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Senator Roy Blunt | Lynching Victim Honored | Lynching Memorial In Kansas City (R)

Cody Newill
KCUR 89.3
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt during a visit to KCUR.

Missouri's senior senator on the work ahead in his final months in Congress and two memorials to Levi Harrington who was killed by a Kansas City mob in 1882.

Segment 1, beginning at 1:00: Senator Blunt's political career began in 1973 as county clerk in Greene County, Missouri, and will finish when his current term as senator ends in 2023.

Blunt explains what was behind his recent announcement not to seek reelection. He offered his thoughts on President Biden's American Jobs Plan, the idea of adding justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and if there is anything he had hoped to achieve in politics but didn't.

Segment 2, beginning at 16:35: Levi Harrington, a Black man, was hung from a Kansas City bridge in 1882 for a crime he did not commit.

As part of the Community Remembrance Project of Missouri, soil from the site of Mr. Harrington's death was collected to be part of a display at the Black Archives of Mid-America. Staci Pratt explained how the Community Remembrance Project started and the importance of remembering the victims of terror lynchings.

Segment 3, beginning: A memorial marker to lynching victim Levi Harrington in Kansas City's West Terrace park was the first such memorial in Missouri.

In April of 1882 Harrington, a black man, was hung from a beam on the Bluff Street Bridge in Kansas City's West Bottoms by an angry white mob for a crime he did not commit. In an encore presentation, we hear the story behind Harrington's lynching, just one of the more than 4,400 documented to have occurred between 1877 and 1950 in this country.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.