The Summer Speakers Series

Fourth Sundays of July, August & September 12:30-2:00

Weston United Methodist Church at Fellowship Hall
533 Main Street, Weston, MO, 64098

The Black Ancestors Awareness Campaign (BAAC) and the Weston United Methodist Church (WUMC) are excited to announce their second annual Summer Speakers Series, sponsored in part by the State Historical Society of Missouri and SalusPopuli.Org, featuring three distinct presentations of historical and cultural interest on the fourth Sundays during the summer. Coffee and ala-carte brunch items will be available for purchase from WUMC’s Back Door Coffee.

The Summer Speakers Series is a production of the Black Ancestors Awareness Campaign and Weston United Methodist Church. We unite communities through thoughtful programs featuring history, educational storytelling and interactive multi-media presentations.

Join us and feel free to wear your favorite cowboy attire!

When Spanish settlers arrived in New Spain – later Mexico and the American Southwest – they brought with them the tradition of the Vaquero, a horse-mounted livestock herder that originated on the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. As American settlers moved west, they adopted the methods of the Vaqueros for managing large herds of cattle. In the 1800s, demand for beef grew and the cattle industry boomed. Massive cattle-drives to railheads in towns like Sedalia, Missouri, Garden City, Dodge City, and Abilene required the unique skills of Hispanic, Black, American Indian, and white cowboys of the Vaquero tradition. Eventually, much of the meat processing to place in Kansas City, Kansas and the West Bottoms on the Missouri side of the State lines. This presentation highlights the culture of Vaquero, to include the development of the corrido, a form of ballad popular among cowboys.

Within the social and political context of nineteenth-century Missouri, German specialist Sydney Norton examines the contributions of German immigrants who dedicated their lives to ending slavery, and who, in some cases, worked with African Americans to institute laws of social equality after slavery was abolished. We will investigate the contributions of key political figures, such as Friedrich Muench, Arnold Krekel, and Henry and Augustus Boernstein, who, in their actions and writings, helped mobilize members of the German community to support Abraham Lincoln and fight for the principles of democracy.

 Sociologist and playwright Cecilia Nadal will follow with a discussion of how the story of the German abolitionists inspired her to investigate the shared history of African Americans and German Americans.

In 1860, prior to the start of the Civil War, just six percent of Missouri’s 114 counties held one-third of the total number of its enslaved population. Black soldiers from Clay, Chariton, Callaway, Boone, Howard, Lafayette and Saline Counties comprised 2,500 of the estimated eight thousand United States Colored Troops serving from Missouri during the Civil War. After the war, these servicemen, their widows, parents, and children applied for military pensions. They called on fellow veterans, neighbors, and family to provide supportive testimony. The resulting pension files contain a wealth of information regarding the soldiers’ military experience alongside riveting documentation concerning marriage and family, enslavement, as well as post-war occupations, challenges and accomplishments. Now entering its second year, The Salus Populi project will discuss research highlights and milestones, exploring previously unseen documents found in the pension records of servicemen from these seven “Little Dixie” counties.

Take a break from the summer heat and enjoy the unique histories of the people who helped shape America. All are invited, seating is limited.