John Wright

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the occurrence earlier this month of a white Kirkwood High School student who appeared in school with a black substance on his face.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has a long history as a melting pot of different cultures and a new, photo-illustrated book, “Ethnic St. Louis,” is striving to do justice to the various immigrant communities that have made their home here. While many people know the stories of the French and German settlers that helped to create the city from the very beginning, the book delves into lesser-known ethnic groups as well.

John Wright, Robbyn Wahby and Alicia Herald joined "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

There are almost 70 charter schools in St. Louis and Kansas City. Until recently, they were all sponsored by universities. Now another alternative is the Missouri Charter Public School Commission.

Although created by the Missouri legislature in 2012, it didn’t have its first meeting until December of last year. Then at the end of March, Robbyn Wahby was named executive director and left her position as St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s top education adviser to assume her new role.

The Ville book and Silvia and John Wright. The Wrights have written some books together.
Amazon and provided by the Wrights

Events in Ferguson may have started with the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, a black man, at the hands of a Ferguson police officer, a white man, but John Wright believes there’s more to it.

“You never know what spark is going to ignite the incident,” he said. “I think Ferguson is a wake-up call to all of us. We can’t just keep going, business as usual in some areas, without having another explosion.”

Wright, who has written several books about African-Americans in St. Louis, said this was one of only a few racially charged events in the region’s history.

photo of Thomas Schweich
Provided by the auditor's office

Democrats may be deciding between "fight or flight" when it comes to taking on state Auditor Tom Schweich in November.

Last week, state Rep. Jay Swearingen, D-North Kansas City, bowed out of the state auditor's contest. He told the Associated Press that he wanted to step aside for another Democrat who's better able to raise money for the race.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: John and Sylvia Wright’s new book, “Extraordinary Black Missourians: Pioneers, Leaders, Performers, Athletes and Other Notables Who’ve Made History,” tells the stories behind the lives of more than 100 influential black Missourians.

There are the icons, such as Langston Hughes, Dred Scott and Josephine Baker, but there are also quieter, less-known people who faced tough times and still made their mark.

Sylvia and John Wright
Provided by the Wrights

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - About five years ago, Sylvia Wright discovered a piece of history that she’d never known before. During the Revolutionary War, she learned, about a third of George Washington’s army was made up of black soldiers. Some were free, others slaves. And they fought for the founding of this country.

“I cried when I learned about it,” she says now.

She thought of her 8-year-old self in a segregated classroom at Marshall Elementary School, learning about that war.