Community leadership

Displaying 1 - 10 of 27

Interview with funeral director Marion Watkins. Watkins discusses her childhood, visiting family members in Parkville, Missouri, attending Catholic schools, her family's focus on community service, and getting involved in the family's funeral business from an early age. 

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Interview with community leader and activist Rosemary Smith Lowe. Lowe discusses her work with others in desegregating Kansas City, working with the local police department, and her hopes for young people.

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Interview with community leader and activist Rosemary Smith Lowe. Interviewed by her great-granddaughter, Lowe discusses the work of the Local Investment Commission (LINC), 

Video Recording

Interview with community leader Rosemary Smith Lowe. Lowe discusses her family and early life in Arkansas, attending Wendell Phillips School after moving to Kansas City, her early involvement with Freedom Inc. and their work to pass public accommodations desegregation laws, her work as a cosmetologist and service as the commissioner of the state cosmetology board, serving as president of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Association and commissioner of the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, and her work as a founder of the Local Investment Commission and Neighborhood Alliance. She also discusses buying a home in a predominantly white area, her thoughts about her church, and memories of family and friends. Lowe's son James E. White, Sr. was present at the interview and shares memories of his mother's life and accomplishments.

Video Recording

Interview with community leader Bruce R. Watkins, Jr. Watkins discusses his early life and education, the history of the Watkins family including his father Bruce R. Watkins and grandfather T. B. Watkins, the founding of Freedom Inc., and his work to share the story of slavery, former slaves, and the Watkins family in Platte County, Missouri. He also shares thoughts on the importance of leaving a legacy and learning personal and family history

Video Recording

Interview with retired librarian and community leader Pat Gaunce. Gaunce discusses her start in library work while raising her children, working in school libraries, developing new public library branches in Wyandotte County including the F. L. Schlagle Environmental Library, furthering her professional education, undergoing cancer treatment, serving on Kathleen Sebelius' transition team and the University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board along with other community-oriented roles, and shares thoughts about her family and the future of the Kansas City, Kansas community.

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Interview with Lounneer Pemberton, executive director of the Kansas City Urban League. Pemberton discusses his family and early life in Iowa, attending predominantly white schools, attending the University of Minnesota, coming to Kansas City to work for the National Urban League, and actively considering race for the first time as an adult. He also shares memories of the Depression, seeing notable musicians, and thoughts about local activists and politicians, labor unions, local government, Freedom Inc., the passage of the public accommodations laws, and the upcoming national elections.

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Two-part interview with with Dave Knuti of the Urban Affairs Department. Knuti discusses his early life and family history, his work for Head Start and the Community Action Program in Washington, D.C., his work with the Human Resources Corporation and other employment and anti-poverty organizations in Kansas City, blighted areas losing small businesses and other community investment, the local education system, and other issues related to economic and social development.

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Interview with Ruby Jackson of the Human Resources Corporation. Jackson discusses her early life growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, her memories of the World War II era, nightlife on the Missouri side of the state line in the early 1950s, her thoughts about prominent Black figures including Madam C. J. Walker and Marcus Garvey, marrying, divorcing, and remarrying and having children while working at various jobs, including the Human Resources Corporation. She also discusses her involvement with the Congress of Racial Equity (CORE) and multiple community and political groups, her feelings about contemporary politicians, intellectuals, and activists, and numerous issues of public policy including the Equal Rights Amendment.

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Four part interview with attorney, activist, and former Missouri state representative Harold Holliday, Sr.

In Part 1, Holliday discusses his family and early life living between Oklahoma and Kansas City, growing up in the then-rural Leeds area, his high school and college experiences, the Lloyd Gaines lawsuit, being drafted at the start of World War II, and his experience as a Black soldier stationed in Mississippi.

In Part 2, he discusses his work history, including stints with the Works Progress Administration and Veterans Administration, finishing Officers Candidate School, being stationed in England and Fort Knox, Kentucky, among other locations, and includes some explicit discussion of relationships with women during the war years. He also shares thoughts on the Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Pearl Harbor, Missouri Congressional representative Richard Bolling, the Pendergast era, efforts to make lynching a federal offense, and numerous contemporary politicians.

In Part 3, he discusses the Nixon administration and Watergate, whether America is susceptible to dictatorship, his thoughts on nationally and locally prominent Black intellectuals and entertainers including Paul Robeson, Lucile Bluford, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and D. A. Holmes, the difficulties and advancement of Black people, including his family members in academics and public life, considers the legal profession and his work in bringing the Kansas City public accommodations ordinance to the Supreme Court, and choosing to leave elected office.

In Part 4, he considers what changes he might make to his life if he could live it over again and whether he believes himself to be a good man, his hopes for the future, more thoughts on the Pendergast era, as well as memories of Harry Truman and other local politicians. He also shares thoughts on civil rights efforts and the US Constitution.

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