Remembering a Legacy

1 decade 3 years 8 months ago Thursday, March 16 2006 Mar 16, 2006 Thursday, March 16, 2006 1:45:28 PM CST March 16, 2006 in News

Callaway County was only one of many counties with a large slave population along the Missouri River.

"It's what has happened in the life of a race of people. That's history," said Jack McBride, whose great-grandfather was born a slave and sold for $1,000 on the Callaway County Courthouse steps at the age of seven.

McBride's family was from the New Bloomfield area, but not much is left of the history of slavery in Callaway County except in a few cemeteries scattered across the county. So, relatives study genealogy to trace their ancestry. But, McBride said it's crucial to educate young people to maintain the memories of slavery.

"It's the generation that's coming up now, but we're losing many of them generations, you know," said McBride. "And that is sad, that's really sad."

Traci Wilson-Kleecamp's genealogy workshops help keep those fading memories in focus. She just found out her ancestors were slaves in mid-Missouri. Now, she wants to help others discover more about their family history.

"It's important for black and white research," she stated. "We have a lot of history in common, and certainly slavery is a negative aspect of it. But, I think, in terms of the research part of it, everybody learns more about their family."

McBride emphasized the history of slavery is more than a story in a book, because it's important to remember the reality of the past .

"What I say to myself sometimes, about history, is to look at where we have been, where we are now and what we have now," McBride explained.

Mcbride was the first black student to enroll in Fulton High School's vocational training program in 1952.

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