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Jabari Blakemore and Anna Murrary Robinson, of the Carnahan High School drum line lead a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march from Wellston to Pine Lawn. Jan. 15, 2017
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Area civil rights activists focus on the future as they mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Almost 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, the key focus of area civil rights leaders is to keep the national leader’s legacy — and message — alive for a new generation. Which helps explain why state Rep. Bruce Franks, D-St. Louis, sought to rev up Monday’s annual event at the Old Courthouse to mark King’s birthday. Amid all the songs and speeches, Franks focused on the importance of action. Shouting into the mic, Franks whipped up the crowd with some of the chants that have epitomized more protests over a judge’s decision in September not to charge a St. Louis police officer in a 2011 shooting of an African-American man.

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Quinn Dombrowski | Flickr

Missouri is set to increase the amount it spends on public preschool, but education officials say even if the funds are put in the next budget, the small increase will have only a marginal impact.

By hitting a benchmark for education funding during last year’s budget process, state lawmakers set off a provision that requires more funding for pre-K in the following fiscal year.

Civilian Oversight Board members Ciera Simril (File photo) March 16, 2016
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen may act this year to give the panel that reviews police discipline the authority to issue subpoenas.

A board bill introduced last week has 13 co-sponsors and the support of Mayor Lyda Krewson, but it’s already facing opposition from the St. Louis Police Officers Association.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials navigate the Illinois River where there are jumping silver carp, a type of Asian carp.
Missouri Department of Conservation

State and federal wildlife officials plan to pull out all the stops this month to eliminate Asian carp from Creve Coeur Lake in St. Louis County. 

The invasive species are relentless bottom feeders that have damaged water quality, disrupted the food chain and driven down native fish populations in many Midwestern waterways. 

Author Nick Pistor and St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discuss "Shooting Lincoln" at Left Bank Books on Sept. 27.
File Photo | Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, we rebroadcast host Don Marsh’s discussion with Nick Pistor, author of “Shooting Lincoln: Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and the Race to Photograph the Story of the Century” recorded Sep. 27 before an audience at Left Bank Books.

In the book, Pistor argues that photographers Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner were media pioneers who had a lasting impact on the industry that can be traced to TMZ, paparazzi and film.

 

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. answers questions at a press conference before his speech at St. Louis University in 1964.
Saint Louis University

When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. visited St. Louis for a speech in early 1957, did he imagine Americans would still be grappling with the legacies of segregation and economic disparity more than 60 years later?

As Americans prepare to commemorate King's birthday on Jan. 15, it is worth noting that the civil rights leader made St. Louis a regular stop for at least a decade.

Frankie Muse Freeman at a gathering of local civil rights activists in 2014
Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Frankie Freeman’s career as a criminal defense lawyer didn’t last long.

Freeman, who died Friday at age 101, was best known for her work on civil rights, housing and education. But starting out, she took any kind of case she could get.

Vernon Mitchell Jr. talked about the ongoing impact of Martin Luther King Jr. and about the impact of social media on the Civil Rights Movement today.
Lara Hamdan

The impact of Martin Luther King Jr. continues to influence various civil rights movements today. Washington University will commemorate the late civil rights leader  at 7 p.m., Monday, in Graham Chapel.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Vernon Mitchell Jr., curator of Popular American Arts and Culture in the Department of Special Collections at Washington University.

Should the news media have published a story about Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ extramarital affair and his alleged blackmail of a woman?

St. Louis City Hall
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has officially asked Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway to review the city’s spending.

Aldermen on Friday approved the resolution introduced by Alderman Joe Vaccaro, D-23rd Ward and Alderman John Collins-Muhammad, D-21st Ward by a wide margin. It calls for a “comprehensive audit of the City of St. Louis,” including so-called county offices like the treasurer and the circuit attorney.

Saint Louis University

As part of University of Missouri-St. Louis’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance, keynote speaker Freeman A. Hrabowski III will address the impact of the iconic civil rights activist over the last half century. The celebration is at 10 a.m. to noon on Jan. 15 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) about his work in advocating for equal access to education for all.

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Frankie Freeman used the 'rule of law' to effect change

Freeman spent 16 years on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and was featured as part of this "St. Louis History in Black and White" episode.

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Become part of our Public Insight Network. We use the PIN to get insight from people like you. Today's question: Kirkwood shooting, 10 years later: Has anything changed?