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Merriam Teacher Corinthian Nutter Became 1940s Civil Rights Leader

Picture of Corinthian Nutter with her class, courtesy of Shawnee Town Museum.


Kansas City, MO – In the 1940's, Corinthian Nutter worked with the NAACP to improve education for black children in Merriam, Kansas. Nutter was outraged by the deplorable conditions at the two-room schoolhouse where she taught, Walker Elementary School. Nutter ended up testifying in a lawsuit and five years before the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of the students' rights to attend an all-white, modern school.

Corinthian Nutter passed away in 2004, at the age of 97, but before that, she allowed historian Greg Rieke to tape her life story. He'll be sharing her story on Tuesday evening, August 8, 2009 at the Shawnee Town Museum, and stopped by to give KCUR's Susan Wilson a preview.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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