MPW.71 / 2019 Revisiting Boonville’s Racial History by Gabriella Angotti-Jones
Photographer
Gabriella Angotti-Jones Capistrano Beach, Calif.
Team Cox

Story Summary

In 1978, The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights published “Race Relations in Cooper County,” a report that attempted to assess the current status of Boonville’s black citizens. Researchers concluded that Boonville’s black leaders at the time saw the black community as supporting the status quo, while the white community believed that race relations in Boonville were peaceful. “Their view is shared by some blacks for whom the system has proved beneficial,” continued the report. “But others would contend that passivity is not a measure of contentment.”

After the report was published, The Concerned Citizens for the Black Community (CCBC) was formed on Dec. 1, 1980. The community organization operating out of Sumner School, a former segregated school. It’s goal was to uplift Boonville’s east side, providing scholarships, meals, and place to gather for the community. Forty years later, the CCBC is shutting down, citing economic problems and an inability to repair the school.

In the midst of CCBC’s closure, locations and historic sites around Boonville with deep racial history were revisited in an effort to remind ourselves where we came from, and help imagine where we will go.