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Second Public Hearing on Black Archives

By Sylvia Maria Gross

Kansas City, MO – The Black Archives of Mid America's current board members have agreed to move forward with Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon and community leaders to take immediate steps to preserve the archives' documents and artifacts. Nixon's office began circulating applications for a fifteen member board of directors at last night's public hearing near 18th and Vine. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.


Missouri State Historical Society Director Gary Kremer says immediate steps need to be taken to protect and clean documents and archives in the Black Archives of Mid America. After a brief visit to the collection yesterday, he also said many of the items were missing a record of ownership. Kremer told more than a hundred people gathered at a public hearing yesterday that the new Board of Directors needs to revisit the archives mission.

KREMER: The configuration would be determined in large part by what you're going to have in it. It would be helpful to know if it will be just an archives, or an archives and a museum for example.

Blueprints were presented for the renovation of a Kansas City Parks and Recreation building on East 17th Terrace. The city council applied more than 4 million dollars to the project several years ago. The director of Parks and Rec said they will be ready to start the bidding process soon. Barbara Peterson, the widow of founder Horace Peterson, said she's feeling hopeful.

PETERSON: I was encouraged by the presentation by Parks and Rec department - they've got some wonderful plans for the renovation of the building.

Peterson will head an advisory committee to choose 12 new board members to join the existing three. Also on the advisory committee are State Representative Sharon Sanders Brooks, City Councilwoman Saundra McFadden Weaver, civic leader Mamie Hughes and Kansas City Public Library Director R. Crosby Kemper III.

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