Dr. John A. Wright Sr.

Nationally renowned local historian and author Dr. John A. Wright will be a part of The Missouri Historical Society’s continuing conversation on race for “It’s Bigger Than Target: A History of STL Black Neighborhoods.” The virtual talk will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28.

Wright, author of St. Louis: Disappearing Black Communities, will explore the impact that white flight, racial segregation, zoning, and corporate development have had on Black neighborhoods throughout the region. Gwen Moore, Missouri Historical Society’s Curator of Urban Landscape and Community Identity, will moderate the program.

The conversation is one of many happening as part of How Did We Get Here? Conversations about Race, Anti-Blackness, and Identity, which kicked off on July 7 and continues through August 12. The series is part of the organization’s African American History Initiative (AAHI). 

Established in 2015, the Missouri Historical Society’s African American History Initiative uses history to promote greater cultural understanding and collaborative efforts to strengthen communities’ ties.

“With this series, the Missouri Historical Society builds on its commitment to explore complex historical and contemporary issues through meaningful dialogue,” said Dr. Frances Levine, President of the Missouri Historical Society. “In 2015 we launched the MHS African American History Initiative to collaborate with the African American community, national scholars, our members and the St. Louis community to foster an understanding of how history has brought us to where we are as a community and a nation.”

Levine also said The African American History Initiative will help to build on The Missouri Historical Society’s collections, oral histories, and community programs – a well as allow the organization to address and examine contemporary issues of race, equity and inclusion through the historical lens.”

“This new AAHI series will help Black, white, people of color, and indigenous populations gain a greater understanding of race relations in this region and how race and anti-blackness keep the region divided,” said Shakia Gullette, Director of African American History Initiatives for the Missouri Historical Society. “Building upon the work of local historians and national thought leaders, the series allows us to root the conversations in fact and history.”

“It’s Bigger Than Target: A History of STL Black Neighborhoods” with Dr. John A. Wright will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28. For more information, visit https://mohistory.org/events/history-of-stl-black-neighborhoods

For details on how watch How Did We Get Here? Conversations about Race, Anti-Blackness, and Identity and a full schedule of programming within the series, visit https://mohistory.org/events?series=How%20Did%20We%20Get%20Here%3F

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