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Book Review: ‘Extraordinary Black Missourians’

Book Review: ‘Extraordinary Black Missourians’

February 3, 2023

John, Sylvia, and John Wright, Jr., a dedicated family of researchers, combine their decades’ worth of writing experience to carefully craft the narratives of prominent Black figures from Missouri in Extraordinary Black Missourians: Pioneers, Leaders, Performers, Athletes, and Other Notables Who’ve Made History. This collection brings to life the stories and achievements of each individual, including Missourians who received awards, international acclaim, broke records, pioneered discoveries, and led during the Civil Rights Movement.

The Wrights shine a spotlight on people who are often passed over in other accounts of notable figures, but whose contributions play a major role in shaping not only the history of Missouri, but of our nation as well.

Take, for instance, Roscoe Robinson, Jr., (1928 – 1993), the first African American four-star Army general. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Robinson took part in military actions in Korea, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and his courage and outstanding service earned him the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Silver Star, and more.

John Edward Perry (1870-1962) paints another fascinating portrait. After receiving his M.D. from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Perry traveled to Missouri where he faced setbacks in Jefferson City and later found himself in Mexico, Missouri, where he joined a practice with two white physicians. In 1902, he would go on to found the Wheatley-Provident Hospital in Kansas City. 

Extraordinary Black Missourians is a must-read for anyone interested in historical figures and great feats of accomplishment. It will leave you wanting to dive even further into the lives of ordinary folks achieving the extraordinary.

Find more Black History Month reading and resource suggestions, as well as upcoming programs, at mymcpl.org/BlackHistory.

Lisa P. & Mariah H.
Information and Reader Services Department

 

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