The Sunflower

New trail highlights African American history in Kansas

Back to Article
Back to Article

New trail highlights African American history in Kansas

Courtesy - TKAAM

Courtesy - TKAAM

Courtesy - TKAAM

The Kansas African American History Trail launched Feb. 21 at The Kansas African American Museum in downtown Wichita.

The History Trail tells the story of African American contributions to Kansas at eight historical sites across the state. The sites chronicle the people, places, and events that created a statewide shared black history.

The sites include stops on the Underground Railroad, the location of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the first African American Township ever established in Kansas in Nicodemus, the Gordon Parks Museum and TKAAM. The current sites are considered founder locations, and it’s possible that other locations in the state will join the trail in the future.

Ted Ayres, TKAAM’s board of directors president, is coordinating the history trail project. He has overseen the trail’s launch, which officially began after the Museum received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“The goal of the trail project is to honor and celebrate the significant contributions that African Americans made to Kansas history,” he said.

The idea for the trail came from an article written by Angela Bates, a woman whose ancestors were among the original settlers of Nicodemus in 1877, Ayres said.

“She wrote a publication for the state tourism folks. It was called the Kansas African American History trail,” Ayres said. “And so she talks about some of the history in Kansas and some of the sites, and so that I think was an instrumental part of generating the idea.”

He also credits former TKAAM Director Mark McCormick for submitting the grant proposal.

Ayres said he hopes the new trail locations will make people appreciate the history and stories that emanate from Kansas.

“It’s not ‘black history’, it’s a history of all Kansans,” Ayres said.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Navigate Left
Navigate Right