Parkville Missouri

Watkins Foundation plans event to recover histories of families after slavery

The Watkins Foundation is launching a project to help recover lost histories of descendants of slaves and slave owners in the Kansas City area and invites the public to attend a kick-off meeting on Sunday, May 28, 2017.

Attendees will learn about the project and will be encouraged to share stories to help preserve a vital part of Missouri and Kansas City’s history. The goal of the event is to learn more about families, both black and white, that were once linked by slavery in the counties surrounding Kansas City, Missouri. Beyond recovering lost history, the stories can build dialogs between communities.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the Meeting House at Park University at 3:00 p.m. Along with learning more about the project, participants can help preserve a lost history, most of which are unknown to historians and the community. A portion of a documentary about slavery in Missouri will be shown.

The Watkins Foundation has been coordinating with the Kansas City Public Library, the Kansas City Museum with the assistance of Freedom Frontier National Heritage Area, Park University, the Banneker Restoration Foundation and Historic Site and the Banneker School Foundation of Parkville, MO Alumni Association to launch the project with the goal of reaching out to the community to record and preserve the histories of Missouri families after slavery.

The Watkins Foundation has identified some of the families in the area that include Banks, Boone, Bolden, Brighwell, Breedlove, Brown, Cave, Carson, Coons, Coffee, Dixson, Douglas, Foutz, Frazier, Hampton, Hendrix, Higgins, Hoskins, Hox, Hughes, Hull, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Kimsey, Oggett, McDaniel, Miller, Mise, Murray, Pearl, Rixey, Stokes, Tolson, Todd, Torez, Waller, Washington, Wells, Willes and Woods.

Mayor Johnston stated, “We applaud the partnership of Park University and the Banneker School Foundation with the Watkins Foundation, and all the other partners, in promoting history and understanding the value of diversity. We hope the Watkins Foundation’s efforts lead to discovering the descendants of the families who once lived in the area so their histories can be recorded and shared with future generations.”

For more information about the event, contact the Watkins Foundation at (816) 547-9905.

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