September 7, 2008
Ruth Ramsey is founder of:
Ramsey and Associates Design Inc.
Primary SIC: Converted Paper & Paperboard Prod Nec, Primary NAICS: All Other Converted Paper Product Manufacturing
Description: Manufacturing: Converted Paper & Paperboard Prod Nec
Additionally, her company offers namebadges called More Than Hello and she publishes a bimonthly magazine called: “Our Health Matters”
July 12, 2008
The National Black United Front began in Chicago, Illinois and has expanded to several cities throughout the United States.
But the Kansas City Chapter of the National Black United Front is the largest and most active group of NBUF. The organization has led many grassroots activities from monthly meetings to holding the annual convention of NBUF. One of its greatest feats is organizing and creating the African Centered Education program. The African Centered Education program created elementary and middle schools that teaches Black Children from a Black perspective. The schools are free for students admitted into the program and are a part of the Kansas City Public School system. Many cities in other locations look at the Kansas City Black United Front’s African Centered Education program as a model for their own program initiatives.
The biggest event for the community is the annual Kwanzaa celebration that takes place at the GEM Theater in the 18th and Vine District. The event consists of a song and the black pledge. Next, the lighting of the candle and recognition of a Kansas City community elder. The event lasts the full seven days, unlike most Kwanzaa celebrations around the country that only lasts one afternoon. In fact, Kansas City may be the longest lasting Kwanzaa celebration in the Midwest, if not in the entire country.
|The Kansas City Chapter of the National Black United Front (KCBUF) invites you to read about highlights and current Kansas City events. KCBUF holds monthly meetings, for more information e-mail us at: GDeaniii@aol.com|
The Kansas City Black United Front’s President is Ajamu Webster, a true king and leader, a softspoken but effective hero. The Kansas City Black United Front is truly a Black history maker and will blaze in the minds of future generations to come.
February 17, 2008
Gregory, Richard Claxton ‘Dick’ (Born, October 12, 1932, St. Louis, Mo.), African American comedian and civil rights activist whose social satire changed the way white Americans perceived African American comedians since he first performed in public. Dick Gregory entered the national comedy scene in 1961 when Chicago’s Playboy Club (as a direct request from publisher Hugh Hefner) booked him as a replacement for white comedian, ?Professor? Irwin Corey.
Gregory’s activism continued into the 1990s. In response to published allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had supplied cocaine to predominantly African American areas in Los Angeles, thus spurring the crack epidemic, Gregory protested at CIA headquarters and was arrested. In 1992 he began a program called “Campaign for Human Dignity” to fight crime in St. Louis neighborhoods.
In 1973, the year he released his comedy album Caught in the Act, Gregory moved with his family to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he developed an interest in vegetarianism and became a nutritional consultant. In 1984 he founded Health Enterprises, Inc., a company that distributed weight loss products. In 1987 Gregory introduced the Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet, a powdered diet mix, which was immensely profitable.
Dick Gregory’s Position On:
Price: $3.21 USD
Lowest used price: $3.05 USD
February 10, 2008
Marian O’Fallon Oldham was rejected from attending the University of Missouri because she was Black. It did not stop her as she instead attended Harris-Stowe in St. Louis. She later got her master’s from the University of Michigan. She then became a teacher and counselor in St. Louis Public Schools, a civil rights activist and a member of various charitable boards in St. Louis. In 1977, Oldham became the University of Missouri’s first Black female curator, and she served for eight years. The university’s St. Louis campus later gave her an honorary doctorate and set up a scholarship in her name. She died in 1994 at 66.
Today, the University of Missouri has named the Mu’s Black Culture system in her owner and that of Lloyd Gaines who was also denied admission for being Black. The center is names the Lloyd Gaines-Oldham Black Culture Center.
February 5, 2008
During segregation, black students seeking a graduate degree had to leave the state. Unlike most schools in segregated states, though, MU would pay for part of a black student’s out-of-state graduate school tuition.But leaving Missouri was unappealing to Gaines. In 1935, he applied to MU and received interest from admissions. It is safe to say that the university registrar, S.W. Canada, knew neither the color of Gaines’ skin nor the historically black university he had attended.
Meanwhile, NAACP lawyers and civil rights pioneers Sidney Redmond and Charles Houston were battling segregation and unequal teachers’ salaries in Missouri. Hoping to challenge segregation at MU, they were looking for a black student as a plaintiff.
The university learned of Gaines’ color after receiving his Lincoln transcript and denied him admission. Soon after, Gaines met the NAACP lawyers who sought him out and would lay the foundation of the coming court case. It was the first NAACP test case regarding educational segregation to reach the Supreme Court.
The Board of Curators rejected Gaines’ application and those of three other black students. Gaines was probably disappointed though not shocked. Quickly, the NAACP petitioned the Boone County Circuit Court in July 1936 to force the university to admit Gaines. During the trial, one of Gaines’ lawyers attacked traditionalist mentality and asked, “You don’t think tradition can bind progress forever, do you?” F.M. McDavid, senator and president of the Board of Curators replied, “I don’t know what you mean by progress.” The court ruled in favor of the university, and the NAACP immediately filed an appeal.
In December 1937, the case reached the Missouri Supreme Court, and again the court handed down a pro-segregation decision by maintaining that Gaines was not deprived of his rights under the 14th Amendment because Missouri paid black students’ nonresident tuition.
Neither Gaines nor the NAACP was satisfied. By that time, the case had grown bigger than Gaines. Although he was the poster child for an antidiscrimination case — an honors student with an exemplary record — he was also an instrument in the civil rights attempt to eradicate segregation. But as the case slowly pushed its way through the court system, Gaines moved on and attended the University of Michigan to pursue a master’s degree in economics. Under pressure and aware that he would be judged by both his supporters and opponents, he again excelled at school.
In 1938, his case reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Around the country, people on both sides of the segregation debate anticipated the court’s reaction. Justice Hugo Black, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, sat on the court. On Gaines’ side were his original lawyers, now with the help of future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. On December 12, 1938, the Supreme Court rendered a 5-2 decision that was both a victory and a loss for Gaines. The verdict stated that Missouri must admit Gaines or provide an equal law school facility for black students within the state. Black, who would later become one of the Court’s most liberal judges, voted with the majority.
Newspapers across the country exploded in headlines about the case, many of them supporting the verdict and some saying the ruling did not go far enough. The case did not end segregation but merely allowed for a new interpretation of “separate but equal” as rendered in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision.
Gaines, who was in Michigan when the verdict was rendered, offered a few poignant words in response: “Organized pressure has opened another great gate for our people…may we all see that this golden opportunity is never neglected, lost or forgotten.”
But perhaps the opportunity was more gilded than truly golden. Publicly, Gaines stated he would enroll at Missouri’s law school but told his mother privately that he was not planning to attend. Clearly, the years of legal battles and the pressures of being a civil rights figurehead had taken their toll on the courtroom-wary man.
In compliance with the Supreme Court, a law school for black students was established in St. Louis through Lincoln University. In 1939, a group of 20 students arrived to take classes at the new law school. The school, however, was short-lived and shut down in 1943.
It was not until 1950 that Gus T. Ridgel, a fellow Lincoln graduate, became the first black student to attend MU.
February 5, 2008
Now & Then
Past and present conversations surrounding the Lloyd Gaines case are imperative to understanding the sentiment of America in the late1930s and how the civil rights figure is remembered today.
Letter from Gaines seeking admittance to MU, 1935:
“I would appreciate your prompt attention to this matter, in as much as an early reply would enable me to make the adjustments necessary in completing my plans for the employment of my time for the fall.”