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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Black Archives of Mid-America oral history collection

Repository: Kansas City Public Library. Missouri Valley Special Collections

Collection Description (Extant): This collection was originally comprised of 97 audiocassettes containing interviews of 56 people, largely from Kansas City's African American community. It was conducted from mid-1975 until late 1976. Subjects covered in the interviews include: politics, journalism, labor, law, medicine, military, music, sports, the theater, business, religion, and community affairs. The interviews center on the history of the African American community in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and focus on the individual's role in and perception of that history. The collection also includes the paperwork that accompanied the project, such as interviewer evaluations, contracts for both staff and interviewees, and indexes to the collection of tapes. All the interviews have a printed guide which summarizes the contents of the tapes. There are no typescripts of the interviews.

Some of the non-African Americans interviewed include Richard Bolling, Ilus Davis, and Dr. Richard Farnsworth. African Americans with interviews in this collection who later played a strong role in the city's political leadership include Alvin Brooks, Emanuel Cleaver, Joanne Collins, Ollie Gates, Lewis Clymer, and others. Arrington "Bubbles" Klice, known in the local boxing scene, is the only person representing sports. Most of the interviewees represented business, community affairs, education, politics, and religion.

Origin Info: Project was a grant-funded collaboration between the Kansas City Public Library and the Black Archives of Mid-America, Inc.

Access Copy Note: Interviews may be listened to in the Missouri Valley room. Cassette tapes were transferred to CD format in November 2008.

Date(s): 1975-1976

Digital Status: Yes

Existing IDs: SC69-2

Extent: 9 boxes, 97 sound cassettes (ca. 60 minutes), 82 CDs, 4 MP3 discs, 57 printed guides

Finding Aid URL:,37109 External Link

Language: English

Related Archival Items: See the Kansas City Jazz Oral History Collection (KC0012), Kansas City Monarchs Oral History Collection (KC0047), and Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City.

Interviewees: Ahmad Ala-adeen, James Anderson, Rev. Clemmie Bacchus, B. Lawrence Blankenship, Albert Bly, Richard Bolling, Rev. Charles Brisco, Arthur J. Bronson, Alvin Brooks, Girard T. Bryant, Jeremiah Cameron, Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver, Lewis Clymer, Joanne Collins, Fred Curls, Phillip Curls, Fletcher Daniels, Illus Davis, Thelma M. Dumas, Johnnie Mae Gentry, Charles Dwight, Robert Farnsworth, Herbert Fennel, Edward Fields, Norman Forester, John Franklin, Isaac Gardner, Jr., Ollie Gates, Samuella Gates, Elvis Gibson, Wilbur Goodseal, Gerald Hall, Alexander Harris, Harold Lee Holliday, Thelma L. Hollowell, Mamie Hughes, Michael Hughes, Ruby Jackson, Carroll Jenkins, Malik Karriem, Arrington Klice, Dave Knuti, Leo McKamey, Augustus Moore, Chuck Moore, James M. Neal, W. N. Newby, Lounner Pemberton, Eddie Reese, Adolph Ridgway, Henry Ross, Henry Warren Sewing, Robert Sweeney, Billy James Taylor, Rev. Nelson “Fuzzy” Thompson, Odell Thurman, Luther White, Chee Chee Williams, Rev. John Williams, Adolph Wilson

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American businesspeople
African American clergy--Missouri
African American educators--Missouri
African American politicians--Missouri
African Americans--Missouri
African Americans--Social conditions


Sound recordings


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   May 15, 2015
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