Black History 2016
Recognizing African American Entrepreneurs
As in many Midwestern cities, Kansas City had a small but influential group of black professionals, business people, and entrepreneurs. Sociologist E. Franklin Frazier famously labeled this group the “black bourgeoisie,” and they have also been called “the black elite,” “the black middle class” or “black leaders.” But historians have now chosen the phrase “the black professional class” to describe these men and women – who through combinations of wealth, background, education, talent or ambition – assumed positions of prominence, influence, and esteem in their community.
The words of Richard Wright, the great novelist of the African American experience, held true for the notable persons being recognized here: “The American Negro, child of the culture that crushes him, wants to be free in a way that white men are free; for him to wish otherwise would be unnatural, unthinkable. Negroes, with but minor exceptions, still believe in the hope of economic rewards; they believe in justice, liberty, the integrity of the individual. In the heart of industrial America is a surviving remnant, perchance a saving remnant of a passion for freedom.”
Copies of the booklets and posters will be available in late January 2016 at LINC Caring Communities sites, the Kansas City Public Library, the Black Archives of Mid-America and some branches of Mid-Continent Public Library.
Limited quantities of posters and booklets are available in print, all are available for download below.
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