The Shared History of Germans and African Americans
Dr. Sydney Norton
German Immigrants and African Americans: Fighting for Freedom and Equality in 19th-Century Missouri
Sydney is a scholar and owner of German Language Solutions, a company specializing in language teaching, translation, and cultural programming. In 2016, she curated “German Immigrant Abolitionists: Fighting for a Free Missouri,” an exhibition that opened at Saint Louis University’s Center for Global Citizenship and travelled to Deutschheim State Historic Site in Hermann. Sydney earned her doctorate in German literature and cultural studies from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Her anthology, Fighting for a Free Missouri: German Immigrants, African Americans, and the Issue of Slavery, was released in October of 2023 by the University of Missouri Press.
Dr. John Wright
Black Abolitionists and Freedom Fighters in Missouri
John A. Wright, Sr. is a retired educator who has served in positions ranging from classroom teacher to superintendent of schools. He has a BA from Harris Teachers College and an ME and PhD from St. Louis University. He is coauthor of Extraordinary Black Missourians, Ethnic St. Louis, and 12 other books on local and regional African American history. He served as a board member of the St. Louis World Trade Center and the St. Louis, Missouri–Senegal Sister Cities Committee.
Dr. Gary Kremer
German immigrants, Slavery and Race: Reflections on the Missouri Experience
Dr. Kremer is the Executive Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri. A fifth-generation Missourian, Gary R. Kremer earned his PhD from American University in Washington, DC. Kremer has written, coauthored, and coedited 12 books. Previously, Kremer taught history at Lincoln University in Jefferson City (1972-1987) and William Woods University in Fulton (1991-2004).
German American and African American Relationships Beyond the Civil War: Building Community
Cecilia is a sociologist, playwright and community engagement consultant. She is the President of Cross-Cultural Strategies. In 2019 she received the Missouri Arts Award for “Leadership in the Arts,” and in 2020 she received the “Pioneer Award” from Saint Louis University recognizing her commitment to community through innovation and hard work. She wrote the play, An Amazing Story: German Abolitionists of Missouri.
Since 2019 Cecilia has organized symposia bringing to life the history of German immigrant abolitionists and African Americans in Missouri through scholarly presentations, theater and community storytelling. Her vigorous outreach reflects enthusiastic engagement with diverse collaborators throughout the State of Missouri.