Percy Green | St. Louis Public Radio

Percy Green

Percy Green and Cori Bush, two activists of different generations, sat down to talk to each other about what has changed - and what hasn't - in the movement.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis on the Air

Here in St. Louis, we’re well into the second week of protests following the acquittal of Jason Stockley. It’s a scene we’ve seen as recently in 2014, when protests erupted in response to the police shooting death of Michael Brown Jr.

Calvin Riley stands in one of the many rooms of the  George B. Vashon African-American Museum on St. Louis Avenue. (July 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Calvin Riley has spent years searching through musty basements and dusty attics to rescue the objects of historical significance that he displays in his George B. Vashon African-American Museum in north St. Louis.

“What I show here, you’re not going to see in other museums,’’ Riley said.

Gwen Moore and Percy Green joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss the Missouri History Museum's recent exhibit "#1 in Civil Rights."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you remember the day two St. Louis activists climbed 125 feet up a construction ladder on the unfinished north leg of the Gateway Arch, you remember a key moment of the civil rights movement in St. Louis. Percy Green was one of the people who climbed the Arch on July 14, 1964.

July 14, 1964: CORE demonstrators Percy Green (top) and Richard Daly on the Arch.
Paul Ockrassa | St. Louis Globe-Democrat | courtesy St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri St. Louis.

Updated 1:13 p.m., Oct. 28 with "St. Louis on the Air" audio - The Gateway Arch was just halfway to the sky on July 14, 1964, when two St. Louis civil rights activists climbed 125 feet up a construction ladder on the unfinished north leg to protest the project’s lack of African-American workers.

It would become an iconic moment in city history.


The Veiled Prophet and his Queen of Love and Beauty at the 2015 VP Parade in Forest Park.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated July 8, 2015 to clarify the origin of the 1878 newspaper image and to correct the name of the accessories carried by the parade's horsemen.

Crowds decked out in red, white and blue were treated to a feast for the eyes and ears at the VP Parade Saturday morning in Forest Park. The parade had something for everyone, from marching bands and massive floating balloons to elaborate floats and superheroes driving four-wheelers and passing out candy. There were even Elvis impersonators and a Chinese dragon brigade.

But tucked in-between Elvis and a gardening float was a scene out of a bygone era. A troupe of men carrying ceremonial lances rode up first on horses decked out with the VP emblem. Then came two floats designed to look like chariots: the first pulled by a dragon, the second by a pair of swans. Enthroned on both chariots were women in elaborate gowns and men with their faces obscured by lacy veils.

Civil disobedience is a likely next step among those protesting the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Highway shutdowns plans, for example, were announced last weekend, and there was a small short-lived shutdown then. Additional shutdowns are planned.

During a 2010 interview, Norman Seay shared this photo of Jefferson Bank protesters being led to jail. A young William Clay, before he was elected to Congress, is second from left. Seay is the man wearing a hat and is behind the man with a pocket handkerc
Provided by Mr. Seay

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: About two dozen people, some from as far away as New York, California and North Carolina, gathered in the 2300 block of Market Street on Friday afternoon to mark the 50th anniversary of the Jefferson Bank demonstrations. As they took part in the commemorative march, some involved in the original movement offered stories about life in segregated St. Louis half a century ago.

Wikipedia

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The 2600 block of Washington Boulevard is still remembered as the spot marking the beginning of what would become the largest civil disobedience demonstration for economic equality in St. Louis. Launched on Aug. 30, 1963, the protest involved about 150 blacks and whites who gathered outside of what was then the headquarters of the Jefferson Bank & Trust Co. The goal was to prod the bank to hire blacks for white-collar jobs.