Jazz recording artist and two-term USA Cultural Jazz Ambassador Angela Hagenbach is the founder of the Black Ancestors Awareness Campaign, a Trustee of the Weston Historical Museum, and a fifth-generation descendant of Weston, Missouri’s historically Black forebears. She authors Resilience In The Face Of Adversity, the first column dedicated to Weston Black Heritage for Museum Musings, the Weston Historical Museum quarterly. Hagenbach is a historical fiction novelist and student of ancestral research.


To enhance the value, legacy, and charm of Historic Weston, the BAAC fosters universal understanding by residents and visitors of the town’s resilient Black ancestors. Weston is a known destination for regional Black research and history and is a model for other rural communities that want to develop their own Black history resources.


To recognize, honor, and promote the lives and contributions of Weston’s resilient Black community, whose labor, talent, and industry resonate in historic Weston to this day.

To say the names, tell the stories, and meticulously excavate Weston’s Black lineage from obscurity, respectfully honor and reintroduce their lives and histories back into historic Weston.


Marilyn Carpenter met Angela Hagenbach through the Kansas City jazz community and worked with Hagenbach to get the Weston City Park courtyard named after Dinah Robinson. Carpenter was a Professor of English at the University of Alaska Anchorage for 25 years. She served for two years as the president of UMKC Jazz Friends and is a member of All Souls church in Kansas City, where she teaches yoga and works for racial justice.


Having lived for several years in West Africa, I have a deep appreciation for African cultures and the Diaspora. Retiring after 40 years as a Family Nurse Practitioner, my goal is to continue to work towards social justice BAAC has provided that opportunity and I look forward to the essential projects we continue to plan and realize. As a charter member of BAAC, I am committed to our mission of bringing the stories of the Black Ancestors, descendants and helpers to their rightful place in Weston’s and the region’s history.


Phyllis Becker joined BAAC to support its important work of uncovering and lifting up the history of Black Westonians and others in the region. She is proud of the work initiated by her longtime friend and founder of BAAC, Angela Hagenbach, with her sister Joyce Johnson and of serving with her fellow steering committee members. Phyllis is a consultant in human services and a published poet.


Sally Gaskill grew up in Weston. Her mother, Marian, served as president of the Weston Historical Museum for 32 years. Sally majored in history at Colorado College and continues to celebrate the power of our collective stories. She became a nonprofit arts leader in communities throughout the country, settling in Bloomington, Indiana where she currently lives. Sally attended the first Juneteenth Heritage Jubilee in 2021 and has participated on the BAAC’s Steering Committee ever since.


BAAC charter member Yolanda ‘Joyce’ Johnson retired from the UMKC Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program after 30 years and is a UMKC Retirement Board member. An active Sheffield Family Life Center member, Johnson served six terms as a Notary for the States of Missouri and Kansas. She is a fifth-generation descendant of Weston’s Black forebears and the sister of Angela Hagenbach.


Vincent Bell headed the IT department for AH Entertainment, Inc. and Amazon Records for over twenty years and enjoys music, art, and photography. As son of Angela Hagenbach and Joyce Johnson’s nephew, he is a sixth-generation descendant of Weston’s people of African descent. Bell is honored to be a member of the BAAC Steering Committee and social media manager.