Miles Davis. Katherine Dunham. Jackie Joyner-Kersee. These are three household names you may know who have connections to East St. Louis. But they are not the only African-American East St. Louisans who have gone on to make significant contributions to the region, and in fact, the country.
East St. Louis natives Tiffany Lee and Reginald Petty have recently published a book highlighting some of these unsung citizens in "Legendary East St. Louisans: An African American Series."
"These are stories that haven't necessarily been told but make you think about what you're doing with the 24-hours-a-day you've been given; they're so inspirational," Lee said.
Some of the people highlighted in the book include U.S. Ambassador Donald McHenry, gospel singer Joe May, Judge Billy Jones, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Reporter John Hicks, activist Harry Edwards and social worker Carrie K. Bowles.
"We worked together to identify people who had made an impression on the city and nationwide and, some, internationally," Lee said. "Then we started to think about the pillars of the community who built East St. Louis. Mr. Petty already had some of those names floating around, but then we began research and found more."
The two joined Monday's St. Louis on the Air with Don Marsh to discuss the book and the people featured in it. You can find the book available for purchase online here.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.