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Political Club Freedom, Inc Gears up for Election

By Sylvia Maria Gross

Kansas City, MO – In a recent interview with the Kansas City Star, 5th district Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, who's also up for re-election, said the Senate race will be determined by the African American turnout in Kansas City and St. Louis. For 46 years, the black political club Freedom Incorporated has made endorsements and helped get out the vote--the organization now covers 90 polling sites in Kansas City's 12 primarily African American wards.

In its early years, the group helped organize political support for black candidates and win the battle for equal access to public accommodations. In the 1990s, the organizations struggled through scandals involving a number of members. More recently, political observers have questioned whether Freedom is still able to unify the black community behind particular candidates and issues. Mark Bryant became Freedom Inc's president six years ago - he describes the scene at the political club's 12th street headquarters as the election approaches.

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