KANSAS CITY, Mo. — High school athletes from around the metro learned about the achievements of African-Americans Wednesday as part of Black History Month thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs’ Community Caring Team organized a special event at the Black Archives of Mid-America. The team said they have a long history of supporting African-American communities.
Team ambassador Bobby Bell led the tour of the Black archives’ “With My Eyes No Longer Blind” exhibit, which tells the stories of the development of churches, schools, entertainment venues, political organizations, businesses, and social clubs dating back to the days of the Lewis and Clark expedition up through the mayoral term of Emanuel Cleaver.
“We also know a lot of the history is cloaked, and people don’t want to talk about it,” Carmaletta Williams, the archives’ CEO, said. “They want to hide their ancestors’ past in history. It’s not pleasant.”
Some students were surprised to learn of achievements by Black Americans that have never been taught in schools.
“We don’t want to talk about those things even though we talk about other things when the race is involved, then somehow it takes a different dimension, and it gets lost in the curriculum,” Williams said.
Williams cited the state of Texas’ recent removal of all references to slavery from school history books as evidence that much still needs to be done to help everyone understand the contribution of blacks in the nation’s history and culture.
The Chiefs claim to be the first team to scout players from historically black colleges and universities, including Hall of Famer Buck Buchanan, featured in the Black archives.