KKFI-FM 90.1 airs special radio show “Civil Rights and the Story of the 1923 Catcher, Arkansas Race Incident” during the 101st NAACP ConventionMatt Quinn
“Guess Who’s Coming to Kansas City” program focuses on the struggles of Blacks of African Descent
In honor of the NAACP convention taking place in Kansas City from July 10-15, KKFI-FM 90.1 radio program “Guess Who’s Coming to Kansas City” will air a special show on Saturday, July 10, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. The program features a discussion of civil rights and the 1923 Catcher, Arkansas race incident with guests Moira Bryant from Ft. Smith, Arkansas, author of “Healing Catcher — An Oral History of Murder and Racism”; Calvin L. Richardson, former president of the Ft. Smith, Ark. NAACP chapter; Larry Delano Coleman, civil rights attorney; Alvin Sykes, president of the Emmitt Till Justice Campaign; and Jeff Humfeld, producer of KKFI radio program “Jaws of Justice Radio.”
“What Happened in Catcher? On December 28, 1923, Effie Latimer, a young white woman, was brutally murdered and allegedly raped. Three black men were accused of the crime. While two were grown men, the third was only 14 years-old. The two men were executed, and the young boy was sent to prison where he would soon face a questionable death…. Besides the murder and executions, Catcher would face racial tensions and more violence. Within two days of Latimer’s murder, a black man would be gunned down, or lynched, and all of the blacks would be forcibly removed from their homes and the community.” [Excerpted from the prologue to the Catcher, Arkansas oral history, see University of Arkansas – Fort Smith 2010 Undergraduate Research Symposium, Presentation Anthology http://www.uafortsmith.edu/attach/Symposium/Index/Symposium2010.pdf ]
Eleven black men would face their own trial in 1924 for the accusation of “night riding.” Although, according to public records, they would later be acquitted, this bit of information has been lost in the Catcher community. One assertion whites in the area preserve is that no black has lived in the area since these events. Great-grand niece of Effie Latimer, Linda Mitchell Griffith, who now lives in Montana said, “I strongly feel that there has been no justice for my aunt or for the two men and teenager who were rushed to trial and executed.”
The show highlights an under-reported incident in US race relations during the NAACP convention, which will be held in Kansas City and will attract 10,000 members. Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. For more information about the NAACP convention, visit http://naacp.org/pages/convention
“Guess Who’s Coming to Kansas City” host and executive producer MC Richardson said, “This NAACP National Convention promises to be the best to date taking place in Kansas City, the Heart of America.”
The radio program, on the air since 1996, publicizes issues that impact the Kansas City minority community, encouraging the pursuit of positive solutions to community problems. MC Richardson is the CEO and founder of the United Minority Media Association, based in Kansas City and established in 1974.