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15, November 2017

Of Primary (Source) Importance

Distilling 200+ years of civil rights history into a 76-page book provides an immediate recipe for writer’s agony—and that’s before the wrinkle of crafting text for an upper elementary school audience. Yet that’s the task Dr. Melanie Adams and I faced in researching and producing Standing Up For Civil Rights in St. Louis, a young reader’s companion to the #1 in Civil Rights exhibit currently on view at the Missouri History Museum. Read more »

13, April 2017

Jordan Chambers: The Negro Mayor of St. Louis

In 1931 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch referred to Jordan Chambers, who held no official political office, as the Negro Mayor of St. Louis. Chambers was larger than life, a political power broker whose influence was far reaching. It was said that little happened in St. Louis politics—or in the black community in general—that Chambers didn’t somehow have a hand in. Read more »

22, March 2017

Rock 'n' Roll's Founding Father: Chuck Berry

Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was born in a three-room cottage at 2520 Goode Avenue (now Annie Malone Drive) in the Ville, the heart of St. Louis’s black community during an era of deep-seated segregation and intense racism. In the all-black, self-contained neighborhood, Berry attended Sumner High School and sang at Antioch Baptist Church. Read more »

18, October 2013

“Where Did They Go to High School?”: A Brief History of the First High Schools in St. Louis

Part 2: Public Schools and African American Schools

The first public high school in St. Louis was founded in 1853, although it sadly closed in 1984, after 131 years. Known as Central High School, or simply “the High School,” this school was originally housed in a room of the public elementary school near Benton Park.[...]

Image at left: Central High School, Davison Avenue and Natural Bridge Road location. Photograph by W. C. Persons, 1937. Missouri History Museum. Read more »