Park University, National Archives at Kansas City Co-Hosting Event on Kansas City Negro History

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

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Park University and the National Archives at Kansas City will co-host local historian and author Elvis “Sonny” Gibson for a discussion about his book 1865 Kansas City Early Negro History on Thursday, April 28, at the National Archives at Kansas City (400 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo.), starting at 6:30 p.m. A reception will precede the event at 6 p.m.

Gibson, a 1974 Park graduate, has spent more than 25 years scouring libraries, archives, flea markets and old book stores to amass a collection of history related to the African-American experience in Kansas City. His book, published in 2014, includes a treasure trove of photographs, handbills, advertisements, newspaper clippings, announcements and other assorted memorabilia dating to the 1860s. Gibson, who is retired from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Administration, specializes in human resources management, conflict resolution and community relations.

Debra Sheffer, Ph.D., professor of history at Park University, will interview Gibson during the evening and discuss his decades of research and what he found over the past three decades. Sheffer, who earned a doctorate in military history, U.S. history and indigenous peoples from the University of Kansas, has also written on subjects such as the Buffalo Soldiers, World War I, Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, and George Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Her current research examines honor and death in the Civil War.

While this program is free and open to the public, reservations are requested. To reserve a seat, contact the National Archives at Kansas City at or (816) 268-8000. Requests for Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations must be submitted five business days prior to this event.