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Central Standard

Tribute Or Tribulation?

Faith Bemiss
The Sedalia Democrat

In Sedalia, Missouri, Marge Harlan spent $25,000 of her own money to build a "slave cabin." While she meant the cabin to honor the courage and resilience of African-Americans, many in the community, especially people of color, have found the gesture problematic and offensive.

We ask, how do we commemorate history? What is the best way to remember a conflicted and painful past? And who gets to decide?


  • Marge Harlan, retired psychologist, NAACP secretary, owner at Rose M. Nolen Black History Library
  • Randal Jelks​, professor of African-American studies, University of Kansas
  • Monroe Dodd, KCUR's resident historian
Brian Ellison is a guest host of talk shows, newscasts, special coverage and community events for KCUR. Follow him on Twitter @ptsbrian.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer and now is the Media Training Manager with America Amplified. You can reach him at, or on Twitter.
Suzanne Hogan is contributing announcer, producer and reporter for KCUR 89.3. She also hosts and produces the podcast, A People’s History of Kansas City. Reach her at