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Renovation of the Historic Lucile H. Bluford Library
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: Diane Y. Swift (Founder/Director) CEED
Email The Author: Ceed4chng@aol.com

The Center For Equitable Education provided an environmental Justice and education and opportunities for youth to learn about the renovation of the historic Lucile H. Bluford Library.  This libray is an anchor for youth in the urban core of Kansas City.  JE Dunn was the contractor for the project and CEED develped a program so that youth could learn about the renovation of the library as well as the construction industry.

Lucile H. Bluford was a well-respected editor and publisher of the Kansas City Call, an important African American weekly newespaper.  She was also a brave and persitent civil rights activist.  She refused to remain quiet about racial injustice.

While working on the high school newspaper and yearbook that she wanted to become a journalist. Her choices were limited and she knew she could not attend the University of Missouri in Columbia, which had the oldest and most respected journalism school in the country. It wouldn't admit African Americans.  Her choices were the same for other Black students which was the historically black college, Linclolnn University in Jefferon City Missouri. Lucile attended the Univiersity of Kansas in Lawrence and she graduated with honors in 1932.

In 1939 Lucile Bluford applied to the University of Missouri School of Journalism to do graduate work. She was accepted, but when she went to Columbia to enroll she was turned away.With the help of the NAACP she filed the first of several lawsuits againd the unniversity on October 12, 1939.  Bluford's case was denied time and time again.

In 1941 the state supreme court finally ruled in  Bluford's favor.  The University of Missouri had to admit her because no equal program existed at Lincoln University. In response, the School of Journalism closed its graduate program.

She became a leading voice in the civil rights movement in Kansas City and helped make the call one of the largest and most imortant black newspaper in the nation. The University of Missouri eventually honored her with a Distinqished Servide in Journalism from the School of Journalism.  In 1989 the university gave her an honorary doctorate.

The renovation of the Lucile H. Bluford Library is significant for the community.  The youth who participated in The Bluford Project Renovation learned about the enviornment as well as the importance of being a change age for justice in America.

 


Posted: November 30, 2009
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Unless noted, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the
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