Freedom Inc. | KCUR

Freedom Inc.

Freedom, Inc.

Feb 9, 2016

We explore the history and influence of the Kansas City political organization Freedom, Inc., one of the oldest African American political organizations in the country, and take a look at the relevance of the group in elections today.


  • Micah Kubic, author, Freedom, Inc. and Black Political Empowerment
  • Emiel Cleaver, producer, Freedom Is Now
  • Shalonn "Kiki" Curls, Missouri State Senator

Jimmy Townsend, longtime owner of Kansas City’s Green Duck Lounge at 26th Street and Prospect Avenue, was killed over the weekend.

Police say Townsend, 83, died of a gunshot wound. He was found outside of his home around 11 a.m. Saturday morning, a few blocks from the nightclub.

As news of Townsend’s death spread on social media, some drew parallels to Leon Jordan, the late civil rights activist and Green Duck Lounge owner who was assassinated in 1970.

Courtesy of LaBudde Special Collections / UMKC

Three years ago, Kansas City police re-opened one of the most vexing cold cases in local history. It was the 1970 murder of politician and civil rights leader Leon Jordan. The case was re-opened after an investigation by Kansas City Star reporters Mike McGraw and Glenn Rice.  McGraw told us what one of the original detectives told him about the 40-year-old case.

“'I can’t remember a case with less info, more blind alleys, more possible motives, and more possible suspects than the Leon Jordan murder,'” said McGraw, quoting detective Lloyd DeGraffenreid. 

The Formation Of Freedom Inc.

Feb 21, 2012
Rosemary Lowe

While sitting in the UMKC course “The Kansas City Black Experience,” Emiel Cleaver decided to write a paper on KC's first black political group, Freedom Inc.