National Archives at Kansas City

1865 Kansas City Negro History Discussion

Press Release: March 30, 2016

Examining 1865 Kansas City Negro History with Sonny Gibson and Dr. Debra Sheffer

For More Information Contact:
Kimberlee Ried, 816-268-8072

Kansas City (MO)…On Thursday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives at Kansas City in partnership with Park University will host local historian and author Sonny Gibson who will be interviewed by Dr. Debra Sheffer about his book research on 1865 Kansas City Negro History. A free light reception will precede the event at 6:00 p.m.

Author Sonny Gibson 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 efforts resulted in a book titled 1865 Kansas City Negro History that includes a treasure trove of photographs, handbills, advertisements, newspaper clippings, announcements, and other assorted memorabilia dating to the 1860s. 1865 Kansas City Negro History details the life and culture of Kansas City’s African Americans; and for one night only, Dr. Debra Sheffer, history professor at Park University, will interview Gibson and discuss his decades of research and what he found over the past three decades. This program is presented in partnership with the Park University Alumni Association.

Reservations are requested for this free program by calling 816-268-8010 or emailing Requests for ADA accommodations must be submitted five business days prior to events.

About the author and interviewer

Sonny Gibson is retired from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Administration. His specialties include human resources management, conflict resolution, and community relations. He has researched African American history for nearly three decades and works as a consultant and lecturer. He has a degree in social work from Park University (cum laude) and is a commercial sign artist and posterist. Gibson is a lifelong Kansas City resident; his book, 1865 Kansas City Negro History, was published in 2014.

Debra J. Sheffer, PhD is professor of History at Park University. She was a 2007 Fellow at the West Point Summer Seminar in Military History. Her publications include The Buffalo Soldiers: A Comprehensive History; Lincoln’s wartime diplomacy and the Emancipation Proclamation, in The Routledge Handbook of American Diplomatic and Military History, Colonial Period to 1877; and The Convergence, in A Companion to Custer and the Little Bighorn Campaign. Her current research examines honor and death in the American Civil War. Sheffer holds a doctorate in Military History, United States History, and Indigenous Peoples from the University of Kansas.

The National Archives at Kansas City is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.

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LPM/LE-KC 16-09