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A statue of John Brown, standing in the Kansas City, Kansas black community near the remains of the Township of Quindaro has been desecrated with a swastika and other racist messages drawn on it with a black marker.  The statue is standing on ground once used by Western University, a Freedman’s college, and the first black college built west of the Mississippi River after the Civil War.  The Quindaro ruins mark the site of a township once populated by the members of the Wyandotte Tribe, runaway slaves, and sympathetic white people.  The statue of Brown was built in 1910, and reads, “Erected to the memory of John Brown by a Grateful People.”

John Brown is a hero to many in eastern Kansas.  A museum exists in Osawatomie.  One of his forts (actually a cabin) stands in a state park near La Cygne.  And the famous mural of John Brown, Bible in one hand, rifle in the other, is painted inside the state capitol building in Topeka.  And the statue, an anti-racist memorial to many, has now been cleaned by a volunteer.

A public symposium on Quindaro is scheduled to start with a keynote address by Dr. Quintard Taylor, Thursday, April 19, 6-8 p.m. at the Kansas City Public Library’s Central Library, 14 W 10th Street, Kansas City, Missouri. On Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, the symposium sessions will be held at Memorial Hall, 600 North 7th Street Trafficway, Kansas City, Kansas. For more information, go to .


Leonard Zeskind

Author Leonard Zeskind

is founder of IREHR. For almost four decades, he has been a leading authority on white nationalist political and social movements. He is the author of Blood and Politics: The History of White Nationalism from the Margins to the Mainstream, published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in May 2009. [more..]

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