“Overcoming Obstacles to Create Community” is an initiative of the Women’s Voices’ Racial Justice Committee. Each month, we’ll provide timely, concrete ideas and suggestions you can include in your daily lives.
April – Build Relationships and Coalitions
Reach out to allies from churches, schools, clubs, civic groups, police, and the media. Gather ideas and get everyone involved.
- Attend a meeting of a group you want to learn more about. Visit a black church. For locations, Google “Where is the nearest black church?”
- Participate in a Black Lives Matter vigil or other event.
- Enroll in a Witnessing Whiteness study group.
- Join the St. Louis Coalition for Human Rights.
- Visit the Organization for Black Struggle website.
- Find out about Indivisible St. Louis, a progressive grass roots network.
- Visit the West County Action Network (WE CAN). Among their activities you will find a Black Lives Matter Vigil schedule taking place every Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. at different locations.
- Visit the exhibit Segregation by Design
“Segregation by Design explores the question of whether the ultimate goal should be integration, inclusiveness or equity. It attempts to elucidate these questions from a historical perspective, while at the same time considering the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. It is intended to serve as a call for action, a resource for current and future leaders in the work of remedying disparities in our cities, and a vital tool for achieving sustainable urbanism.”
Exhibit runs through April 13, 2019 at CEL@ Kranzberg Arts Gallery (501 N. Grand Blvd., 63103)
- Has spring inspired you to get out and take a walk? How about going to the Great Rivers Greenway Riverfront Trail. You can begin by starting at the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing. The site can be accessed from the Prairie Avenue trailhead of the St. Louis Riverfront Trail.The site is designated as part of the Nation Park Service Underground Railroad Newtwork to Freedom. Visit Missouri says: “In the early morning hours of May 21, 1855, a small group of runaway slaves and their guides crossed the Mississippi River from St. Louis, attempting to reach a route to freedom through Illinois. Accompanying them was Mary Meachum, a free woman of color, the widow of a prominent black clergyman. The area is marked by a designation sign. A colorful wall mural by the students of Logos School interprets the Meachum event.
- Have you visited the Greenwood Cemetery? Located at 6571 Saint Louis Ave, Hilldale MO 63121, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery was organized in 1874 to serve the growing needs of the growing black population of post-civil war St. Louis. More than 50,000 African Americans are buried within the 31.85 acres including Harriet Scott, wife of Dred Scott. There is a memorial pavilion in her honor.
- Do you like visiting cemeteries? Have you been to Father Dickson Cemetery at 845 S Sappington Road in Crestwood? On September 4, 1903, the St. Louis County Advocate newspaper reported on the cemetery’s dedication ceremony, which took place on August 30. “The cemetery for colored people, located on the Sappington road, south of Oakland, was formally dedicated last Sunday [August 30] to the memory of Father Moses Dickson by the Knights of Tabor and Daughters of the Tabernacle, of which he was the founder.” The article further went on to say that more than 3,000 people attended the ceremony arriving by coach loads from Union station and from the city and other parts of the county on the electric lines and in private conveyances.A Wikipedia article says that Moses Dickson (1824-1901) was an abolitionist, solider, minister and founder of the secret organization The Knights of Liberty which planned slave uprisings and help enslaved people to freedom through the Underground Railroad. He was a co-founder of Lincoln University.