Kinloch, MO, located just northwest of St. Louis, was settled over 100 years ago. It grew into a bustling city, but after white developments surrounded the city, Kinloch’s prosperity began to collapse, and eventually became one of the poorest communities in America. Kinloch: America’s First Black City, showing readers the city though pictures, aims to capture the history of the community.
Located just outside of St. Louis, Kinloch was once a community locked off from the rest of the area by natural and man-made barriers. In spite of a lack of financial resources, it once provided its residents with a school district, city hall, post office, business district, and recreational facilities. Residents will recognize Dunbar Elementary, the oldest school for blacks in St. Louis County, Holy Angels, the oldest continuing black parish in the St. Louis Archdiocese, as well as former residents Congresswoman Maxine Waters and political activist Dick Gregory. Eventually, due to insufficient revenue, this once thriving community fell into decline, and is now struggling to keep its small town values and ideals alive.
About the Author
John A. Wright Sr., a Fulbright Scholar and former Superintendent of the Kinloch School District, has collected photographs, many never published before, from local churches, residents, and even city hall in an effort to preserve the history of Missouri's first all-black community. This book truly celebrates the people of Kinloch and will preserve for future generations a place in time.
Published by Arcadia Publishing, paperback, 2000. 128 pages. 200 illustrations.