3/18/2021 to 10/21/2021
On Aug. 10, 2021, the state of Missouri turns 200 years old. The bicentennial gives us the opportunity to reflect on what Missouri has become, how we got here, and the different ways our communities have contributed to the development of this great state. In celebration of our statehood anniversary, we would like you to join us and the Mid-Continent Library for a yearlong virtual lecture series every third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. The series will explore the Kansas City region’s unique natural, cultural and historical landscapes that greatly contribute to Missouri’s diversity and advancement. All lectures are free, open to the public, and welcome to all ages. We hope to see you there!
Registration is required and will close 30 minutes prior to the start of the program. Participants will be emailed a Zoom access code 15 minutes before the start of the program. So please include your email in the registration. Please note: You must sign into the room prior to the start of the program. Admittance to the classroom will close five minutes after the program's start time. Space is limited.
Details about each lecture, including topics and presenters, are provided below. Registration links will be added as they become available. For more information, call 314-808-5550.
This series is one of many events Missouri State Parks is hosting to commemorate the state's bicentennial. To see a complete list of bicentennial-related events and learn more the commemoration, click here.
Lecture Topics and Information:
March 18: "Getting Started With African American Genealogy"
Wayne Reed, vice president of the Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition (MAGIC)
African American genealogical research presents some challenges. It takes a little MAGIC to break through some of those brick walls and challenges. This presentation will cover how to get started in African American genealogy, typical challenges, research techniques, missteps to avoid, and a few tips to identify slave owners in unlocking slave ancestry.
April 15: “Art, Race and Thomas Hart Benton”
Steve Sitton, site administrator, Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historic Site
Thomas Hart Benton was one of the first major white artists to regularly depict African American life. He painted sharecroppers, musicians, churchgoers and racial violence. Come learn about and discuss the positive and negative aspects of this part of the Missouri regionalist painter’s career.
May 20: “Iron Riders”
Vikki Cosner and Kevin Smith, Missouri State Parks
In 1897, the Buffalo Soldier Bicycle Corps of the 25th Infantry embarked on an epic bicycle ride of over 1,900 miles from Fort Missoula, Montana, to St. Louis, Missouri. The trek was part of an expedition by the U.S. Army to determine the effectiveness of moving troops by bicycle rather than by horse. Called “The Great Experiment” in national newspapers, the 41-day journey included conditions that would have daunted even the most avid of modern-day cyclists: difficult terrain, extreme weather, food and water shortages, and racism and hostility from local residents.
The year 2022 marks the 125th anniversary of this epic journey. Join Missouri State Parks staff to commemorate the event as they tell the little-known story of these ordinary soldiers and their extraordinary accomplishments and share with you the programs that are being planned for 2022.
June 17: “Black Baseball & Black History”
Dr. Raymond Doswell, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Before 1947, African Americans played professional baseball in their own separate teams, collectively known as “The Negro Leagues.” Against the backdrop of segregation, these teams traveled the country to communities large and small, bringing the thrills of America’s favorite pastime to thousands of fans and paving the way for civil rights. Join Dr. Raymond Doswell, vice president/curator of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kanas City, Missouri, to learn about the great stars and communities of the Negro Leagues, especially those in St. Louis and Kansas City.
July 15: TBD
Aug. 19: “Missouri’s Marvelous Mammals”
Melissa Simmons, Kansas City Outreach Office, Missouri State Parks
We see furry little friends everywhere we go. Learn about some of the mammals that call Missouri their home and how to tell them apart by their fur and the tracks they leave behind.
Sept. 16: “Camping While Black: Missouri’s Camp Dericotte, 1939-1960”
Cecelia Brueggemann, Missouri State Parks
Learn about the development of youth summer camps in the United States while taking a closer look at Missouri’s pioneering Camp Derricotte, the first camp specifically for Black girls in the state.
Oct. 21: "African American Artists Collective"
In 2014, a group of artists met at Gates BBQ on Linwood and Main, in Kansas City, Missouri, with "Rev.," better known as the Honorable Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, and his assistant Jim Vaughan. We talked about the arts as they pertained to the African American arts movement in the city and what we were doing as artists with our practices in the community. The people at that meeting were Glenn North, Diallo French, Gerald Dunn, Jason Piggie, Nedra Bonds and Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin. That gathering gave birth to what is now the African American Artists Collective.
Founded in Kansas City in 2014, members of the Collective identify and catalyze their practice as a means to support the African American and Black Arts movement in Kansas City, throughout the country, and across the globe. The Collective advocates for other artists, advances professional development, builds networks, and provides mentorship. Ongoing initiatives include generating exhibitions and performances, developing an endowment, and securing digital resources. The Collective’s efforts also span social justice movements in the arts and their proximity to Kansas City.
Lecture Times: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Virtual (See above)
- Interpretive Programs