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'They Came to Fight' - Honoring WWI soldiers

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Feb 2008 13:36    Onderwerp: 'They Came to Fight' - Honoring WWI soldiers Reageer met quote

'They Came to Fight' - Honoring WWI soldiers

Students, faculty and members of the community gathered to remember and honor local and national contributions of African Americans during "the war to end all wars," World War I, last Friday evening at the African American History and Culture House.

All who attended were greeted with a vibrant atmosphere of jazz, great food, conversation and an exhibition of photographs, quotes and stories put together by Pellom McDaniels III, assistant professor of history here at UMKC, with help from undergraduate students Jumoke Balogun and Arzie Umali, UMKC Multicultural Student Affairs.

The exhibition is entitled "They Came to Fight: African Americans and the Great World War," and it encompasses both local Kansas City and national contributions of African Americans to the war effort.

"These stories are not told enough, they are missing in the narrative," McDaniels said.

This reporter, having seen the section dedicated to African Americans at the World War I Museum here in Kansas City, found what McDaniels has organized to be much more impressive and comprehensive.

Local historians Joelouis Mattox and Delbert White spoke with great reverence to the memory of Private Wayne Miner, a Kansas Citian, and the last American soldier to die in World War I. He died a courageous death by volunteering for a dangerous mission when no one else would.

Miner's commanding officer, William H. Clark, recommended him for a medal, but the recommendation was lost in the mail. When Clark's daughter, Shirley A. Perry, stood up to help tell her father's amazing story, history came alive. As a young person, it was an honor to be able to listen to people whose parents had lived during the war.

The exhibit will be at the African American History and Culture House until March 14. Additionally, McDaniels and Balogun are currently developing a Web site where local people can add names, stories and photos of family members who served in the war, giving them recognition and a permanent place in the historical narrative.

At 6:30 p.m. this Friday, McDaniels will also be at Central Library at 14 W. 10th St. for a discussion on Carter G. Woodson, the founder of Black History Month.

From 6 to 8 p.m. March 7, there will be a reception in honor of the contributions of African American women. There will be more speeches, the UMKC Jazz Quartet will be on hand and the good feeling will return. For more information contact Umali at (816) 235-6609.

http://media.www.unews.com/media/storage/paper274/news/2008/02/04/Culture/they-Came.To.Fight.Honoring.Wwi.Soldiers-3186626.shtml
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