Black history media coverage



  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 2016