Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 51 Courtesy Boone County Historical SocietyMembers of the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority members look over a model of what the Douglass School UrbanRenewal Area was supposed to be like after completion of the program. They are, from left, Dell Keepers, John Crighton, CharlesProctor, Chairman B.D. Simon and Dorsey Russell.cent of the 14,676 businesses works for mutual support, Stanton census indicated Columbia had Vestigial racism is everywhere incounted were owned by American said. It also recommended pro- gained more black population in the United States and cannot be aIndians, which would be about 44 grams that will help black business the previous 10 years than had deterrent to achievement, Laboybusinesses. About 352 Columbia owners overcome obstacles to lived here in 1910. said. “I just want them to stop buy-businesses, or 2.4 percent, are financing. ing into the hype that you can’t dooperated by people of Asian Taking advantage of greater certain things because you aredescent, the agency said. “Government entities and all of affluence and fair housing laws, black,” she said. “Get over it.” that have to diversify how they the black population of rural In a study for REDI and the assist small businesses, and in par- Boone County has been increasing The process of studying the his-Small Business Technology and ticularly African-American busi- steadily since 1970. In 2010, more tory of Sharp End, urban renewalDevelopment Center, Byndom, nesses here in Columbia,” Stanton blacks lived outside the city than and the exertions of black resi-Stanton & Associates estimated said. “I think our biggest problem at any time since 1890. dents of Columbia to find a place125 businesses are owned by is we can’t look to Kansas City and of respect is a way of understand-blacks in Columbia. Many are St. Louis and always try to mimic Verna Laboy grew up in Peoria, ing what every family seeks, saidsmall operations with little capital, what they do and think that will be Ill., and moved to Columbia with Toni Messina, a member of thesaid Stanton, who is self-employed successful here. This is a different her family in 1994. “I love Colum- Sharp End Heritage Committee.in construction. demographic, and the relationship bia, and I have had wonderful between the black and white com- opportunities,” she said. “There is the city we know and Many black business owners are munities in Columbia is different love and want to promote, but we“lifestyle entrepreneurs,” Stanton than it is there.” Laboy has formed the Worley also know there are income dis-said. “I am not really looking to Street Roundtable to discuss edu- parities, health disparities, busi-grow a million-dollar business. I The make-up of Columbia’s cation issues and helped form the ness ownership disparities,” Mes-am looking to grow a business that black community today is dramat- Smithton Neighborhood Associa- sina said.makes as much as I was making ically different from the one that tion to clean out drug dealers. Shewhen I was working for someone created Sharp End. ran, unsuccessfully, for state rep- “The question,” she said, “iselse.” resentative. She has adopted pio- what can you do to change that In 1910, the first business own- neering black businesswoman balance so more people are able to The report recommended adop- ers were the children or grandchil- Annie Fisher as a character to por- not just live in Columbia but thrivetion of more visible outreach to dren of slaves, and almost all were tray in classrooms to teach the and do well and achieve their ver-black businesses to create net- born in Boone County. In 2010, the lessons of overcoming adversity. sion of the American dream.”
52 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Courtesy Barbra HorrellThis undated photo shows a gathering of well-dressed black women, and one man, in Columbia during the Sharp End era. Theyare, from left, front row: Stella Lee, unknown, Nancy Chandler, Maggie Brown and Carrie Hill. Second row, from left: Flora Forbis,Mary Forbis, Henry Tumey, Mary Brown and Pauline Wilson Buckner. Third row, from left: Unknown, Clara Payne, Suella Tumey,Lessons for going forwardJuliaBrooksandAddieHarris.Sharp End Committee members hope minority business opportunities will expand.The Sharp End Heritage Committee began its work to find some truth and meaning in the life and death of up a larger share of the city’s pop- back then, and you just have to Columbia’s black business district. ulation than at any time since the persevere. The cards are kind of 1940s, when Sharp End was thriv- stacked against you, and there is ing. no secret about that, not just in One of the truths about Sharp Columbia but all across the coun- Members want the placement of a historic marker May 19 to End is the need for a connected try. “be a new beginning that promotes and expands minority busi- black community, with networks Columbia’s urban renewal pro- of businesses that support each gram demolished hundreds ofness opportunities Columbia. other’s prosperity, said Ed Tibbs, houses, deliberately targeted the“If we want to grow minority to the Sharp End.” son of Sharp End fixture Edward businesses on Sharp End as unde-businesses in Columbia, before we The growth of the black popula- “Dick” Tibbs. sirable and paid little attention toget there we need to deal with the tion of Columbia has outpaced the “We need to stick together and the idea of providing adequatepast,” committee Chairman Jim growth of the city generally since help each other out if possible,” replacement space. Concerns thatWhitt said. “Because Columbia has 1970, and there are three times as Tibbs said. “Back then, times were a repeat performance was in thea very distinct history because of many black people living here really hard, even though they are offing helped kill the recentthe Sharp End and what happened than at that time. Blacks now make hard now, but they are really hard attempt to create a tax-incentive
HISTORIC SHARP END DEDICATION Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 53A marker commemorating the location and importance of I’m a Landmark.Sharp End was dedicated May 19, 2015. Walnut Street wasclosed from Fifth Street to Sixth Street for the unveiling infront of the REDI offices.The program:Welcome: James A. Whitt, Sharp End Heritage CommitteeChair and President of the Columbia Board of Education.Prayer: The Rev. David Ballenger, Log Providence MissionaryBaptist ChurchComments on behalf of the community: Barbara A.B. Hor-rell, Horrell & AssociatesResolution presentations: Sen. Kurt Schaefer, 19th District;Rep. Kip Kendrick, 45th DistrictComments on behalf of the city of Columbia: Mayor BobMcDavidRibbon cutting: Columbia Chamber of CommerceHistoric Marker Unveiling: Sehon Williams and Ed TibbsReading of the Historic Marker: Deacon Larry Monroe, Sec-ond Missionary Baptist ChurchClosing comments: James A. Whittzone for industry. slaves. One-fifth of Boone Coun- When it comes to City government is participat- ty’s population was black when the 1830 census recognized it as a choosing a bank,ing in the committee in part to separate county for the first time.deal with that legacy, said Toni convenience andMessina, Civic Relations officer for For 100 years after slaveryColumbia. ended, blacks had few opportuni- comfort are at the With Landmark, ties except those they made for top of my list. I can take care of “That is my interpretation of it, themselves, Anthony Stanton said.that it is a wound that had been Many black business owners have - Greg Newby multiple bankingkind of festering for a long time,” trouble finding financing forMessina said. “That, coupled with expansion or competing for con- needs in onereally a loss of the sense of this tracts to propel their growth.area, so we want to bring it back, place, in a welcoming environment,acknowledge what happened, and “Our history here is different,”go forward with a sense of renewal Stanton said. “And this is how when with a team I know I can trust. Findand celebration.” I talk to others about those issues, this is basically my argument: It is out what Landmark can do for you. Telling Sharp End’s story is not not your responsibility. You are notabout glossing over the conditions going to be up all night thinking MEMBER LandmarkBank.com (800) 618-5503blacks faced every day as they about how to build black business-tried to raise their families and es, and I don’t expect you to. FDICachieve a bit of the Americandream, said Larry Monroe, son of “What I expect you to do is docafé owner Vitilla Monroe. It is a your part in helping us achievestory of strength in spite of those success, because it wasn’t totallyconditions, he said. our fault, and I am talking in gen- eral, that the Sharp End is no lon- “Sharp End is a statement that ger our economic center. And thenpeople are capable of commerce, we will do our part fixing our ownpeople are capable interacting, issues.”people are capable of runningbusinesses other than services,” The Rev. James Gray, who canMonroe said. “Sharp End was an trace his family’s roots in Booneidentifying mark, it was somewhat County to slave times, said tellingof a heritage in a way. It was not the story of Sharp End will openthe lifeblood, but it was certainly a the door to the full history of thepart of the lifeblood of this com- black experience in Boone County.munity.” “Not only is it good for the city Blacks were among Boone of Columbia, but also for a lot ofCounty’s earliest settlers, but few the students, the African-Ameri-are remembered as pioneers can students and young kids inbecause they came to Missouri as our school system,” Gray said.
Sharp End Heritage Committee54www.columbiatribune.comCOLUMBIADAILYTRIBUNEWednesday,May20,2015 Jim Whitt Barbra A.B. Horrell Tyree Byndom Rev. James Gray Consultant and Owner Byndom StantonExecutive Director of cPhase Horrell & Associates consulting & Associates “Griot” Member, Fun City Youth Acad-Sports Association, President emy Board of Directorsof Columbia Board of Educa- ﬁrm Former manager, Boone Tavern tion. Member since 2009Toni Messina Ed Tibbs JJ Musgrove Larry MonroeCivic Relations Officer Son of Sharp End businessman Director Columbia Office of Former barber in Phillips & City of Columbia Edward “Dick” Tibbs Cultural Affairs Williams Barber Shop Entrepreneur Retired Columbia building Sehon Williams Vicki Russell Anthony Stanton inspector Retired, U.S. Postal Service Publisher, Columbia Byndom Stanton & Associates Not pictured:World War II Veteran of 92nd Daily Tribune Self-employed in construction Rev. David Ballenger, pastor “Buffalo” Division of Log Providence Missionary Baptist Church Mary Beth Brown, Committee Historian Rachel Bacon, planner, Colum- bia Community Development Department Katie Essing, executive direc- tor, Downtown Columbia Com- munity Improvement District Kenny Greene, jewelry design- er and owner, Monarch Jewelry Amy Schneider, director, Co- lumbia Convention and Visitors Bureau Annelle Whitt, MAC Scholars coordinator, Columbia Public Schools
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 55 REDI is proud to recognize thehistorical significance and heritageof the Sharp End Business District Committed to helping businesses and creating a stronger entrepreneurial community Regional Economic Development Inc. •500 east walnut CO LU M B I A, M I S S O U R I •573.442.8303 w w w.columbiaredi.com
56 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015THE “Preserving and promotingLEGACY our community’s African-LIVES MU salutes Sharp End Heritage American legacy enriches Committee members for their important us all and brightens both contributions to the conservation of our future and that of our Columbia’s vibrant history. children.”Sharp End Heritage Committee members, front row, left to right: Ed Tibbs, Sehon Williams, Toni Messina, ģƫċƫ+3!*ƫ+\"0%*Čƫƫ$*!((+.Ken Greene, Amy Schneider and James Gray. Second row, left to right: Katie Essing, Barbra A. B. Horrell,David Ballenger, Vicki Russell, Chairman James Whitt and Larry Monroe. Not pictured: Rachel Bacon, “It is critical that thisMary Beth Brown, Tyree Byndom, J.J. Musgrove, Anthony E. Stanton and Annelle Whitt history be preserved. Only through an understanding of the hard lessons of our past can we make better decisions for our collective future.” ģƫ%'!ƫ% (!0+*Čƫ ƫ!,105ƫ$*!((+.ƫ “As a native Columbian, I applaud efforts to foster and commemorate the rich diversity of the Sharp End era for the Columbia community.” — ..ƫċƫċƫ+..!((Čƫƫ ƫ.!0%.!!ƫ* ƫ(1)* “It has been an honor to work on a project that enables the entire community to tell the story of Sharp End and ensure that it stays alive through memories.” ģƫ.5ƫ!0$ƫ.+3*Čƫƫ/0\"\"ƫ )!)!.ƫ* ƫ#. 10!ƫ/01 !*0ƫ “My dad was a business owner during the Sharp End era. Today, I’m proud to keep his legacy alive through this project and by still owning property in the area.” ģƫ ƫ%/Čƫƫ.!0%.!!To share your memories of the Sharp End, please contactToni Messina at [email protected] information about Mizzou’s efforts to preserve black cultureand history: news.missouri.edu/2015/caretakers-of-culture