Bruce R. Watkins
Bruce Riley Watkins (March 20, 1924 Parkville, Missouri - September 13, 1980 Kansas City, Missouri) and his stepfather Theron B. Watkins (1877–1950) were prominent political and social activists in Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri. The younger Watkins was the first African-American elected to Kansas City's City Council, in 1963; the first African-American elected to office in that county's administration, in 1966; and the first African-American to nearly win election as Kansas City Mayor, in April 1979. Mr. Watkins and his close friend Leon Jordan established the political club "Freedom, Inc." in 1962.
Monuments erected in Bruce’s honor include the Spirit of Freedom fountain at Brush Creek Boulevard and Cleveland Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri and the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center at Blue Parkway and Cleveland Avenue and Bruce R. Watkins Drive, a major thoroughfare in Kansas City completed October 22, 2001. Both landmarks are within walking distance of the family business co-founded by Theron Watkins,Watkins Brothers Memorial Chapel.
Cultural Heritage Center
The Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, dedicated in December, 1989, is dedicated to the legacy of Mr. Watkins.
- "Bruce Watkins made innumerable contributions to the development of Kansas City...". Google eBooks. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
- "Bruce R. Watkins, Kansas City Missouri Leader and Successful Black Entrepreneur". BlackMissouri.com. 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
- "Bruce R. Watkins". Kansas City Missouri Parks and Recreation Department. 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
- "Biography of Theron B. Watkins (1877-1950) and Bruce Watkins (1924-1980), Community Leaders". Kansas City Public Library. 1999. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
- Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center - official site
- Biographical Flyer about Bruce R. Watkins distributed by Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center.
- "Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center is on a Mission to Commemorate Black Kansas City History"
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