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Wed, 05.08.1974

Black Archives of Mid-America is Founded

The Black Archives of Mid-America (BAMA), Inc. was founded on this date in 1974.

BAMA is an African American history resource center in Kansas City  that focuses on America’s Midwest. Horace M. Peterson III initially created it, and located it the city's old Paseo YMCA building. In 1976, the BAMA moved to 2033 Vine, old Firehouse No.11. The firehouse, in Kansas City's Historic 18th and Vine District. This area of the city itself is representative of African American history in this region, as it was home to the first Black Fire Department in Kansas City, built in 1931 as part of the Works Progress Administration period under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The BAMA is a non-profit organization that serves the community by offering itself as an educational resource as well as a repository of every facet of African American culture: music, art, theater, education, the military, medicine, sports, religion, and community affairs. The BAMA was expressly created to collect and preserve the history of African Americans in the Midwest.  Beyond their original emphasis of research and critical examination, the Archives' traveling exhibits shows the roles of African Americans and their efforts to dispel negative images.

BAMA’s interpretive and educational programs, research services, and special projects have received overwhelming community support. Other projects envisioned by Peterson include the Kansas City Jazz Museum, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and the renovated Gem Theater; all landmarks in the 18th and Vine District of Kansas City.



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