritage Trail. One of the markers lauds the place where the home of Annie Fisher once stood at Seventh Street and Park Avenue. Fisher was born to enslaved parents and went on to fame from her restaurant and cooking. According to an Aug. 24, 2017 Vox magazine article, she made a fortune of about $100,000. According to, a wealth calculating website, that amount would be valued at $2.4 million to $94 million dollars in 2017. Another marker noted the Douglass Pool and the original Russell Chapel. The chapel was destroyed during the 1950s as part of the Douglass School Urban Renewal project. First Ward City Councilman Clyde Ruffin spoke to the crowd of roughly 30 people.
  • July 26, 2018 — History of protests in 2015 offers lessons in school leadership. Source: Columbia Missourian, written by Kathryn Palmer. Summary: An analysis of the protests of 2015 by Ben Trachtenberg states that it wasn’t the demands or level of racism that caused the protests but leadership deficiencies. The demands of the black student activists included noting racial discrimination and correcting it, an increase in black faculty, increased minority student retention. The group that headed up the protests called themselves Concerned Student 1950, a name that referenced the year MU was integrated.
  • July 24, 2018 — Three years after protests, educators plant seeds for ‘black history renaissance’ at MU. Source: Columbia Missourian. Summary: The new MU Carter Center for K-12 Black History is dedicated to three goals: “To conduct research on black history education; To evaluate and enhance K-12 black history instruction with teachers; To design K-12 black history curriculum for teachers and districts,” the article written by Kathryn Palmer states.
  • May 28, 2018 — Columbia Cemetery comes alive for Memorial Day, Summary: Re-enactors at Columbia’s oldest cemetery portrayed historical figures buried there including James L. Stephens, Victor Barth, Richard Henry Jesse, Mary Paxton Keeley, John Lange Sr., Robert Beverly Price and Brig. Gen. Oden Guitar. The event was sponsored by the Friends of the Historic Columbia Cemetery.
  • May 28, 2018 — Columbia residents learn when History Comes Alive, Columbia Missourian. Summary: Hundreds attended the second annual History Comes Alive event at the Columbia Cemetery.
  • Feb. 2, 2018 — New dorm to honor Lucile Bluford’s legacy, Columbia Missourian. Summary: MU will name a residence hall for African American journalist Lucile Bluford. The atrium of the building will be named after Gus T. Ridgel, the first African American to graduate from MU. Bluford attempted to attend MU School of Journalism graduate program but was turned down due to her race. She continued to fight that decision in court until MU closed it’s journalism graduate program in 1941 after the state Supreme Court ruled in her favor according to the State Historical Society of Missouri’s website. The School said it was due to lack of enrollment due to World War II.
  • Oct. 18, 2017 — Legendary history: Sharp End’s impact on the black community honored with a plaque. Summary: Coverage written by Jonathan Mitchell and Aviva Okeson-Haberman describes an event unveiling a commemorative plaque, “on the west side of Providence Road between Switzler and Pendleton streets…” Chairman of the Sharp End Heritage Committee James Whitt noted the importance of remembering history. The plaque marks the Third Street Market, which was one of the few places blacks could buy groceries, the Harvey House and the Blue & White Cafe.
  • Oct. 17, 2017 — New historical marker commemorates three Sharp End District businesses, Columbia Daily Tribune. Summary: Three businesses that once operated in the Sharp End District were honored with a marker at 400 N. Providence along with marking a new African American Heritage Trail. The three businesses were Third Street Market, Blue & White Cafe and the Harvey House. The Sharp End Heritage Committee and community members were on hand including Vicki Russell, Loreli Wilson, manager of diversity and inclusion at Veterans United Home Loans.
  • 3rd Street Market was known for its bologna served by a butcher named Archibald, and the second floor was used as a dance hall.
  • The Blue & White Cafe was known for hot dogs and hamburgers and was also a juke joint at night for adults.
  • The Harvey House as operated by William Harvey and his family. It included residential apartments and accommodations for travelers. It was included in “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” which the article reports The Harvey House was one of the few places black travelers could stay passing through Columbia.
  • Oct. 17, 2017 — Mayor will appoint task force for bicentennial planning, Columbia Missourian. Mayor Brian Treece is appointing a task force to plan Columbia’s upcoming bicentennial. He proposes including many groups in the planning for events from 2018-2021. He said the task force and planning should include African American organizations and the contributions of African Americans in the founding of Columbia.
  • Sept. 7, 2017 — Teachers, alumni weigh in on Douglass High School renovations. Columbia Daily Tribune. Summary: Marking the $6.75 million renovations of Frederick Douglass High School. The school was opened in 1885. It was the all-black school until segregation ended by a U.S. Supreme Court 1954 ruling. It took 13 years to integrate schools. Barbra Horrell said she was in the school’s last official class.
  • Aug. 27-28, 2017 — Lee Board begins effort to change school’s name, Columbia Missourian. Summary: The Lee Expressive Arts Elementary school board voted to ask the Columbia Public School district to rename the school. It was named after Robert E. Lee, a general on the Confederate side of the Civil War.
  • Columbia’s Civil War past lives on, Columbia Tribune. Summary: A school known as Lee Expressive Arts Elementary was originally named for Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general during the Civil War. This article by Megan Favignano quotes Traci Wilson-Kleekamp of Race Matters, Friends, saying she’d like people to consider what history is being memorialized, adding it’s often the history of white slave owners being memorialized.
  • May 20, 2017 — Historical figures share their stories at Columbia Cemetery, Columbia Missourian. Summary: Event coverage of Memorial Day event sponsored by Columbia Cemetery Association Board. The event featured monologues given by actors portraying J. W. “Blind” Boone, Jane Froman, Ann Hawkins Gentry, George Swallow, John Lathrop, Luella St. Clair Moss, James S. Rollins and Walter Williams.
  • Feb. 13, 2017 — Historian highlights community’s black history, Columbia Tribune: Summary: Bill Thompson is working to raise awareness about black people in the decades after the Civil War. Those include Tom Bass, John William “Blind” Boone, John Lange, Annie Fisher and Henry Kirklin.
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