Virtual Event Video Recordings

African American Experience in Missouri Lecture Series

Explore Missouri's past and prepare for the future through the African American Experience in Missouri lecture series. A collaboration of the State Historical Society of Missouri's Center for Missouri Studies and the University of Missouri's Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, it is designed to offer the community opportunities to reach a new understanding of present-day Missouri by learning about the history of African Americans within the state.

1918 Flu Epidemic in Missouri

The flu epidemic of 1918 ravaged populations around the globe. It is estimated that the flu contributed to the deaths of more than 50 million people worldwide by the end of 1920. In this two-part series, SHSMO senior archivist Kathleen Seale talks about how different communities in Missouri experienced and responded to the 1918 flu epidemic.

Lincoln University: Black Culture Mecca of the Midwest

Gary R. Kremer explores the history of Lincoln University from its founding by former Missouri slaves in 1866 through its emergence as a state-funded normal and vocational school to its establishment as the state’s only public institution of higher education for African Americans in 1921. Special attention is given to Lincoln University’s “golden years,” from 1921 through the mid-1950s, when it was often referred to as the “Black Harvard of the Midwest.”

Citizen Brown: Race, Democracy, and Inequality in the St. Louis Suburbs

In his path-breaking book Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City, Colin Gordon combined GIS digital mapping techniques with extensive archival research to reach new perspectives on St. Louis’s decades-long struggles with depopulation, segregation, economic disparity, and urban decay. Gordon's current research continues to probe for deeper understanding of the underlying issues and failed policies behind urban crises such as the turmoil in Ferguson after Michael Brown was shot and killed by local police on August 9, 2014.

Troubling Freedom: Black Working-Class Women's Self-Organization and the Struggle for Racial Justice in St. Louis before the 1960s

From the Great Depression to the 1960s, the city of St. Louis experienced significant decline as its population and industrial base stagnated while its suburbs expanded. To combat ingrained racism, crippling levels of poverty, and substandard living conditions, black women workers in St. Louis formed a community-based culture of resistance, fighting for fair and full employment, a living wage, affordable housing, political leadership, and personal dignity. Keona K. Ervin, author of the award-winning Gateway to Equality: Black Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice in St. Louis, discusses how black women effectively grounded working-class struggle in movements for racial justice and set the stage for the defining campaigns of the explosive 1960s.

Black Military Service in Civil War Missouri

St. Louis native Miller W. Boyd III shares insights from his groundbreaking research into the African American experience in Missouri during the Civil War. In unraveling the traditional motives for service—fighting to destroy slavery in America, securing black citizenship, and preserving the Union—Boyd shows that personal freedom and a chance to financially provide for families were often stronger motivations to enlist.