Later this week several longstanding St. Louis traditions get underway, including Fair St. Louis and the VP Parade. Both events have connections to the Veiled Prophet Organization, which was founded in 1878 by white elites.
The organization and its regular celebrations are associated with civic pride and philanthropy – and with controversy, secretive rituals and protest.
On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Shula Neuman looked back on Veiled Prophet history and consider the organization’s evolution and ongoing influence. Joining her to talk about it were two guests with particular interests in the topic.
Percy Green is a prominent civil rights activist perhaps best known for scaling the Gateway Arch 55 years ago. Devin Thomas O’Shea is a Chicago-based freelance writer who recently finished an as-yet-unpublished novel inspired by the city’s Veiled Prophet traditions.