Monday, January 20,
Palestine Missionary Baptist Church
3619 E. 35th St., KCMO 64128
2020 Mass Celebration Featured Keynote Speaker
U.S. Congressman Al Green
On January 3, 2017, U.S. Congressman Al Green took the oath of office to serve the people of Texas’ 9th Congressional District and began his seventh term in the United States House of Representatives. As a veteran civil rights advocate, he has fought for those in society whose voices, too often, are not heard.
Congressman Al Green currently serves on the Financial Services Committee. He serves on three subcommittees: Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, Monetary Policy and Trade, as well as Oversight and Investigations, where he holds the position of Ranking Member. Within the Democratic Party he holds the position of Assistant Whip.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Congressman Al Green’s family taught him the importance of positive preparation through education and righteous resistance to overcome persistent injustice. He attended Florida A&M University, Howard University, and the Tuskegee Institute. Before receiving an undergraduate degree, he enrolled in the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1973. As a law student, he earned awards in the areas of Federal Procedure and Conflicts.
After graduating from law school, Congressman Al Green co-founded and co-managed the law firm of Green, Wilson, Dewberry, and Fitch. In 1977, he was appointed Justice of the Peace in Harris County, Texas, where he served for 26 years before retiring in 2004. Throughout his career, Congressman Al Green has enjoyed the respect of his colleagues as well as a wide cross-section of community leaders, who have praised his legal skills, impeccable character, and ability to work with people of diverse backgrounds.
For approximately ten years, Congressman Al Green served as president of the Houston Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Under his leadership, the organization grew to unprecedented heights, increasing membership from a few hundred to many thousands, and the staff from one to more than ten.
Rev. Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson Legacy Award will be presented to
The Kansas City Call Newspaper
in the name of Ms. Lucile H. Bluford
received by Ms. Donna Stewart, Editor and Publisher of
The KC CALL &
Mr. Eric Wesson, Reporter
For over 100 years now, The Kansas City Call has been a pillar in the African American Community functioning as an instrument within the Black Press to advance civil rights for African Americans and human rights for all people. Here in Kansas City, in the Midwest, and across the United States this courageous newspaper has fulfilled the role for which it has been purposed to advance the causes of justice, freedom, and equity.
The Call was founded in 1919 in Kansas City, Missouri by Chester A. Franklin. Mr. Franklin owned and operated The Call until his passing on May 7th, 1955. Franklin taught himself how to operate a linotype machine which was critical to the printing of newspapers. History reveals The Call grew continually in its circulation from two thousand to almost seventeen thousand in its first ten years. After the death of Chester A. Franklin in 1955 Lucile H. Bluford became part-owner, and continued to work at the newspaper until her death.
Bluford examined her journalistic writings on social, economic, and political issues; her strong opinionated views on African Americans and women; and whether there were consistent themes, biases, and assumptions in her stories that may have influenced news coverage in the Kansas City Call. It traces the beginnings of her activism as a young reporter seeking admission to the graduate program in journalism at the University of Missouri and how her admissions rejection became the catalyst for her seven-decade career as a champion of racial and gender equality.
Lucile H. Bluford and the Kansas City Call illustrate how social authority in the formidable power base of the weekly Black newspaper, can help shape and mobilize a broader movement in the fight for freedom and social justice. Bluford’s writings represented what the mainstream news ignored, exposing injustices and inequalities in the African American community and among women’s issues.